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Sep 25, 2013

Roma maintain perfect record

Roma maintained their perfect start to the Serie A season with a 2-0 win at Sampdoria on Wednesday and took sole lead of the table after Napoli were surprisingly held at home to Sassuolo.

A 65th-minute opener from defender Medhi Benatia and a first goal in a Giallorossi shirt for Gervinho earned Roma a victory that takes them two points clear at the top of the table.

Benatia dribbled his way through and, despite being fouled as he entered the area, was still able to stick out his left leg to guide the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.

Francesco Totti was sent onto the field for the final 20 minutes and he made a telling intervention too, setting up Gervinho for Roma's second two minutes from time. He led an attack with three against three, picking his moment to put the former Arsenal forward through, who threaded a shot inside the near post to seal victory.

The hosts ended the game with ten men when Antonino Barilla earned two late yellow cards to compound the Blucerchiati's woes.

Roma assured themselves of their best-ever start to a season with fifth successive win.

Napoli surrendered their 100% start to the season as Sassuolo claimed their first Serie A point from a 1-1 draw at the Stadio San Paolo.

Simone Zaza thought he had merely given the Neroverde brief reason to cheer with his 20th-minute response to Blerim Dzemaili's early opener, but on this occasion their luck was in as Napoli ran out of steam.

AC Milan plundered two goals at the death in Bologna to rescue a 3-3 draw and deny their hosts a first win of the season.

The Rossoneri were forced to use a second-string strike pairing in the absence of suspended striker Mario Balotelli and his replacement Alessandro Matri was particularly wasteful in front of Bologna goalkeeper Gianluca Curci.

Andrea Poli's early opener came against the run of play but Diego Laxalt soon hit his first goals in Italian football to give Bologna the half-time lead.

Jonathan Cristaldo then headed home a third to steer the Rossoblu towards a likely victory but a late double salvo from Robinho and Ignazio Abate spoiled the party at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara.

Juventus needed an own goal from Alessandro Bernardini to come from behind and beat Chievo 2-1.

Juve boss Antonio Conte rested Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez and it backfired as Cyril Thereau found his way through a sluggish visiting defence to open the scoring.

Fabio Quagliarella dragged his colleagues back into the game after the break but an under-par Bianconeri side were generally short on ideas and were lucky that the hapless Bernardini gifted them all three points.

Ten-man Parma struck four times in the opening half on their way to a first win of the season, 4-3 at the expense of Atalanta.

Atalanta's Giacomo Bonaventura cancelled out Djamel Mesbah's opener in the 20th minute. Two goals from Marco Parolo and one from Aleandro Rosi handed Parma a 4-1 lead with ten minutes to go in the half, but German Denis reduced the arrears before the break.

Lazio put last weekend's derby defeat to Roma behind them with a 3-1 triumph over ten-man Catania.

Honorato Ederson put the hosts on their way in the sixth minute before Catania midfielder Pablo Barrientos equalised two minutes later. Senad Lulic then put Lazio in front in the 39th minute.

Promoted Hellas Verona twice battled from a goal down to earn a share of the spoils, 2-2 against Torino.

Alessio Cerci's 36th-minute penalty had put the hosts ahead and, although Juanito equalised a minute before half-time, Cerci's second handed Torino the lead for the second time in the 52nd minute.

Livorno continued their solid start to the season with a battling 1-1 draw against Cagliari.

Andrea Luci opened the scoring for the hosts midway through the first half but the visitors pulled level thanks to Victor Ibarbo's 53rd-minute goal.

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