| Francesco Totti celebrates with Antonio Cassano in Verona on Sunday. (Reuters)
Rome: AS Roma scored three goals in a five-minute stretch of the second half last night to defeat Chievo 3-0 and maintain part of their lead with AC Milan while Southampton beat Charlton to move up five places and Valencia edged Athletic Bilbao to rise to second spot in their respective leagues on Sunday.
After struggling to gain control early on, Roma exploded with goals by captain Francesco Totti in the 67th minute, Alessandro Mancini in the 70th and Antonio Cassano in the 72nd. Besides his score, Brazilian midfielder Mancini also set up Totti and Cassanoís goals. Christian Vieiri scored twice in his return from injury to lead Inter Milan to a 2-1 win against Perugia, keeping Inter five points off the lead.
Perugia goalkeeper Michele Tardioli dived to no avail as Vieriís 25th and 80th-minute shots went just past him. Perugia midfielder Giovanni Tedesco cut Interís lead to one in the 88th. Italyís under-21 star Alberto Gilardino scored twice in Parmaís 2-1 win against 10-man Lecce.
Elsewhere, Sampdoria edged Siena 2-1 on recent national team call-up Fabio Bazzaniís 73rd-minute match-winner, Bologna went ahead 3-0 and then had to hang on for a 3-2 victory against Ancona, Modena and Brescia drew 1-1 and Udinese beat Reggina 1-0 on an 87th-minute goal by Germanyís Carsten Jancker. For Roma Mancini sent a perfect, low cross to Tottiís feet a few metres out that the Roma captain had no trouble converting. For the second goal, Mancini did most of the work himself, sending a precise blast inside the far post from a sharp angle after a quick control. Mancini then set up Cassano in the centre of Chievoís beleaguered defence.
Mancini endeared himself to Roma fans with a decisive goal in the teamís derby win against Lazio last month.
In London, Southampton beat Charlton 3-2 on a late Brett Omerod goal. Omerod volleyed an awkward ball past Charlton goalkeeper Dean Kiely in the 86th minute after it had ricocheted off several players in the box. Saints beat south coast rival Portsmouth 2-0 in the League Cup last week. It moved from 13th to eighth in the standings with the win. Charlton stayed sixth.
Earlier, Manchester City were held to a 0-0 draw against Everton. Kevin Keeganís side stays in the bottom three, with its fifth draw of the season.
In Madrid, Spanish international midfielder Vicente Rodriguez scored twice as Valencia edged Athletic de Bilbao 2-1 and rose to second place in the Spanish League. Mallorca beat Valladolid 1-0, Sevilla edged Zaragoza 3-2, Albacete crushed Racing de Santander 4-0 and Murcia drew 1-1 with Villarreal. (Agencies)