Francesco Totti's ongoing feud with Roma manager Luciano Spalletti remains an uncomfortable situation for the legendary player and the only club he's ever known, but that hasn't stopped him from continuing to make an impact on the field.
The 39-year-old Totti came off the bench in the 86th minute of Wednesday's match with Roma trailing Torino 2-1 and promptly scored twice in three minutes to keep Roma on course for third place in Serie A and a place in next season's Champions League.
Totti, reduced to a bit player by Spalletti this season, scored in the 85th minute over the weekend to salvage Roma's 3-3 draw with Atalanta. He did one better Wednesday, scoring immediately after entering the game in the 86th. His goal came off a flick-on from Kostas Manolas off a corner kick, with Totti touching it home by the post on his first touch of the match.
Totti gave Roma the lead–and ultimately all three points–three minutes later, scoring from the penalty spot before being mobbed by his teammates and lauded by the home supporters.
With Inter Milan losing to Genoa 1-0, Roma is seven points clear of fourth place (and only five behind second) with four games remaining in the season, and Totti's legend continues to grow.
Elsewhere in Serie A Wednesday (Via the Associated Press):
ROME (AP) — Paulo Dybala scored twice as Juventus closed in on a fifth straight Serie A title with a 3-0 win over 10-man Lazio on Wednesday.
Mario Madzukic opened the scoring for Juventus with his third goal in four matches by redirecting a cross within the box from Paul Pogba near the end of the first half.
Then after Lazio right back Patric was sent off with his second yellow card, Dybala converted a penalty and finished off a counterattack for his 16th goal of the season.
With four matches remaining, Juventus restored its nine-point lead over Napoli, which routed Bologna 6-0 on Tuesday.
It was the first loss for new Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi, who won his first two matches in charge.
Fiorentina's troubles in the second half of the season continued in a 2-1 loss at Udinese, which got an early goal from Duvan Zapata and a winner from Cyril Thereau after Mauro Zarate's equalizer.
Elsewhere, it was: Chievo Verona 5, Frosinone 1; Empoli 1, Hellas Verona 0; and Palermo 2, Atalanta 2.
Also, Sassuolo was held to a 0-0 draw by 10-man Sampdoria after failing to convert a late penalty.
Sampdoria goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano leapt to his left to stop Domenico Berardi's low spot-kick one minute from the end. Viviano also made several other impressive saves after defender Andrea Ranocchia was sent off with two yellow cards midway through the first half.
On Thursday, new AC Milan coach Cristian Brocchi aims to make it two wins from two matches as the Rossoneri host relegation-threatened Carpi.