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October 05, 2014

MILAN (AP) — Juventus beat Roma 3-2 in a fiery clash to take sole lead of Serie A on Sunday as the capital side dropped its first points of the season.

Leonardo Bonucci scored the winner four minutes from time with a screamer into the bottom left corner from just outside the area, although teammate Arturo Vidal was in a clear offside position.

"It's certainly my best and most important goal," Bonucci said. "It's worth three very valuable points ... We made very few mistakes and they punished us with the only chance we allowed them. But at the end we reaffirmed that, in Italy, Juve is the strongest."

Roma defender Kostas Manolas and Juventus striker Alvaro Morata were sent off following a brawl shortly after Bonucci's strike.

Juventus' early goals had been controversial as Carlos Tevez converted two debatable first-half penalties. Juan Iturbe had given Roma the lead after Francesco Totti leveled from the spot.

Roma coach Rudi Garcia was sent to the stands for ironically pretending to play a violin after the first penalty.

"I prefer to talk about the game," Garcia said. "There were so many incidents, but we lost partly through our own fault. We had two great chances which we didn't score with. I don't feel beaten, it's a shame that here they make the penalty area slightly larger."

Juventus became the first Serie A side to win 22 consecutive home matches and went into the international break three points ahead of Roma, with Sampdoria a point further back following a 1-0 victory over Atalanta.

Udinese slipped to fourth after a late penalty saw it held to a 1-1 draw by Cesena, while Lazio edged Sassuolo 3-2 in a match where both teams were reduced to 10 men.

A late goal also saw 10-man Genoa win 2-1 at Parma, which fell to a third successive defeat.

Earlier, in an encounter between newly promoted sides, Empoli cruised past Palermo 3-0 for its first win of the season.

Inter Milan visits Fiorentina later while Napoli hosts Torino.

Both Juventus and Roma had maximum points coming into the match after winning their opening five fixtures.

Andrea Pirlo recovered from injury to make his first appearance of the season and the midfield maestro had a hand in Juventus' 27th minute opener as his free kick was handled by Douglas Maicon in the wall.

The referee initially gave another free kick on the edge of the area but changed his mind after consulting with his assistants and pointed to the penalty spot. Tevez fired the spot kick into the left side of goal.

Roma leveled moments later with a penalty of its own after Totti was bundled over by Stephan Lichtsteiner and the veteran forward converted.

It was the first goal Juventus had conceded in the league since April, a run of eight victories with clean sheets.

The visitors then took the lead a minute from halftime when Iturbe burst into the box to fire home a fantastic through ball from Gervinho.

However, Juventus leveled with another controversial penalty as Miralem Pjanic's foul on Paul Pogba was adjudged to have been inside the area and Tevez converted again with an exact copy of his first spot kick.

Both sides had chances to take the lead before Bonucci's winner.

In Udine, Bruno Fernandes looked to have handed the home side the win when he finished off a strong solo run with an angled drive into the bottom right corner, shortly after the hour mark.

However, Emmanuel Cascione leveled from the spot in stoppage time after Silvan Widmer brought down Diego Rodriguez.

Manolo Gabbiadini scored the only goal of the game for Sampdoria, bursting forward to prod Pedro Obiang's long ball past Marco Sportiello 10 minutes from halftime.

In Rome, Lazio captain Stefano Mauri opened the scoring in the ninth minute with a long-range shot that flew into the bottom right corner.

Filip Djordjevic, who scored a hat trick last week, doubled Lazio's advantage in the 25th minute, heading home Antonio Candreva's cross.

Sassuolo immediately reduced the deficit through Domenico Berardi, who returned from a three-match ban — during which his side had failed to score.

However, Candreva restored Lazio's two-goal cushion in the 35th minute.

Immediately after the break Lorik Cana was sent off for knocking over Berardi in the area and the Sassuolo forward scored the resulting penalty.

But Sassuolo was also reduced to 10 men on the hour when Federico Peluso was sent off for a second booking.

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