(AFP) – Mattia Destro and Alessandro Florenzi hit one apiece for Roma in a 2-0 win over Cagliari that sent the Giallorossi to the top of Serie A thanks to superior goals difference on Sunday.
Champions Juventus had gone clear of the pack thanks to a 1-0 win over AC Milan on Saturday when Carlos Tevez's 71st minute strike made the difference between the sides at a packed-out San Siro.
However Roma, 5-1 winners over CSKA Moscow in midweek, continued their fine start to the season with a dominant performance in front of a sparse crowd at the Olympic Stadium.
“We put the same ingredients into this game as we did in our meeting with CSKA in midweek, and it worked,” Roma coach Rudi Garcia told Sky Sports.
“We had several players missing but we managed the game really well. We got early goals from Destro and Florenzi and we've yet to concede after three league games.
“Winning today was very important. It has allowed us to pull three points ahead of Milan.” With Roma now back in the Champions League, Garcia rested Francesco Totti and Miralem Pjanic while Davide Astori, Juan Iturbe and Leandro Castan were all missing through injury.
Garcia handed Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa his full debut, the France defender partnering Kostas Manolas at the heart of Roma's defence with Ashley Cole and Maicon.
Cagliari, now coached by former Roma handler Zdenek Zeman, were looking for their first win of the campaign but from the early stages the Sardinians had their backs to the wall.