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The Giallorossi boss says that his side have encountered numerous turning points this season but none were more vital than avenging a heartbreaking loss to their city rivals

Rudi Garcia believes that Roma have put the past behind them this season, most notably last year's Coppa Italia loss to Lazio.

The Lupi were left despondent after a solitary Senad Lulic goal gave their cross-city rivals a 1-0 win in May's tournament decider.

However, Garcia feels that defeating Lazio 2-0 in their fourth game of their current Serie A campaign allowed them to exorcise their demons and pave the way for a surprise bid for this season's Scudetto.

"There have been several decisive episodes during this season," the 49-year-old Frenchman told a press conference.

"That started with [Daniele] De Rossi's goal on the first day against Livorno [the first in a 2-0 win]. The cup final turned the club upside down. There were objections from some of our fans, some thought that the match against Lazio this season came too soon.

"Instead, I think it was the right time to put a lid on the past."

 The former Lille boss also hailed Giallorossi captain Francesco Totti, who he says has played a key role in Roma's resurgence this term.

"He's an icon and an outstanding leader as well as a fantastic player," Garcia said of the Italian forward.

"At 37, he no longer has all the capability as he had before but he is a big player in the history of football.

"From experience, I decided to be honest with him, which was what he expected. Winning something with him that would be great."

Roma face Sampdoria on Sunday and sit second in Serie A with 51 points from 22 games, nine behind Juventus, who have played a game more.