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Trademark Totti takes Roma top

Milan: AS Roma clambered back to the top of Serie A, at least for a day, after Francesco Totti added to his collection of classic goals with a marvellous lob in Saturday`s 2-1 win at Parma.

Inter Milan can re-establish their two-point lead with victory at Roma`s city rivals Lazio on Sunday (1845 GMT) but Claudio Ranieri`s side made sure the pressure will be fully on the champions with just two games left after this weekend.

"A top performance on a difficult ground against a team with no pressure. It`s a great victory," Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi said.

Valeri Bojinov fired just wide for the mid-table hosts on five minutes before Roma, workmanlike on Labour Day, went straight up the other end and scored.

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

The striker, who also hit 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 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.

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 halftime, 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.

AC Milan, a distant third and with coach Leonardo hinting he will soon leave, host Fiorentina later (1845) hoping to recover from two straight defeats and keep a tight grip on the final automatic Champions League place.

Bureau Report


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