ROME, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Captain Francesco Totti scored twice as second-placed AS Roma kept in touch with Serie A leaders Inter Milan with a 2-0 win over 10-man Sampdoria on Saturday.
Totti set the home side on their way in the 18th minute with one of his trademark chipped penalties, awarded for Stefano Lucchini's foul on Matteo Ferrari.
Lucchini wasted a good chance to equalise in the 31st minute, firing wide after Sergio Volpi had found him on the left side of the six-yard box with a free kick.
Roma pressed forward after the break and Samp keeper Luca Castellazzi did well to tip a spectacular Simone Perrotta effort from outside box on to the bar.
Sampdoria's hopes of grabbing a point suffered a big blow just before the hour when Volpi was sent off for a second yellow card.
Totti tucked away a Marco Cassetti cross to seal the win and claim his ninth league goal of the season in the final minute.
Roma, who had drawn their last two Serie A games and lost 3-1 to Torino in an Italian Cup first-leg tie on Wednesday, are four points behind Inter with 36 points from 17 games.
Earlier, Genoa beat Parma 1-0 at home to halt a two-month winless run in the league thanks to a Marco Borriello penalty shortly before halftime.
On Sunday, Inter face European champions and Club World Cup winners AC Milan in the city derby, while third-placed Juventus entertain Siena.