Historic Totti inspires Roma to 2-1 Genoa win


AS Roma's forward Francesco Totti scores a penalty during the Italian Serie A football match AS Romsa vs Genoa at Olympic Stadium on March 3, 2013 in Rome. Photo - AFP

Roma captain Francesco Totti became the joint second all-time top scorer in Serie A on Sunday with a 225th career goal in the league during a 3-1 win over Genoa at the Olympic Stadium.

Totti, 36, stepped up to beat Sebastien Frey in the Genoa goal from the spot in the 16th minute after a controversial penalty award following Cesare Bovo's challenge on Mattia De Rossi. Genoa came close to levelling just after the half hour when Andrea Bertolacci rose to meet Marco Borriello's cross to force Maarten Stekelenburg into a fine save.

The visitors' persistence was finally rewarded in the 42nd minute when Borriello scored from the penalty spot after being felled by Argentine defender Nicolas Burdisso on his way towards goal.

Roma lost midfielder Miralem Pjanic to injury in the first half when the Bosnian limped off after landing awkwardly on his ankle, and he was replaced by American Michael Bradley. But the hosts started more positively after the interval and should have taken the lead when Erik Lamela burst through the visitors' defence only to see his goalbound shot deflect and go out of play.

Moments later Genoa were made to pay for some slack defending when 18-year-old Alessio Romagnoli rose to meet a corner from the right to nod past a beaten Frey. Genoa's hopes of taking a share of the points suffered a blow when Slovakian midfielder Juraj Kucka was shown a second yellow card for an altercation with Totti and sent off.

Barely 10 minutes later Roma all but secured their 13th win of the campaign, which moved them above Catania into sixth place, when Simone Perrotta beat Frey from close range. Totti now shares second place on 225 goals with Sweden's Gunnar Nordahl, formerly of AC Milan -- both of whom trail Silvio Piola by 49 goals.

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