Milan: Captain Francesco Totti scored on his return from a month-long injury lay-off as Roma scraped a 3-2 win over Udinese to reduce the gap on leaders Juventus to 14 points on Monday.
Earlier, third-placed Napoli had pulled level on points with Roma thanks to a 90th-minute strike from Gonzalo Higuain, which secured the points away to Torino.
However, Roma restored their three-point cushion on Rafael Benitez’s side after a tense finale caused by Dusan Basta’s 80th minute header for the visitors.
Roma have reinforced their grip on second place, synonymous with the last automatic Champions League qualifying spot, but, despite having a game in hand, the Giallorossi remain 14 points adrift of Juventus.
Totti, meanwhile, welcomed his sixth goal of the season but told Sky Sport Italia: “It was nice to score but the important thing was to win this game to make sure we stay in front of Napoli. We have to defend second place.”
Coach Garcia, however, added: “That was the most difficult encounter at home in 15 or 16 games. We got the points but we made life difficult for ourselves.”
In Turin, Napoli’s last-gasp win came with controversy after claims that Higuain had fouled defender Kamel Glik before beating Daniele Padelli with a strike that crept under the keeper’s body.
Torino coach Giampiero Ventura has had plenty of reason to complain about refereeing decisions this season, having lost both derbies against Juventus — one due to a goal that looked offside and the second after being denied a penalty.
He raged: “I feel embarrassed for my players. I’m not going to talk about the injustices we’ve suffered, we just want this season to finish as soon as possible.
“We should have 10 points more than we do have.”
Higuain brushed off the incident when he told Sky Sport Italia: “There was contact with Glik but he and I were both running fast. All I can do is celebrate the goal.”
Torino 0 Napoli 1
AS Roma 3 Udinese 2