Mon, Dec 10, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Totti fires Roma into the top four

AFP, ROME

AS Roma’s Francesco Totti, left, scores against ACF Fiorentina in their Serie A match at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

A brace from Francesco Totti helped push AS Roma into the top four in Serie A on Saturday, proving instrumental in an entertaining 4-2 home win over ACF Fiorentina, who missed the chance to leapfrog Inter into third.

Brazilian defender Leandro Castan gave Roma a seventh-minute lead, but it was the sterling efforts of 36-year-old skipper Totti which had the home fans singing his praises, as Roma moved onto 29 points, the same tally as Saturday’s opponents as well as city rivals SS Lazio.

Juventus and SSC Napoli may be setting the title pace, but Roma proved they can aspire to at least be in the mix after their ninth win of the campaign, while they handed Fiorentina a third loss.

Greek star Panagiotis Tachtsidis did the spadework for the opener in heading on a Totti free-kick with Castan only having to walk the ball in.

Totti then provided the fireworks for the Giallorossi, who have now netted a league-leading 38 goals in 16 games.

Facundo Roncaglia briefly leveled for the visitors from Florence after beating the offside trap on 14 minutes, but five minutes after that Totti pounced following a superb interchange with Mattia Destro and then completed his brace in first-half stoppage-time with a long-range shot for his 219th Serie A goal.

Mounir El Hamdaoui put the visitors back in the hunt a minute after the restart, the Moroccan substitute heading in a Borja Valero cross, but Osvaldo made the points safe on 89 minutes — Totti providing another assist — as Fiorentina went down to their first league loss since the end of September.

Earlier, Atalanta BC thanked first-half goals from German Denis and Federico Peluso as they edged Parma 2-1.

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