Roma 4-2 Parma: Majestic Giallorossi reduce gap to Juventus

Afriyie Acquah cancelled out Gervinho's opener in this rescheduled clash at the Stadio Olimpico, but Francesco Totti, Miralem Pjanic and Rodrigo Taddei earned the hosts a fine win
Roma closed to within eight points of Serie A leaders Juventus with an exhilarating 4-2 victory over Parma at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday evening.

Both sides contributed greatly to a game that had had to be abandoned after just eight minutes of play back in February because of torrential rain, with the hosts opening the scoring through Gervinho only to see the Giallorossi equalise almost immediately courtesy of Afriyie Acquah.

However, Francesco Totti put Roma back in front with an emphatic finish before Miralem Pjanic and Rodrigo Taddei added second-half goals to render Jonathan Biabiany's late strike purely academic.

With Napoli having upset Juventus at the San Paolo on Sunday, the pressure was on Roma to restore their nine-point advantage of the third-placed Partenopei in the battle for automatic qualification for next season's Champions League.

Of course, although Giallorossi coach Rudi Garcia has conceded the title, there was also the opportunity to close to within eight points of the league-leading Bianconeri.

Parma, meanwhile, knew that a win would see them move about fifth-placed Inter and into a Europa League place.

In that context, it was hardly surprising that the two sides produced a wonderfully open affair.

Indeed, Parma could have opened the scoring almost right away but Ezequiel Schelotto headed wastefully wide after Acquah's deflected strike had dropped invitingly for him on the edge of the six-yard box.

The on-loan Inter winger's profligacy was immediately punished. Rodrigo Taddei released Gervinho down the right wing with 12 minutes on the clock and he passed inside Totti, who put Mattia Destro in on goal with a sublime first-time pass.

The striker's shot came back off the base of the far post but Gervinho was following up to put Roma ahead with the simplest of finishes.

The Ivorian thought he had struck again just seconds later but his wonderfully controlled volley was correctly ruled out for offside.

Parma capitalised on that narrow escape in the 15th minute, with Acquah controlling a pass from Massimo Gobbi on his chest before spinning and then shooting into the bottom left corner in one fluid movement.

The Gialloblu were level for less than 60 seconds, though, as Pjanic surged down the right flank before pulling the ball back for Totti, who blasted the ball past Antonio Mirante from the edge of the area.

Roma really should have extended their advantage before the break but the unlucky Destro, who also had a goal disallowed, cannoned a header against the bar, after being brilliantly picked out by Maicon.

Garcia's men continued to attack relentlessly after the restart, though, and deservedly went 3-1 up four minutes into the second half when Pjanic pounced on a loose ball in the area, after Gervinho had been denied.

Despite the relative comfort of a two-goal advantage, Roma continued to press and their admirable attacking endeavour was rewarded again with eight minutes to go when Taddei found the far corner with a majestic near-post header.

It was Parma, though, who had the final word, with Biabiany beating Morgan De Sanctis with a stunning first-time strike in the dying seconds - fitting reward for their efforts during what was a wonderful advert for Serie A.