12:00 AM, February 18, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 18, 2013

Lega Calcio

Totti wonder-goal sinks Juventus

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Reuters, Rome

Roma forward Francesco Totti is ecstatic after his wonder-goal sealed a win over Juventus in their Serie A match at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday.Photo: Reuters

As Roma striker Francesco Totti scored a stunning long-range goal just before the hour mark to sink Serie A leaders Juventus 1-0 in a nail-biting clash at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday.
The Roma captain ran onto a clearance from Miralem Pjanic before smashing the ball past Italy keeper Gianliugi Buffon to leave Juve on 55 points, five ahead of second-placed Napoli who can cut the gap to two by beating visitors Sampdoria on Sunday.
The striker has now netted 224 Serie A goals, one less than the second all-time top scorer Gunnar Nordahl, and his strike capped a superb second-half display from Roma.
Juve manager Antonio Conte was left lamenting his tired team's disappointing display amid a packed fixture list.
"We're not happy about playing on the Saturday and having three games in seven days," he said in the wake of a 3-0 win at Celtic in the Champions League last 16, first leg on Tuesday and last Saturday's 2-0 Serie A win over sixth-placed Fiorentina.
Roma's first victory this year takes them to seventh on 37 points from 25 games and ends a run of six games without a win that saw a fans revolt and Zdenek Zeman sacked two weeks' ago.
"I expected it (the performance)," Totti told Sky Sport Italia. "This is a team that every time it comes out onto the pitch it looks to give its best for itself and for the fans, and that recently we haven't been able to to do," .
"Tonight we had the character to beat a really good team.
"It's easy to celebrate after a win like that. We've got to think about next week and the week after that. We all did well."
Totti was lucky to still be on the pitch to score, however, after a late, high challenge on Andrea Pirlo in the first half saw the Juventus midfielder's right knee cut open.
The pair were battling for the ball when Pirlo span away from Totti, whose studs scraped down his opponent's leg.
The first half was a timid affair, with Maarten Stekelenburg's save from Pirlo's 19th-minute free kick the closest anyone came to a goal.
However, Roma were by far the better side in the second period, and could have won more easily against a below-par Juve side if they had not have been so wasteful in front of goal.

Chievo 1 (Thereau 55) Palermo 1 (Formica 5)
Roma 1 (Totti 58) Juventus 0

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