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Roma's Totti jokingly denies getting booked in order to be free for Lazio clash

The forward's yellow card against the Gialloblu means that he will now sit out next weekend's clash with Atalanta, thus removing the threat of him missing the derby

Roma captain Francesco Totti has jokingly denied getting himself booked in Sunday's Serie A victory over Parma in order to ensure his availability for next month's derby with Lazio.

The former Italy international's yellow card against the Gialloblu means that he will now sit out next weekend's clash with Atalanta, thus removing the risk of him missing his club's eagerly-awaited clash with the Biancocelesti at the Stadio Olimpico on March 4.

As he left the stadium on Sunday, Totti was quizzed over his booking against Parma and, with a smile on his face, insisted: "I wanted to get it next Sunday, I swear! I'm afraid of [Lazio]."

As for the hard-fought win over Parma, Totti was frustrated by his side's lack of ruthlessness in front of goal and was ultimately grateful for the three points, which came courtesy of Fabio Borini's 25th-minute strike.

"The goal came in the first half and we created a lot in attack but we missed a lot of chances in the second half and this made the game difficult," the legendary No.10 mused.

"When you're only 1-0 up, the slightest drop in concentration can scupper all of your hard work.

"But the focus remained high and we didn't take any excessive risks in possession of the ball."

Meanwhile, midfielder Daniele De Rossi believes that with the Giallorossi now fifth in the table, just four points behind Udinese and Lazio, who are third and fourth respectively, Luis Enrique's men can start entertaining thoughts of qualifying for the Champions League.

"We are not inferior to Udinese and Lazio, though they are two exceptional teams who for two years have been wonderful in the league," the Italy international told Sky Sport Italia.

"We find ourselves right there [in contention] and, apart from Juve and Milan, this league is balanced, so we have to go for it.

"We can beat anyone and we have a coach that makes us play proactively."

Roma's victory saw them climb above Napoli and Inter in the standings.

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