Francesco Totti’s missile clocked at 113km/h gave the all-new Roma a surprise 1-0 victory over Serie A leaders Juventus.
The Giallorossi’s crisis dragged on even after Zdenek Zeman’s dismissal, as new Coach Aurelio Andreazzoli lost his debut 3-1 away to Sampdoria. He changed the system again to a 3-4-2-1 with Erik Lamela and Totti supporting under-fire striker Pablo Daniel Osvaldo, but full-back Ivan Piris was strangely moved into a back three. Juve were fresh from a 3-0 triumph at Celtic Park, but had Claudio Marchisio and Federico Peluso suspended, while Giorgio Chiellini, Paolo De Ceglie and Nicklas Bendtner were injured. Kwadwo Asamoah played his first game since December 21 after the Africa Cup of Nations.
Osvaldo cut back from the left and fired straight at Gigi Buffon, then he ran on to a through ball to go round the goalkeeper and rolled back towards an empty net, but Leonardo Bonucci deflected it back into his arms before any Roma players could pounce.
Daniele De Rossi was booked for a very hard tackle on Stephan Lichtsteiner and from that Andrea Pirlo free kick, Maarten Stekelenburg had to get down to palm it round the base of the upright.
Stekelenburg also smothered a Paul Pogba long-range effort and Francesco Totti went into the book when catching Pirlo on the knee with his studs, leaving a nasty cut. The Roma captain was very apologetic to his fellow 2006 World Cup winner.
Straight after the restart, Osvaldo ran on to a through ball and anticipated Andrea Barzagli at full stretch to prod wide of the target. Moments later Mirko Vucinic slightly shinned his volley wide from an excellent position.
It was suddenly wide open and Torosidis got on the end of a Totti assist only to be forced out for a corner by a sliding tackle.
Miralem Pjanic unleashed a screamer from 25 metres that stung Buffon’s palms in a flying save to his right.
Alessandro Matri sprung the offside trap and tested Stekelenburg at the base of the near post, as Conte introduced Sebastian Giovinco and Simone Padoin.
Osvaldo soared above the crowd to aim a bullet header under the bar, but Buffon beat it away in a reaction save from point-blank range.
Roma broke the deadlock in some style. A free kick was charged down to 23 metres, where Totti immediately hit an unstoppable right-foot rocket into the near top corner. Buffon had absolutely no chance, as it was travelling at 113km/h. This was the 10th career goal Totti has put past Buffon.
De Rossi should’ve made it 2-0 when Roma went on the counter from a Juve corner and Osvaldo knocked it down for his teammate, but the midfielder hit a fresh-air shot. He had started the move, so was presumably exhausted by the time he got to the other end.
Lamela prodded inches wide of the back stick from a flicked-on corner, then the Argentine dribbled past two players before Barzagli got a toe in to stop him shooting from six yards.
The final substitution was Nicolas Anelka, who received his Serie A debut after playing a couple of minutes against Celtic, as Juve changed to a 4-3-3 system.
Stekelenburg risked throwing it all away when he fumbled a cross, but Roma received a free kick as Pogba pushed his defender. Moments later Buffon palmed a Totti low cross off the feet of Lamela in the six-yard box and the Marquinho follow-up was deflected out off Lichtsteiner’s arm from point-blank range, but the linesman had already flagged offside.
In the final minute Roma went on another counter and Torosidis flashed a ball across the face of goal with no teammates able to get on the end of it. Juve were furious at the final whistle, as deep into stoppages Buffon went up for the last corner and the referee blew the whistle before they could take it.
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk