Serie A review

Roma win derby, Inter smash seven

September 22, 2013
By ESPN staff

Roma struck twice in the second half to beat Lazio 2-0 in Sunday's Eternal City derby and retain their 100 per cent record in Serie A.

Federico Balzaretti celebrates after giving Roma the lead just after the hour.
GettyImagesFederico Balzaretti celebrates after giving Roma the lead just after the hour.

The Giallorossi had failed to beat their city rivals in their previous five meetings - including a 1-0 loss in the Coppa Italia final back in May - and this match looked to be heading the same way at the Stadio Olimpico until Federico Balzaretti gave Roma a 63rd-minute lead.

Lazio, playing as visitors, shot themselves on the foot when substitute Andre Dias was shown a straight red for a last-man challenge on Francesco Totti with nine minutes remaining.

Substitute Adam Ljajic then put the game beyond Lazio's reach when he earned an converted a penalty deep in stoppage time after he was brought down by Cristian Ledesma. The result, Roma's fourth consecutive win in Serie A, lifted them to the top of the standings.

Inter Milan continued their fine start to the season by running riot in a thumping 7-0 victory at recently promoted Sassuolo.

The Nerazzurri never looked back after taking a seventh-minute lead through Rodrigo Palacio and were three goals to the good by half-time after Algerian midfielder Saphir Taider's effort and Raffaele Pucino's own goal.

Ricardo Alvarez got on the scoresheet at the beginning of the second half, while substitute Diego Milito added a brace either side of Esteban Cambiasso's fine strike to seal an impressive rout.

A successful outing at the Stadio Citta del Tricolore takes Inter to 10 points from their opening four league matches to give head coach Walter Mazzarri reason for cheer after arriving from Napoli this summer.

Sassuolo's problems continue to mount, however, with Sunday's mauling their fourth successive defeat in the league and they are firm favourites for a return to Serie B.

Fernando Llorente scored the winner on his full debut as Juventus came from behind to beat promoted Hellas Verona 2-1 in Turin.

• Rzouki: Llorente scores but Juve still misfiring

The Gialloblu arrived as giant-killers having beaten AC Milan on the opening day of the season but reigning champions Juve failed to heed the warning and conceded an opportunistic goal from Fabrizio Cacciatore.

Carlos Tevez responded emphatically with a fiercely-struck equaliser and Llorente, making his bow at the Juventus Stadium, completed the turnaround with a header deep into first-half stoppage time.

The victory offered reason to be cheerful to Juventus after a disappointing week which saw the Bianconeri held to 1-1 draws by both Inter Milan and FC Copenhagen, while Verona could take heart from a plucky performance that enhanced their reputation as the newcomers mostly likely to prosper.

A fourth goal in as many Serie A games from Giuseppe Rossi helped Fiorentina get back to winning ways at the expense of Atalanta.

The former Roma and Parma forward made up for the absence of injured strike partner Mario Gomez with the second goal in a 2-0 win at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia. Mati Fernandez had given Fiorentina the lead before the break.

The victory puts Vincenzo Montella's men back among the leading pack following last weekend's disappointing draw with Cagliari while stuttering Atalanta suffered a third defeat in four league games.

Alessio Cerci scored from the penalty spot to hand Torino a narrow 2-1 victory over 10-man Bologna at the Renato Dall' Ara stadium.

Bologna's Cesare Natali cancelled out Danilo D'Ambrosio's opener in the 29th minute, but Cerci put Torino back in front when he converted a penalty on the stroke of half-time after Omar El Kaddouri had been brought down by Francesco Della Rocca in the area.

The home side had to play the entire second half a man down after Natali was sent off for dissent during the interval and it proved to be a hammer blow for the Rossoblu, who failed to threaten a determined Torino side after the restart.

Catania held Parma to a 0-0 draw at the Angelo Massimino Stadium to clinch their first point this season.

The heavy rain which had fallen earlier in the day in Catania made playing conditions difficult for both sides. The result will please Catania coach Rolando Maran, whose team went into the encounter on the back of three consecutive defeats and having given away seven goals.

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