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Rampant Roma back on top

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Updated 29 Sep 2013 21:31:58

Rampant Roma back on top

AS Roma's superb start to the season continued with a 5-0 rout of Bologna at the Olympic Stadium 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 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 defence to beat Curci with a right-foot strike.

Roma went in for the half-time interval 3-0 up after Mehdi Benatia bundled a left-foot volley past Curci from close range from Francesco Totti's corner in the 25th minute.

Gervinho took 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 stike.

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 Milan 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's Radja Nainggolan levelled for the home side in a 1-1 draw.

Elsewhere, rock bottom Sassuolo enjoyed a morale-boosting afternoon as they came back from 2-0 down to force a 2-2 home draw with Lazio while Cantania scored either side of half-time to ease past Chievo 2-0.

A 74th minutes penalty from Brazilian 21-year-old Jorginho was the difference in Verona's 2-1 win over Livorno and Atalanta eased away from the relegation zone with a valuable 2-0 victory over Udinese.

On Saturday, Goran Pandev ended his recent goal drought with a first-half brace to secure a 2-0 away win at Genoa to put Napoli top.

Pandev had gone nine games without hitting the net since scoring against Pescara last April.

But with coach Rafael Benitez resting forwards Marek Hamsik and Gonzalo Higuain ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash against Arsenal at the Emirates, Pandev made the most of a rare start with strikes in the 14th and 25th minutes.

Benitez said: "I'm really happy because we got the win against a team that was determined and showed a lot of character and quality football.

"It's just a shame we didn't put the game beyond reach earlier with a third goal, we had the opportunities."

AC Milan claimed only their second win in six games when Valter Birsa's 46th minute goal secured a 1-0 win at home to Sampdoria.


AFP

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