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Totti double helps rampant Roma sink Inter
October 06, 2013 , 2 : 50 pm GST
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AS Roma's Francesco Totti, centre, celebrates after scoring against Inter Milan during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the San Siro stadium in Milan. Photo - Reuters
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 by Alessandro Florenzi a minute before the break completed the rout and gave Rudi Garcia's side 21 points, raising hopes in the capital of a first league title since 2001 after a near-perfect start to the season that has seen them score 20 goals and concede only one.
"I think now people can say anything they like. It's a long season, however we are a team that can compete with anyone," said Totti.
"The consistency of this team is the best thing at the moment. Winning your seventh match in a row is not easy, so let's continue on this path.
"I don't think anyone would have expected this sort of start to the season, but the team has international players, competitive players, and has a head on its shoulders."
Inter, who failed to break Roma down despite Federico Balzaretti being sent off with 11 minutes left for a rash tackle on Ricky Alvarez after having already been booked, stayed fourth on 14 points.
"I didn't only like the collective spirit the team showed but also the fact that they played with grit when it was necessary. We played like men," Garcia told Sky Sport Italia.
He was cautious about any title talk, however.
"There's too long to go to be talking about winning the league. What we had today was a leader up front in Totti who showed us the way," he said.
Roma took the lead in the 18th minute after a bright start, Gervinho finding the 37-year-old Totti who crashed home the opener through a crowd of Inter defenders.
There was controversy over Roma's second goal, a 40th-minute penalty from Totti that came after a period of intense Inter pressure in which Fredy Guarin hit the post with a long shot.
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.
Totti showed his class for the third goal, juggling the ball on the edge of his own area with his back to goal before delicately flicking it to Bosnian midfielder Miralem Pjanic who raced up field before sliding a perfect pass to Florenzi who finished with a first-time shot which sent the 5,000 travelling fans into raptures.
Earlier, a Maxi Moralez volley in the 16th minute gave Atalanta a 1-0 win at Chievo Verona.
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