ROME, March 18 (Xinhua):The battle for the second place of Serie A continued on Monday as Roma and Napoli won their respectivegame. Roma beat Udinese 3-2 at home to remain three points clear ofthe San Paolo side, who secured a last-gasp 1-0 win at Torinothanks to Gonzalo Higuain’s goal.
Roma went ahead in the 22nd minute as captain Francesco Tottiscored his sixth league goal of the season. The veteran expertlytucked away his chance from 15 yards after Gervinho was playedthrough on goal and had his shot saved.
Gervinho was involved again as Roma doubled their lead justeight minutes later, with his pass setting free Mattia Destro, whoshowed good composure to round Udinese goalkeeper Simone Scuffetand tap into the unguarded net on the half-hour mark.
Udinese pulled one back six minutes after the break whenGiampiero Pinzi robbed the ball off Totti and ran forward to scorean excellent left-footed effort.
Roma regained their two-goal lead in the 69th minute as Greecedefender Vasilis Torosidis thrashed past Scuffet from 25 yards.
Udinese kept fighting and Serbian defender Dusan Basta nettedfrom a corner with 10 minutes to play, but Roma did enough to hangon.
Roma head coach Rudi Garcia was not happy with the win as hisside suffered a lot during the game.
“We had done many great things, but also given away too manychances. We hadn’t suffered like this at home for 15 games,” hesaid.
“They say football is the art of making life difficult foryourself, but we got the three points and that was the importantthing,” he said.
“We could’ve scored more goals, but without a great Morgan DeSanctis performance we could’ve conceded more too,” he added.
In an earlier kick-off, Higuain’s scored a controversiallast-gasp goal to earn Napoli a win at Torino.
Torino dominated the game throughout hitting the post twice, butsuffered their fourth consecutive loss as Higuain found the net inthe last minute.
Higuain conceded he tripped Kamil Glik before scoring thewinner.
“On the contact with Glik I was running very quickly and so washe,” he said. “I can only celebrate the goal.”
Napoli head coach Rafa Benitez refused to discuss thecontroversial incident.
“I haven’t spoken about referees throughout the season, so I amnot going to start now,” he said.
“I think we created scoring opportunities, just like Torino did,and proved that this team wants to win right to the end,” hesaid.
“Torino clammed up very well to then go on the counter-attack.We played against Porto on Thursday, we’ve been playing two gamesper week all season, so it’ s not easy to stay sharp,” headded.
His Torino counterpart Giampiero Ventura was left livid by thereferee’s decision on the Higuain’s tripping.
“I don’t want to get into this. I’m embarrassed, as I said Ididn’t want to talk about referees anymore, but I don’t know whatelse to say after an objectively difficult season,” he said.
“The incidents are all incredibly obvious, it’s reallyembarrassing. I prefer to talk about the game and hope this seasonends as quickly as possible,” he said. Enditem