Miralem Pjanic's late free-kick keeps Roma perfect


Miralem Pjanic's late free-kick ensured Roma maintained their 100 percent start to the season with a 2-1 victory at Parma. Adem Ljajic put the visitors in front in the 27th minute with a fierce left-footed shot, but Parma drew level through Paolo De Ceglie's header. Roma, however, would not be denied and with only two minutes of normal time remaining Pjanic curled in a delightful effort from the set piece to wrap up another three points. Rudi Garcia's men have now won four out of four Serie A games this term, although they have slipped from the top of the table to second on goal difference after Juventus – also with maximum points – assumed the lead on Wednesday by beating Cesena 3-0. Parma had the first real attempt on goal of the match, Raffaele Palladino shooting high over the bar from the edge of the box in the 10th minute. The Eternal City giants then started to threaten, with Radja Nainggolan trying his luck from outside the area with an effort that went inches wide, and a counter-attack seeing Gervinho also put the ball the wrong side of the post. Gervinho then just failed to get a vital touch from close range to a great, deep pass from Francesco Totti. But another fine Totti delivery did not go to waste a minute later as Ljajic latched onto the veteran's ball and fired past Antonio Mirante. Parma had some opportunities before half time, but Felipe's header from a corner was easily saved by Morgan De Sanctis, Pedro Mendes shot too high and De Ceglie's strike from distance went the same way. Gervinho once again failed to finish off a Roma breakaway 10 minutes into the second half, his effort going just an inch wide of the far post, and within seconds the hosts equalised, De Ceglie nodding in at the near stick from ex-Roma man Antonio Cassano's corner. Roma looked to regain the advantage after that but had little joy at first, with Totti and Ljajic striking over and Alessandro Florenzi seeing his effort easily saved by Mirante. Florenzi then found himself alone in front of Mirante, only for Felipe to make a great tackle on the midfielder. There was nothing Parma could do in the end, though, as Pjanic stepped up and settled the contest by sending the ball sailing into the top right-hand corner of the net.