Rome move two points clear of stumbling Napoli
Arsenal reject Gervinho scored his maiden goal for Roma as they beat Sampdoria 2-0 and moved two points clear of stumbling Napoli to stay top of Italy's Serie A on Wednesday.
Roma started their fifth match of the campaign top thanks to a one-goal difference over Rafael Benitez's title challengers Napoli.
And as Napoli failed miserably at the San Paolo to put league new boys Sassuolo to the sword -- days after a 7-0 mauling by Inter Milan -- Roma took full advantage to pull clear at the top.
Roma now have 15 points after five wins in as many games while Napoli sit two points adrift after a 1-1 draw with Sassuolo.
Champions Juventus moved up to third with a fortuitous 2-1 win away to feisty Chievo while Lazio outclassed second-from-bottom Catania 2-1 at the Olympic Stadium to sit sixth.
Injury-hit AC Milan, without the suspended Mario Balotelli, faced the banana skin of a trip away to Bologna and Massimiliano Allegri's men slipped badly before recovering in the final two minutes.
Two weeks after securing a late draw away to Torino, Robinho reduced arrears in the 89th minute before Ignazio Abate levelled in injury time to secure the visitors a lucky 3-3 draw.
Elsewhere, Parma claimed their first win of the season in a 4-3 home win against Atalanta while Jorginho scored a 67th minute penalty for Verona to claim a share of the points in a 2-2 away draw at Torino.
Inter host Fiorentina on Thursday in the last of the midweek matches although with both sides five points adrift of Roma neither can trouble Rudi Garcia's men.
Roma's win came in spite of Garcia being sent to the stands early in the second half for dissent following a heated discussion with the referee.
However the Frenchman, whose methods and recent successes have already won him fans among Italy's discerning football pundits, was soon given reason for cheer.
Roma took the lead in stunning fashion when Mehdi Benatia feinted his way into the area and beat 'keeper Angelo Da Costa with a shot he unleashed with his left foot despite being tripped and falling to the ground.
The points were virtually assured when Gervinho latched on to Francesco Totti's delivery to beat Da Costa with a low, angled shot moments before the final whistle.
Sampdoria woes deepened at the death when Antonio Barilla saw red after being cautioned a second time.
Napoli started brightly and Blermi Dzemaili gave the hosts a 14th minute lead with a first-time drive from 25 metres after a poor clearance which beat Gianluca Pegolo in the Sassuolo net.
If the 'keeper thought that was the beginning of the onslaught, he was mistaken.
Napoli's early hopes of launching a rout were extinguished six minuts later when Simone Zaza stunned Pepe Reina in the Napoli net with a wicked snap shot that went past the 'keeper's shoulder and into the roof of the net.
Napoli battled, but lacked the spark and punch required to get past a team which, after their weekend humiliation, looked determined to make amends.
Chievo stunned Juventus in the 28th minute, but the 'Flying Donkeys' were fully deserving of their opener after Gennaro Sardo pounced on a poor clearance by Juve 'keeper Gianluigi Buffon.
When Cyril Thereau showed Sardo where he wanted the ball, the midfielder obliged and the French striker beat Buffon with a well-struck first-timer.
Juve were back on level terms two minutes after half-time thanks to Fabio Quagliarella, and despite labouring throughout sealed the points thanks to Alessandro Bernardini turning Paul Pogba's cross towards the far post into his own net.