Two first-half goals from captain Francesco Totti helped AS Roma make it seven wins out of seven as they extended their Serie A lead to five points by sweeping Inter Milan aside 3-0 at the San Siro on Saturday.
A wonderful breakaway goal from Alessandro Florenzi a minute before the break completed the rout and gave Rudi Garcia's side 21 points, lifting hopes in the capital of a first league title since 2001.
Inter's first defeat of the season under new coach Walter Mazzarri leaves them in fourth, now seven points off the pace.
On account of some positive displays since the start of the season, and an attack that was second only to Roma's, Inter had been expected to offer a stiffer challenge.
However Inter failed to break Roma down despite Federico Balzaretti being sent off with 11 minutes left for a daft tackle on Ricky Alvarez after having already been booked.
There was controversy over Roma's second goal, a 40th-minute penalty from Totti that came after a period of intense Inter pressure during which Fredy Guarin crashed a long-range shot against the post.
After chasing down a long pass, the impressive Gervinho glided past Esteban Cambiasso before being chopped down by Alvaro Pereira.
Referee Paolo Tagliavento pointed to the spot but replays showed the Ivorian was just outside the area.
Earlier, a Maxi Moralez volley in the 16th minute gave Atalanta a 1-0 win at Chievo Verona.