Goals from Alessandro Florenzi, Francesco Totti and Kevin Strootman, from the penalty spot, moved Roma joint top of Italy’s Serie A after a 3-1 win over Parma on Monday.
With three wins in as many games and level on goal difference with Napoli, Roma sit just behind Rafael Benitez’s leaders but two points ahead of Inter, Fiorentina and champions Juventus following draws for all three at the weekend.
Roma travelled north feeling confident having lost just once to Parma in their last 14 league encounters, and with the carrot of moving ahead of more authentic title contenders should they win.
However it was Parma who secured a half-time lead on 39 minutes after Jonathan Biabiany headed past Morgan De Sanctis in the Roma goal from Mattia Cassani’s delivery.
Roma levelled barely two minutes after the restart when Miralem Pjanic sent a delightful chip into the path of Florenzi for the Italian to beat Antonio Mirante with a well-struck first-time shot.
In the 70th minute Roma captain Totti was played onside by a Parma defender on the other side of the field and promptly collected Strootman’s chip before sending Mirante the wrong way in the Parma goal.
Totti’s first strike of the campaign caused jubilation among the Roma camp and the visitors’ joy was complete when Gervinho, who had been largely mediocre on the night, won a penalty five minutes from the final whistle.
It was the best contribution from what proved a frustrating night for the former Arsenal forward, and Dutch midfielder Strootman stepped up to beat Mirante in the 85th minute to seal a deserved 3-1 win for Rudi Garcia’s men.