Roma extended their fantastic 100 per cent start to the Serie A season with a Miralem Pjanic-inspired 2-0 home win over Napoli on Friday.
The win leaves Roma five points clear of Napoli, who could be overtaken in second by Juventus, who face Fiorentina on Sunday.
Pjanic, fresh from helping Bosnia to a first ever FIFA World Cup finals, curled a sumptuous free-kick home with the last kick of the first half, after Daniele De Rossi had cleared a goalbound Goran Pandev effort off the line.
Paolo Cannavaro, who had conceded the free-kick, fouled Marco Borriello in the penalty area with 20 minutes left in the game, earning him a second yellow card, allowing Pjanic to lash home his second from the spot.
In-form duo Gervinho and Alessandro Florenzi continued in support of Francesco Totti in attack for Roma, while Gonzalo Higuain failed a late fitness test for the visitors and had to make do with a place on the bench, although Christian Maggio returned at right-back.
Roma made most of the early running and had two chances to take the lead in the 19th minute, but De Rossi headed a corner straight at Pepe Reina, while Gervinho wastefully blazed wide as he closed in on goal.
Totti was forced off with 10 minutes to go in the opening period, Borriello coming on in his place, and they almost went a goal down moments later.
A swift Napoli counter-attack saw Pandev closing in on goal, the Macedonian's weak effort was parried by Morgan De Sanctis, but regardless looked destined to trickle in, only for De Rossi to charge back and acrobatically hack the ball clear.
An injury for Miguel Britos brought Cannavaro into the game, but the Napoli club captain had a disastrous impact on the game.
The defender cynically fouled Gervinho as he looked to dart goalwards, and Pjanic stepped up, curling the set-piece over the wall and into Reina's top right-hand corner.
Napoli roared back after the break with Gokhan Inler flashing an effort just wide and Marek Hamsik clipping the crossbar, but Roma retained a threat, with Kevin Strootman whistling a long-range effort just over.
And with 70 minutes on the clock, the hosts had their second. Cannavaro hauled down Borriello in the area, for his second booking of the evening and a second foul leading to a goal as Pjanic smashed the spot-kick into the roof of the net.
The goal and dismissal were ultimately too much for the visitors to recover from, as Roma comfortably saw out their eighth win from as many Serie A games this term and in the process inflicted Rafael Benitez's first league defeat as Napoli boss.
|26||M. De Sanctis|
|16||D. De Rossi|
|15||M. Pjanić||45+4' 71' 74'|
|Coach: R. Garcia|
for F. Totti 33'
for Y. Gervinho 58'
for A. Florenzi 81'
|Macedonia 0 Australia 0: Stalemate in Skopje|
|Del Bosque not out for Netherlands revenge|
|Burton Albion 1 Stevenage 1: Both teams score at wrong end in draw|
|Pekerman: I have no say on Falcao´s Manchester United future|
|Buffon has studied England new boy Kane|
|Conte urges patience from Italy fans|
|Johnson tasked with keeping Cheltenham up|
|Rooney not keen on Serie A switch|
|Kane to make first England start|
|Colombia 3 Kuwait 1: Spot-on Falcao nears Iguaran record|
|Goal-shy Barkley eyes striker´s role|
|UEFA opens disciplinary proceedings against Montenegro and Russia|
|Draxler and Choupo-Moting back in training|
|Ghana v Mali: Last chance to impress before Giresse return|
|Wilson: Gibraltar getting stronger|
|Mata confident of Spain future|
|Armenia coach Challandes resigns|
|Hiddink rubbishes talk of Dutch negativity|
|Portugal v Cape Verde: Santos set to rotate|
|Loren hails Moyes for Sociedad surge|
|Cruyff brands Netherlands ´a disgrace´|
|Kick It Out backs Barnes over race comments|
|Argentina v Ecuador: Messi remains doubtful for friendly|
|Coates backs Hughes ambition at Stoke|
|Atletico able to call on Saul again|
|Italy v England Preview: Kane set to start after dream debut|
|Zidane would accept Real job|
|Hernandez frustrated by lack of Real opportunities|
|Spartak donate money to 102-year-old fan after robbery|
|Clasie pulls out of Netherlands squad|
|Italy´s Bertolacci out of England friendly|
|Newcastle post record profit as Ashley debt stays the same|
|Al Sadd: We want Xavi to bring tiki-taka|
|Lacazette expected frosty Saint-Etienne reception|
|Barnes: I can´t get back into management because I´m black|
|Rooney praises England aggression|
|Southgate tips Kane for return to U21s|
|Mexico v Paraguay: Goals in order for Copa America aspirants|
|Netherlands - Spain Preview: Wijnaldum rallies behind under-fire Hiddink|
|Peru v Venezuela: Sanvicente wants Venezuelan response|
|Carvalho confident of playing Juventus|
|Neymar demands protection after Medel stamp|
|MLS Review: RSL, Fire secure breakthrough wins|
|Firmino firmly on radar - Dunga|
|O´Neill delighted with second-half display|
|First-half dominance pleases Deschamps|
|Muller criticises Germany profligacy|
|Euro 2016 Qualifying Review: Portugal go top, Gibraltar make history in defeat|
|Liverpool the only English club I could play for - Suarez|
|France 2 Denmark 0: Lacazette off the mark in routine victory|
|Republic of Ireland 1 Poland 1: Long rescues vital point|
|Portugal 2 Serbia 1: Coentrao puts hosts top of Group I|
|Strachan hails ´terrific´ Gibraltar|
|Lafferty back playing with a smile on his face - O´Neill|
|Toure to reveal Ivory Coast future over coming days|
|Georgia 0 Germany 2: Reus and Muller on target for world champions|
|Northern Ireland 2 Finland 1: Lafferty inspires fourth qualifying success|
|Scotland 6 Gibraltar 1: Casciaro´s historic moment outshone by Fletcher´s hat-trick|
|France 2-0 Denmark: Lacazette and Giroud on target|
|Firmino hopeful of Copa America spot|
|Hummels considering options at Dortmund|
|Suarez goalless on Anfield return, but Balotelli nets stunner|
|Casciaro scores first competitive goal for Gibraltar|
|Fleetwood Town 1 Preston North End 1: Ball stunner claims share of derby spoils|
|Italy v England: Judge me on results, says Conte|
|Colombia v Kuwait: Falcao seeking another strong showing|
|Brazil 1 Chile 0: Firmino settles scrappy affair|
|Luxembourg v Turkey: Let´s kick on, urges Terim|
|South Africa 1 Nigeria 1: Zungu strikes late to earn draw|
|Smalling wants long-term United stay|
|South Africa 1-1 Nigeria: Last-gasp Zungu goal cancels out Musa strike|
|Italy call up Santon and Abate for England friendly|
|Switzerland v United States: Klinsmann eyes learning curve|
|Netherlands v Spain: Hiddink has players´ support, says Wijnaldum|
|A-League Review: Sydney end Wellington run, Adelaide suffer injury blows in Jets win|
|Henderson eyes long-term Liverpool future|
|I have nothing to prove - Bale|
|Brazil 1-0 Chile: Firmino gives Selecao battling victory|
|South Korea v New Zealand: All Whites looking to future|
|Japan v Uzbekistan: Hosts eye another win under Halilhodzic|
|MLS Review: Kaka nets in Orlando draw|
|Mexico 1 Ecuador 0: Hernandez, Corona help Herrera´s men to victory|
|Deschamps calls for France response|
|Dunga unfazed by pressure|
|Montenegro fan turns himself in after flare incident|
|Injured Messi not ready - Martino|
|Hodgson: Rooney not close to Charlton|
|Terim proud of Turkey|
|Hiddink happy with point|
|Euro 2016 Qualifying Review: Netherlands and Italy stage late escapes|
|Debutant Eder delighted with Azzurri bow|