Totti puts Roma back on top

Title challengers beat Parma 2-1 ahead of Inter Milan's match against Lazio the next day.

    Totti celebrates his lob in front of an unamused Parma crowd [AFP]

    Roma climbed back to the top of the Italian Serie A after Francesco Totti added to his collection of classic goals with a marvellous early lob in a 2-1 win at Parma.

    Inter Milan can re-establish their two-point lead with victory at Roma's city rivals Lazio on Sunday, but Claudio Ranieri's side made sure the pressure will be fully on the champions with just two games left after this weekend.

    Daniele De Rossi pinged a pass forward and Totti timed his run to perfection, chested the ball down and lobbed goalkeeper Antonio Mirante from 18 metres on five minutes.

    "A top performance on a difficult ground against a team with no pressure – it's a great victory," Roma midfielder De Rossi told Sky TV.

    Captain Totti, who also struck the post, later sent in a delightful cross which Rodrigo Taddei nodded in for the second goal on 75 minutes.

    Davide Lanzafame's superb header for Parma set up a nervous finish during which Parma's Luis Jimenez was sent off.

    Totti's display and his 12th league goal of an injury-hit season offered food for thought for Italy coach Marcello Lippi as he considers whether the 33-year-old should come out of international retirement and play at the World Cup in June.

    Results & fixtures

    Saturday May 1

     AC Milan 1-0 Fiorentina
     Parma 1-2 Roma

    Sunday May 2

     Atalanta v Bologna
     Bari v Genoa
     Cagliari v Udinese
     Catania v Juventus
     Chievo v Napoli
     Sampdoria v Livorno
     Siena v Palermo
     Lazio v Inter Milan

    The Roma player though will be missing from Lippi's World Cup training camp this week along with team mate Luca Toni, who came on at half time, because the club are playing Inter in the Italian Cup final on Wednesday.

    Roma surrendered the title initiative when they lost 2-1 at home to Sampdoria last weekend, their first defeat in 25 Serie A games.

    Third-placed AC Milan, whose coach Leonardo has hinted he will soon leave because of a difficult relationship with owner Silvio Berlusconi, beat mid-table Fiorentina 1-0 thanks to a 77th-minute penalty from Ronaldinho.

    Their first victory in four games, which featured much huffing and puffing before Marco Borriello was felled in the box, means the Rossoneri moved seven points clear of Sampdoria in the race for the final automatic European Champions League spot.

    Sampdoria, in fourth, host relegated Livorno on Sunday.

    Milan had skipper Massimo Ambrosini sent off late on but Fiorentina barely threatened, to the annoyance of coach Cesare Prandelli who has committed to the club but is still an outside bet to be Italy or Juventus boss next term.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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