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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Totti breaks goal record in Roma romp

AS Roma’s forward Francesco Totti celebrates after scoring

Francesco Totti set a new single club scoring record in Serie A as Roma thrashed Cesena 5-1 on Saturday to boost their hopes of a European finish.

Club captain Totti scored twice inside the opening eight minutes while Fabio Borini, Juan and Miralem Pjanic scored the other goals with Eder netting for Cesena, who remained rooted in the bottom three.

It meant the 35-year-old reached 211 top flight league goals for the capital club, surpassing the 210 that Swedish great Gunnar Nordahl managed for AC Milan more than 50 years ago.

“It’s what I’ve always wanted, to wear this shirt and beat one record after another,” said Totti.

Sixth-placed Roma are now just eight points off top after the same number of games as the teams above them.

The match was all over inside eight minutes as Roma swept into a three-goal lead, carving through Cesena’s porous defence.

After Gabriel Heinze’s raking crossfield ball, Totti took a backheel from Erik Lamela after just 40 seconds before firing home at Francesco Antonioli’s near post thanks to a deflection off Maurizio Lauro.

And then on eight minutes he was there at the back post — although television replays showed he was offside — to volley home Lamela’s cross from the left.

Before the eighth minute was up, Gianluca Comotto was caught in possession and Totti released Leandro Greco down the left to cross for Borini to tap home.

It could have been much worse for Cesena in a first half in which they were chasing shadows.

Pjanic, Borini, Fernando Gago, Rodrigo Taddei and Aleandro Rosi all had chances that were either blocked or went wide as Cesena held on by their finger-nails.

In the second period Cesena briefly rallied when Brazilian Eder skipped between defenders Heinze and Taddei onto a through ball, chipped goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg and shot home on 58 minutes.

But just three minutes later Borini headed a corner goalwards which Antonioli tipped onto the post only for Juan to slot home the loose ball from close range.

Pjanic rounded off the scoring 20 minutes from time as he strode forward and hit a shot that was too hot for Antonioli to handle.

While Cesena’s defence ball-watched, the Bosnia international darted onto the loose ball and knocked it in.

Spanish substitute Bojan Krkic could have added gloss to the scoreline after a mazy dribble beating four players in the box late on but Antonioli tip his finish over.

©2011 AFP

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