Juve add to Roma's woes, Inter go top

November 1, 2008

ROME, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Alessandro Del Piero scored a stunning goal to help Juventus beat struggling AS Roma 2-0 in Serie A on Saturday, while champions Inter Milan won 3-2 at bottom side Reggina to go top.

Captain Del Piero drove a right-footed free kick into the top corner from 30 metres after 38 minutes to set the home side on their way.

Midfielder Marco Marchionni skipped inside John Arne Riise before chipping Roma keeper Doni for Juve's second three minutes after the break.

Juventus go fifth with 18 points from 10 games, three points behind leaders Inter, who snatched victory earlier on Saturday with a stoppage-time Ivan Cordoba strike after they had surrendered a two-goal lead.

Roma's fourth consecutive league defeat leaves last season's runners-up just a point above the relegation zone with their morale in tatters ahead of Tuesday's Champions League match at home to Chelsea.

"It's a good step forward against a Roma side who showed they are strong, but perhaps with a few problems," Del Piero told Sky television.

"It's important that we show character, desire to come first and win, initiative. Now we must seek continuity."

The game in Turin was open before Del Piero's goal, with Roma defender Christian Panucci hitting the post with a cross that had flashed across the face of goal in the 20th minute.

Juve made a strong start to the second half and Doni had to show great reflexes to save an overhead kick by Amauri before Marchionni made it 2-0.

Roma pushed forward looking to pull one back but were unable to create clear chances.

Inter coach Jose Mourinho fielded an attack-minded lineup at Reggina with strikers Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Mario Balotelli supported by Mancini and Ricardo Quaresma on the wings.

It paid dividends early on with Brazilian defender Maicon smashing home a sweet pass from Ibrahimovic and Patrick Vieira firing through Reggina keeper Andrea Campagnolo's legs to put them 2-0 up inside 24 minutes.

But Francesco Cozza resuscitated Reggina's hopes in the 34th with a powerful strike from the edge of the area and Franco Brienza equalised with another long-range effort eight minutes after the break.

Inter looked set to be held again after two drab goalless draws against Genoa and Fiorentina when Cordoba thrashed the ball home following a corner.

The champions may lose the lead on Sunday when Napoli, who are one point behind Inter, visit AC Milan, who are a point further back in fourth. Joint-second Udinese, who host Genoa, also have a chance to return to the top.