Roma entered the weekend in first place in Serie A. They had won six times from six games, scoring 17 goals and conceding just one. The catch? The Giallorossi played Livorno, Hellas Verona, Parma, Sampdoria, and Bologna. The other opponent was Lazio in the derby, where they won 2-0.
Roma faced Inter on Saturday, two weeks before hosting second place Napoli. The new-look Nerazzurri were having an equally impressive start, maintaining an undefeated record to begin the campaign. After some early exchanges, Roma were the first to capitalize. Alessandro Florenzi picked out Gervinho with a pass, who found Francesco Totti for the opening goal. It was the Roma captain’s 13th tally at the San Siro.
Fredy Guarin and Rodrigo Palacio tried to get the hosts back in it, but rattled the crossbar and flashed a shot wide, respectively. In a flash, the Romans doubled their lead through a Totti penalty. Gervinho caused a ruckus down the right flank, eventually getting tackled by Alvaro Pereira in the box.
There was some controversy as it appeared that the Inter defender caught the Ivory Coast international on the edge of the area. However, according to the FIFA Rulebook, if a player continues a challenge into the box, then a spot kick can be called.
Totti was involved yet again on the stroke of halftime. This time he returned the favour to Florenzi, who smashed it into the back of the net to make it 3-0 after 45 minutes.
The only downside in an otherwise flawless performance by Roma was Federico Balzaretti receiving a second booking with around 10 minutes to go. He’ll be suspended for a match, but other than that, the Giallorossi remain undefeated through seven matches.
Many criticized their fixture list, claiming it was “too easy”, but with this win, some of those naysayers have been silenced. Still, Roma have Napoli and Udinese coming up, but after that, it could be smooth sailing, with the likes of Chievo, Cagliari, Sassuolo, and Torino up shortly. It’s very possible that the Rome based side could be right up there with Juventus at the top of the table.
Other talking points:
- Andrea Pirlo scored his 22nd free kick of his career in Juventus’ 3-2 win over AC Milan on Sunday. Juve remain tied for second, two points behind Roma. Milan now slip to 12th, with just two wins to begin the campaign.
- Napoli recovered from their midweek loss to Arsenal by crushing Livorno 4-0 at the San Paolo. Four different players scored for the Partenopei as they stay in second place.
- Lazio dominated their match at home to Fiorentina, but couldn’t bury any of their chances. They ended up walking out of the Stadio Olimpico with a 0-0 draw.
- Udinese won 2-0 to bounce back from their loss to Atalanta. Antonio Di Natale got on the score sheet, recording his third goal in five games.
- Hellas finally recorded their first away win, defeating Bologna 4-1. They had three victories at home, but finally broke the duck away from the Stadio Bentegodi.
Other results: Chievo 0-1 Atalanta; Parma 3-1 Sassuolo; Catania 1-1 Genoa; Sampdoria 2-2 Torino