Totti scored a free-kick and a penalty as Radu and Ledesma saw red for Lazio.
Totti struck under the body of Fernando Muslera after a foul on David Pizarro to open the scoring, then added a late penalty to settle what was an underwhelming affair at the Stadio Olimpico. Lazio's frustrations showed late on as Stefano Radu and Cristian Ledesma saw red.
The Giallorossi very nearly found themselves ahead within four minutes when Pizarro thundered an effort from well outside the area which had Muslera beaten but came back off the bar to Lazio’s relief.
Five minutes before the break there was a chance for the home side to take the lead. Totti sprung the offside trap before playing in Jeremy Menez, whose cut-back fell into the path of Juan. But with the wet turf slowing the ball down, the big center-half had to wait a split second for the ball to come to him, and that was enough to allow Ledesma to make an excellent sliding block.
Totti and Menez combined again early in the second half, with the Frenchman forcing a block from Lichtsteiner, and when Totti swung in the resulting corner, Menez shot just wide of goal on the turn.
The Biancocelesti had a real opening when Lichtsteiner got to the bye-line just inside the area on the right and when Mauro Zarate collected at the far post, his cross was just too high for Sergio Floccari and Roma were able to clear.
Floccari should have done better though when Hernanes picked him out with a delicate right-wing cross, but the striker’s header was mistimed and fell aimlessly wide of Alexander Doni’s left-hand post. And the Aquile were made to pay within minutes.
When Pizarro was brought down 20 yards from goal, Francesco Totti hit a powerful, swerving low free-kick through the wall which Muslera allowed to slip under his body as he attempted to smother, and Roma had the lead.
After a cynical foul by Francelino Matuzalem on Totti went unpunished, Lazio were eventually reduced to 10 men in a tempestuous finish when Stefan Radu snapped and ran 10 yards to head-butt Fabio Simplicio as the Brazilian delayed taking a free-kick.
Cristian Brocchi then brought down Simplicio in injury-time to hand Roma an injury time, with Ledesma seeing red for his protests. Totti duly fired the penalty high above Muslera to wrap up the win.
The result takes Vincenzo Montella’s side to within two points of their fifth-placed neighbors, with Udinese a further two points ahead of them in the all-important Champions League play-off spot. With just nine matches remaining in the Serie A season, there is now sure to be a two-pronged capital assault on the Friulani between now and the season’s end, with Roma very much back in the race.Follow Goal.com on to get the latest soccer news directly. Check out Goal.com's page; be part of the best soccer fan community in the world!