Tue, Sep 04, 2012 - Page 19 News List

SERIEA: Juve in lead as Totti-led Roma crush Inter

AFP, ROME

AS Roma’s Francesco Totti controls the ball on Sunday during a match against Inter in at San Siro stadium in Milan.

Photo: Reuters

Champions Juventus underlined their Serie A title credentials by going top as Inter were humbled 3-1 by a Francesco Totti-inspired AS Roma at the San Siro on Sunday.

AC Milan, who finished runners-up to Juventus last season, but stuttered against UC Sampdoria last week, got their scudetto campaign back on track on Saturday when Giampaolo Pazzini struck a hat-trick in a 3-1 win away at Bologna.

In Sunday’s earlier match, Juventus produced a similarly commanding performance in a 4-1 win away to 10-man Udinese, which included a brace from Sebastien Giovinco and gave them two wins from two.

While Udinese chief Giampaolo Pozzo was furious at the referee’s decision to send off his ‘keeper Zelijko Brkic for a foul on Giovinco, the little striker known as the “Atomic Ant” was unforgiving.

While there were deserved wins for SSC Napoli and SS Lazio, Roma’s humbling of Inter was the talk of the night.

After 15 minutes former Italy marksman Totti was given space on the left and delivered a perfectly weighted cross for Alessandro Florenzi to head superbly past the outstretched Luca Castellazzi.

Inter striker Diego Milito twice came close with a header on the half hour and an angled shot five minutes before the interval that was blocked by a defender.

After the restart, Inter, who hammered promoted Delfino Pescara 1936 3-0 away last week, got back on level terms albeit in somewhat fortuitous fashion.

Antonio Cassano latched onto a long ball from Dutchman Wesley Sneijder, turned while holding off two defenders and saw his deflected shot rise high and into the goal.

Roma striker Daniel Osvaldo, who was red-carded for a second bookable offense late in the match, missed two great chances to put Roma ahead. Yet his vision paid off when he beat Inter’s failed attempt to spring the offside trap and ran onto a Totti long ball to chip the onrushing Castellazzi.

Inter’s hopes of launching a counterattack were extinguished nine minutes from time when Osvaldo’s chip with the outside of his right boot from the left flank allowed second-half substitute Marquinho to somehow beat the diving Castellazzi from the tightest of angles.

While Antonio Conte’s Juventus sit top on six points, they are being trailed closely by Napoli (6) and Lazio (6), while Sampdoria’s 2-1 win over AC Siena left the Genoese in third with five points.

Czech midfielder Marek Hamsik opened the scoring for Napoli after heading home a free-kick and Swiss defender Blerin Dzemali made it two with 15 minutes remaining. ACF Fiorentina grabbed a goal back in the final minutes when Stevan Jovetic produced a superb strike.

Germany international Miroslav Klose scored a brace on either side of a goal by Italian midfielder Antonio Candreva to give a Lazio 3-0 win over Palermo.

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