Roma claim top spot, Juventus suffer shock defeat at Udinese

ROME: Roma went to the top of the Serie A yesterday when they extended their perfect start to the season to three out of three with a 2-0 win over Reggina.

Juventus went into the weekend's action in the lead on goal difference but slipped to fourth when suffering a shock 1-0 loss, their first defeat of the new campaign, to Udinese in Turin.

Inter Milan climbed four places to second with their 2-0 win, the second of the season, over San Siro visitors Catania.

On paper Juventus rather than Roma looked to have the better chance of maintaining their unblemished record for 2007/08 with the Romans mustering only one win from their last four visits to Calabria.

But they boosted that record after Brazilian Juan marked his topflight debut in the best possible way, putting Roma in front in the 50th minute with Francesco Totti adding the second six minutes from time.

Roma's cause had not been helped when goalkeeper Alexander Doni failed to come back for the second half after suffering an injury, the gloves being taken by Under-21 international Gianluca Curci.

The result was a timely confidence booster ahead of Roma's opening Champions League group tie against Dinamo Kiev.

In Turin, Juventus had a frustrating afternoon with Alessandro del Piero hitting the post three times against a Udinese side that had proved capable of holding Inter to a 1-1 draw at the start of the campaign, only to crash 5-0 to Napoli.

There was to be no such repeat of that lopsided loss here with Udinese taking the lead in the opening seconds of the second half in a three player move started by Giuseppe Dossena and completed by the unmarked Antonio Di Natale's header.

Di Natale's heroics came after his two goals for Italy in their 2-1 Euro 2008 qualifier win over Ukraine last week.

Udinese went close to doubling their advantage in the 62nd minute only for Gyan Asamoah's half-volley to ricochet off the upright.

Napoli's 2-0 win over Sampdoria lifted them up five places into third between Inter and Juve.

On Saturday, fifth-placed AC Milan were held to their second successive 1-1 draw with only Alessandro Nesta's late late equaliser avoided an embarrassing slip up at struggling Siena.

The Tuscany club were heading for a valuable maximum points until Nesta popped up in the 91st minute to level from a volley after a move started by a freekick awarded when Leandro Grimi felled Clarence Seedorf.

Also on Saturday Lazio were held to a goalless draw by second from bottom Empoli. – AFP
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