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Roma beat Udinese as Napoli win away at Torino

from:新华网2014-03-18 15:22

ROME, March 17 (Xinhua) -- The battle for the second place of Serie A continued on Monday as Roma and Napoli won their respective game.

Roma beat Udinese 3-2 at home to remain three points clear of the San Paolo side, who secured a last-gasp 1-0 win at Torino thanks to Gonzalo Higuain's goal.

Roma went ahead in the 22nd minute as captain Francesco Totti scored his sixth league goal of the season. The veteran expertly tucked away his chance from 15 yards after Gervinho was played through on goal and had his shot saved.

Gervinho was involved again as Roma doubled their lead just eight minutes later, with his pass setting free Mattia Destro, who showed good composure to round Udinese goalkeeper Simone Scuffet and tap into the unguarded net on the half-hour mark.

Udinese pulled one back six minutes after the break when Giampiero Pinzi robbed the ball off Totti and ran forward to score an excellent left-footed effort.

Roma regained their two-goal lead in the 69th minute as Greece defender Vasilis Torosidis thrashed past Scuffet from 25 yards.

Udinese kept fighting and Serbian defender Dusan Basta netted from a corner with 10 minutes to play, but Roma did enough to hang on.

Roma head coach Rudi Garcia was not happy with the win as his side suffered a lot during the game.

"We had done many great things, but also given away too many chances. We hadn't suffered like this at home for 15 games," he said.

"They say football is the art of making life difficult for yourself, but we got the three points and that was the important thing," he said.

"We could've scored more goals, but without a great Morgan De Sanctis performance we could've conceded more too," he added.

In an earlier kick-off, Higuain's scored a controversial last-gasp goal to earn Napoli a win at Torino.

Torino dominated the game throughout hitting the post twice, but suffered their fourth consecutive loss as Higuain found the net in the last minute.

Higuain conceded he tripped Kamil Glik before scoring the winner.

"On the contact with Glik I was running very quickly and so was he," he said. "I can only celebrate the goal."

Napoli head coach Rafa Benitez refused to discuss the controversial incident.

"I haven't spoken about referees throughout the season, so I am not going to start now," he said.

"I think we created scoring opportunities, just like Torino did, and proved that this team wants to win right to the end," he said.

"Torino clammed up very well to then go on the counter-attack. We played against Porto on Thursday, we've been playing two games per week all season, so it' s not easy to stay sharp," he added.

His Torino counterpart Giampiero Ventura was left livid by the referee's decision on the Higuain's tripping.

"I don't want to get into this. I'm embarrassed, as I said I didn't want to talk about referees anymore, but I don't know what else to say after an objectively difficult season," he said.

"The incidents are all incredibly obvious, it's really embarrassing. I prefer to talk about the game and hope this season ends as quickly as possible," he said. Enditem

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