MILAN: England goalkeeper Joe Hart answered his critics with a standout performance as Torino dampened Francesco Totti's upcoming birthday celebrations with a 3-1 win over Roma on Sunday.
Roma travelled to Turin looking to close a five-point gap to leaders Juventus after the champions scraped a 1-0 win at Palermo on Saturday.
But Andrea Belotti's eighth-minute opener, the striker's header beating Wojciech Szczesny at his near post, had Luciano Spalletti's men under pressure from the off.
The Giallorossi heads dropped further when Iago Falque beat the Polish international from the spot on 53 minutes after a foul on Belotti by former Torino defender Bruno Peres.
Roma were given brief hope of a fightback when Totti, who will celebrate his 40th birthday on Tuesday, came off the bench to beat Hart from the penalty spot two minutes later.
But any hopes of a late fightback were quashed when Falque capitalised on a defensive blunder to fire a deflected shot over Szczesny halfway through the second period.
Two years ago Totti, three days after his 38th birthday, became the oldest player to score in the Champions League when he beat Hart to net a 23rd minute leveller in a 1-1 draw at Manchester City.
It was the Roma icon's 300th career goal and his first on English soil.
But the plaudits this time went to England keeper Hart, who was forced out at City by new manager Pep Guardiola amid claims his game was not up to par for the unforgiving Premier League.
Hart had also come under scrutiny in midweek when he flapped at an innocuous cross during a scoreless draw away to Pescara.
But on Sunday the 29-year-old was in superb form as Torino claimed only their second win of the season.
Hart was forced out early to steal the ball in midair from Edin Dzeko as the Bosnian ran down on goal, and then got down low to save with one hand from the striker's snap shot from close range.
Dzeko should have done better with Mohamed Salah's delivery near the end of the opening half but Hart tipped the striker's header over with one hand.
Torino took a decisive step towards the win when Falque stepped up to beat Szczesny in the Roma net on 53 minutes.
Two minutes later, Totti sent Hart the wrong way when he fired home from the spot but it proved a false dawn as Torino ended a three-game winless streak to move up to provisional eighth at seven points off the lead.