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Roma move two points clear a top of Serie A

Gervinho-RomaGervinho scored his first goal for Roma as they beat Sampdoria 2-0 and moved two points clear of stumbling Napoli to stay top of Italy’s Serie A on Wednesday.

Roma started their fifth match of the campaign at the top of the table thanks to a one-goal difference over Rafael Benitez’s title challengers Napoli.

Roma now have 15 points after five wins in as many games while Napoli sit two points adrift after a 1-1 draw with Sassuolo.

Roma took the lead in stunning fashion when Mehdi Benatia feinted his way into the area and beat ‘keeper Angelo Da Costa with a shot he unleashed with his left foot despite being tripped and falling to the ground.

The points were virtually assured when Gervinho latched on to Francesco Totti’s delivery to beat Da Costa with a low, angled shot moments before the final whistle.

Sampdoria’s woes deepened at the death when Antonio Barilla saw red after being cautioned a second time.

Napoli failed miserably at the San Paolo to put league new boys Sassuolo to the sword, days after a 7-0 mauling by Inter Milan, Roma took full advantage to pull clear at the top.

Blermi Dzemaili gave Napoli a 14th minute lead with a great shot from 25 metres after a poor clearance which beat Gianluca Pegolo in the Sassuolo net.

If Napoli fans thought that was the beginning of the onslaught, they were mistaken.

Napoli’s early hopes of launching a rout were extinguished six minutes later when Simone Zaza stunned Pepe Reina in the Napoli net with a wicked snap shot that went past the ‘keeper’s shoulder and into the roof of the net.

Napoli battled, but lacked the spark and punch required to get past a team which, after their weekend humiliation, looked determined to make amends.

Champions Juventus moved up to third with a fortuitous 2-1 win away to feisty Chievo while Lazio outclassed second-from-bottom Catania 2-1 at the Olympic Stadium to sit sixth.

Chievo stunned Juventus in the 28th minute, but the Flying Donkeys were fully deserving of their opener after Gennaro Sardo pounced on a poor clearance by Juve ‘keeper Gianluigi Buffon.

When Cyril Thereau showed Sardo where he wanted the ball, the midfielder obliged and the French striker beat Buffon with a well-struck first-timer.

Juve were back on level terms two minutes after half-time thanks to Fabio Quagliarella, and despite labouring throughout, sealed the points thanks to Alessandro Bernardini turning Paul Pogba’s cross towards the far post into his own net.

Injury-hit AC Milan, without the suspended Mario Balotelli, were very fortunate to get a point away to Bologna. Trailing 3-1 late in the game, Massimiliano Allegri’s men escaped with a point after Robinho made it 2-3 in the 89th minute before Ignazio Abate levelled in injury time to secure the visitors a lucky 3-3 draw.

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