First-half goals from Mohamed Salah and Gervinho in a 2-1 win over leaders Fiorentina fired Roma to the top of Serie A as the Giallorossi underlined their scudetto credentials in style on Sunday.
Fiorentina dropped one place to second at two points adrift with Inter Milan, held to a 1-1 draw at Palermo on Saturday, sitting third, also on 18 points.
It was a nervous return to Florence for Egyptian international Salah, who is still the subject of a dispute with his former club following his summer move to the Stadio Olimpico.
Whistled every time he touched the ball at a packed Artemio Franchi stadium, Salah reminded fans what they are missing after just seven minutes when he put the visitors ahead with a fine opener.
Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan had done well to win the ball with a sliding tackle just outside the area and set up Salah for the Egyptian to fire a superb curling strike that beat Ciprian Tatarusanu at the goalkeeper's far post.
There were no celebrations, just a brief prayer of thanks from the practising Muslim who upped his tally to five league goals.
Fiorentina saw early claims for a penalty waved away after Roma 'keeper Wojciech Szczesny ran out to collect a through ball for Nikola Kalinic on the very limit of the area, the Fiorentina players claiming he had handled outside the area.
But the hosts spurned a series of early chances, Facundo Roncaglia firing just wide of Szczesny's post with the 'keeper at full stretch and Kalinic firing just over the onrushing Szczesny after beating the offside trap to run on to a through ball from his own half.
Fiorentina were pressing high and enjoying plenty of possession around the Roma area, but with the chance to go top the visitors' defence was on full alert.
Fiorentina eventually paid the price when Florenzi pounced on a mis-hit pass to launch a long ball forward for Gervinho, who turned on the turbo boosters to power down the right flank.
Salah had pulled almost level with the Ivorian on a two-on-two but Gervinho kept his composure to beat Tatarusanu with an angled strike from the edge of the box.
Matias Vecino came close to reducing the arrears just before the interval, Szczesny producing a great save to keep the Fiorentina midfielder's drive out of the top corner.
Two minutes later, Josip Ilicic forced Szczesny into action with a strike that crept just wide of his left upright.
Fiorentina resumed in positive fashion but Kalinic twice spurned the chance to fashion an equaliser when he was closed down twice in front of goal following low crosses by Ilicic.
But Roma remained dangerous, and should have put the match beyond reach when Edin Dzeko's lob found Gervinho in space behind the Fiorentina defence just before the hour.
Tatarusanu rushed out to push the ball away from the Ivorian's feet and when it fell to Florenzi, Federico Bernardeschi cleared the right-back's goalbound effort off the line.
Fiorentina created a number of other chances and late subtitute Giuseppe Rossi had the ball in the net in the final minutes although Kalinic was already a metre offside.
Khouma Babacar replaced defender Gonzalo Rodriguez on 81 minutes and reduced the arrears with a great first-time strike with virtually the last kick of the game in injury time.
Earlier, Paulo Dybala scored one and provided an assist for fellow striker Mario Mandzukic as stuttering champions Juventus claimed just their third win of the season in a 2-0 defeat of Atalanta.
AC Milan ended a three-game winless streak with a 2-1 home win over Sassuolo, while Lazio forward Felipe Anderson hit a brace in a 3-0 win over Torino that sent the Biancocelesti up to fourth place on the same points as Fiorentina and Inter.
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