Francesco Totti made history with his brace, breaking Gunnar Nordahl’s record, as Roma demolished Cesena 5-1.
The Giallorossi were in great shape going into this game, albeit with a game in hand as their 1-1 draw with Catania was suspended at the 65th minute due to a waterlogged pitch. Daniele De Rossi, Marco Cassetti and Nicolas Burdisso were injured, but Fabio Borini and Gabriel Heinze were chosen ahead of Bojan Krkic and Simon Kjaer.
Within 25 seconds Roma had taken the lead with an historic strike. Erik Lamela’s back-heel flick set up Totti’s angled drive at the near post, taking Francesco Antonioli by surprise with the aid of a slight deflection off Massimo Lauro. It was his 210th Serie A goal for the same club, a feat only ever achieved by Gunnar Nordahl for Milan in the 1950s.
It didn’t take long for Totti to make it an absolute record, as Lamela chipped up a pass where Er Pupone hit a fantastic right-foot volley across the face of goal. There were suspicions of offside, but nobody could deny the captain his historic moment.
Gianluca Comotto lost the ball in midfield for Totti to send Leandro Greco down the left, where he rolled across for Borini’s tap-in from a couple of yards.
Cesena were quite simply in shock, as they were 3-0 down after nine minutes. A desperate goalline clearance, possibly with an arm, stopped Miralem Pjanic making it four.
Greco had a strike charged down by Roberto Guana after Antonioli flapped at a Rodrigo Taddei cross. Roma enjoyed 81 per cent possession in the opening half-hour, but Cesena finally got a shot on target with Maarten Stekelenburg comfortably blocking the Luca Ceccarelli effort.
Antonioli fingertipped a Totti volley into the ground away from goal, as it was largely one-way traffic at the Stadio Olimpico.
An irritable Adrian Mutu was substituted at the break to make way for Antonio Candreva, as Cesena already started looking ahead to the next game.
The visitors did get a goal back just shy of the hour mark. Eder sprung the offside trap, intelligently flicked the ball over the on-rushing Stekelenburg and tapped into an empty net. It was a wonderful individual goal from a player expected to leave in the next few days.
Totti went for a hat-trick, but his angled drive flashed inches past the far post. Instead, Roma’s fourth goal was scored by Juan, as Borini’s header from a corner was beaten away by Antonioli into the defender’s path.
Lamela and Totti were substituted so they can rest ahead of Tuesday’s Coppa Italia match with Juventus.
Candreva fired straight at Stekelenburg on the counter, but Miralem Pjanic got the fifth. Antonioli only parried his shot and Pjanic was first to react on the rebound.
Eder really should’ve made it 5-2 when running clear on goal with Ceccarelli in support, but he tried to do it all himself and Stekelenburg timed the intervention perfectly to fingertip the ball off his foot.
Antonioli did the same at the other end, as Bojan Krkic went on a slalom through the Cesena defence only for the veteran goalkeeper to deflect the finish over the bar from point-blank range. Moments later, Bojan’s chipped pass found a Pjanic diving header inches wide.