Francesco TottiImage via Wikipedia

ROME: Goals in either half from skipper Francesco Totti inspired AS Roma to a 4-2 win at Sampdoria yesterday.

Roma, who still need a point to secure a place in the Champions League’s last 16 after being beaten by Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk midweek, have no such problems in the Serie A, notching up their fifth straight victory.

The win moves the side from the capital to provisional second in Serie A with leaders Inter Milan travelling to third-placed Palermo later yesterday.

Inter, with 30 points, are a point ahead of Roma with Palermo a further two points behind with 27.

A week after humiliating Catania 7-0 in the Olympic stadium, the Romans hammered home their dominance against the Genoans, with the three Italian internationals who scored last week again hitting the mark.

Totti opened after 13 minutes with midfielder Simone Perrotta claiming the second after 33 minutes and defender Christian Panucci adding a third before the break. Totti netted his second after 74 minutes to give Roma an unequalled 30 goals scored this season.

AC Milan skipper Paolo Maldini grabbed the only goal of the game as his side beat Messina 1-0 on Saturday to help ease the pressure on underfire coach Carlo Ancelotti.

After collecting just one point from four games, Milan desperately needed a victory.

Maldini delivered the three points on 13 minutes when he headed in Andrea Pirlo’s perfectly-weighted free-kick.

“These are three important points which will help us work without anxiousness from now on,” said Ancelotti.

“The side still needs to grow. We had a few problems in the first half, but I’m happy with how we ended the game.”

Milan went into the game still weighed down by their eight-point penalty for match-fixing as well as an injury crisis which has seen goalkeeper Dida ruled out for at least two months after damaging his left knee in Tuesday’s Champions League defeat at AEK Athens.

The 33-year-old Brazil international has joined Italian midfielder Gennaro Gattuso, Georgian defender Kakha Kaladze, Brazilian wingback Serginho and experienced central defender Alessandro Costacurta on the treatment table.

In other Serie A action yesterday, tailenders Reggina fought back to claim a 2-2 draw against fourth-placed Livorno as Lazio won 3-1 against Ascoli.

Chievo collected their first league win of the season defeating Udinese 2-0. Victor Obinna scored both goals. – AFP