Cerci stalls Roma’s stunning league start

European round-up

Had the runaway Serie A leaders clinched an 11th straight win they would have lived up to Tottenham’s achievement of the 1960/61 season, in which Spurs opened a double-winning campaign with the same run of victories before drawing with Manchester City.

Kevin Strootman set the Giallorossi on their way to emulating the Londoners’ record, but Rudi Garcia’s men appeared a little off the boil in Turin and soon found themselves under siege from a determined Torino side.

And it was Cerci, who made his Roma debut at the age of 16 over nine years ago, who would prove their undoing shortly after the hour mark, putting the brakes on his boyhood club’s bid to make the history books with a well-taken equaliser.

Roma held a five-point lead going into this weekend’s round of games, but that has been cut to just three as both Juventus and Napoli won, while the solitary point moves Torino into 11th place.

In Spain, Atletico Madrid kept the pressure on Primera Division leaders Barcelona by comfortably beating Athletic Bilbao 2-0 thanks to first-half goals from Diego Costa and David Villa.

It was Diego Simeone’s side sixth consecutive win at the Vicente Calderon and it means they remain just one point behind the champions, who beat Espanyol 1-0 on Friday. Third-placed Real Madrid won 3-2 at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.

Athletic, meanwhile, went into the game just one point off fourth but produced another disappointing away display and were reduced to 10 men late on when Erik Moran was sent off.

Valencia ended a three-game losing streak by securing a narrow 1-0 win at Getafe.

Los Che had lost at home to bottom side Almeria in midweek and the tension at the club was so high the players and coach were told not to speak to the media before the trip. But Dorlan Pabon’s rocket late in the first half was enough to give under-fire coach Miroslav Djukic some breathing space.

Getafe matched their opponents for most of the game and had several chances to score, the best of which fell to Jaime Gavilan in the last minute.

In France, Lille moved second in the table after inflicting a first defeat of the season on visitors Monaco last night.

A goal in either half from Nolan Roux moved the home side to within two points of leaders Paris St-Germain.

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