AS Roma’s superb start to the season continued with a 5-0 rout of Bologna at the Stadio Olimpico which restored their two-point cushion at the top of Serie A on Sunday.
Roma became the first team since Juventus in the 2005-2006 season to win their opening six games and claimed their first victory with a margin of five goals or more since a 7-0 rout of Catania in November 2006.
Rudi Garcia’s side now lead SSC Napoli and Juventus by two points, with fourth-placed Inter, held earlier on Sunday at Cagliari, a further two points adrift.
While Garcia continues to play down Roma’s title hopes, midfielder Daniele de Rossi said: “I think we’ve shown we’re a really strong squad and can achieve our objective of getting back into European competition.”
A week after claiming his maiden goal for Rudi Garcia’s side, former Arsenal striker Gervinho starred again for the hosts, hitting a brace with goals in either half.
However, it was Alessandro Florenzi who started the rout, beating Gianluca Curci from close range after a poor clearance from Miralem Pjanic’s free-kick.
Ivorian Gervinho made it two when he picked up the ball in midfield and ran unchallenged past a static Bologna defense to beat Curci with a right-foot strike.
Roma went in for the halftime interval 3-0 up after Mehdi Benatia bundled a left-foot close-range volley past Curci from Francesco Totti’s corner in the 25th minute.
Gervinho scored his second just after the hour, this time collecting Kevin Strootman’s through ball on the left flank, before turning his marker and beating Curci with a right-foot strike.
It was Gervinho’s first brace since hitting two for Arsenal against Southampton 13 months ago.
Second-half substitute Adem Ljajic completed the rout when he sent a delightful chip past Curci in the 85th minute.
Earlier, a second-half header from French midfield sensation Paul Pogba secured a 1-0 derby win for Juventus at Torino.
Inter were seven minutes from also going on to 16 points when Argentine striker Mauro Icardi gave them a 1-0 second-half lead at Cagliari, before Belgium international Radja Nainggolan leveled for the home side in a 1-1 draw.
Elsewhere, rock bottom US Sassuolo enjoyed a morale-boosting afternoon as they came back from 2-0 down to force a 2-2 home draw with SS Lazio, while Cantania scored either side of halftime to ease past AC Chievo Verona 2-0.
A 74th-minute penalty from Brazilian 21-year-old Jorginho was the difference in Hellas Verona’s 2-1 win over AS Livorno, while Atalanta BC eased away from the relegation zone with a valuable 2-0 victory over Udinese.
Meanwhile, Serie A claimed its first coaching victim of the season on Sunday when lowly Genoa fired Fabio Liverani and brought back old favorite Gian Piero Gasperini.
Liverani had been in charge for only seven games since being appointed in June and managed only one win, in the derby against UC Sampdoria. His team were also knocked out of the Coppa Italia by Serie B side Spezia.
“The club thanks Fabio Liverani for his work and the effort he has put in during these months,” Genoa said in a statement.
Gasperini, who was previously in charge for four years ending in November 2010, was given a three-year contract. The club have employed six coaches since his departure, including Davide Ballardini and Alberto Malesani twice each.
The 55-year-old has had little success himself since leaving Genoa. He was fired after only five league games at Inter in 2011 and had two stints with US Citta di Palermo last season, the second lasting just three games.