Serie A title challengers AS Roma ended a run of four successive draws with an enthralling 2-1 win over ACF Fiorentina on Sunday, helped by an inspirational Gervinho, who set up both goals.
Mattia Destro scored the winner for Roma only eight minutes after coming on in his first appearance of the season after an injury nightmare to help the Giallorossi remained unbeaten in second place and three points behind leaders Juventus.
Gervinho has enjoyed a new lease on life since his move from Arsenal in the close season and tormented Fiorentina’s defense as Roma regained the form that saw them win their first 10 games.
Only a needless sending-off for Miralem Pjanic, who received a second yellow card for fouling David Pizarro inside the opposition’s half in the 87th minute, spoiled Roma’s day.
“Gervinho is fast, devastating, has quality and tends to make the right decisions,” Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella said.
Inter and Parma produced shocking defending as they shared six goals at the San Siro, the second 3-3 draw of the weekend after SSC Napoli’s equally eventful match with Udinese on Saturday.
SS Lazio continued their downward slide by losing 1-0 at Torino — their sixth Serie A game without a win — while Cagliari and Hellas Verona each produced dramatic turnarounds to win 2-1 at home, and AC Chievo Verona beat US Sassuolo 1-0.
Marco Sau scored two late goals to give Cagliari a controversial 2-1 win over 10-man Genoa, who took an early lead through Alberto Gilardino and were furious about Thomas Manfredini’s red card two minutes before halftime.
Manfredini was clearly manhandled by Daniele Conti at a corner, but both were booked and the Genoa player was dismissed for a second yellow card.
Verona also scored twice in the last 10 minutes to beat Atalanta BC 2-1, with Jorginho scoring the winner on a penalty.
UC Sampdoria gave manager Sinisa Mihajlovic his first league win since taking over, beating bottom-dwellers Catania 2-0 thanks to second-half goals from Eder and Manolo Gabbiadini and climbing to joint 16th with 14 points.
Serie A is already threatening to turn into a two-horse race, as five points separate Roma (37) and third-placed Napoli, and Inter sit another four points behind in fourth. Juventus have 40 points after their 2-0 win at Bologna on Friday.