MILAN (AP) — United States midfielder Michael Bradley scored late to help 10-man Roma beat Udinese 1-0 and set a Serie A record by winning its first nine matches of the season.
Bradley came on as a substitute and broke the deadlock with his first touch of the match eight minutes from full time to keep Roma five points clear of Napoli and Juventus.
Roma played the final 24 minutes with 10 men after Maicon was sent off for a second yellow card.
Juventus recorded eight opening victories in 1930-31 and 1985-86, and also won nine straight matches to start 2005-06 but was stripped of its title-winning season in the "calciopoli" match-fixing scandal.
"At the end it was three deserved points, we really gave everything," Bradley said. "This is a team which has great desire and determination.
"Last year didn't go how we wanted it to, now it's going a bit better. We're working every day to improve and we're not thinking about the statistics."
Elsewhere, Gonzalo Higuain converted two controversial penalties to help Napoli beat 10-man Torino 2-0, while Juventus beat Genoa by the same scoreline.
"Along with Napoli, we're on a run that befits a top of the table team," Juventus coach Antonio Conte said. "But Roma's results skew everything a bit, their run is the very best.
"We scored two goals and missed so many other chances. But in a certain sense, the good news of today is that we didn't concede."
A stoppage-time winner handed Parma a 3-2 victory over AC Milan, which had fought back from two goals down.
Udinese was unbeaten in 22 home games and it almost got off to the perfect start when Luis Muriel's effort crashed off the left upright with less than three minutes on the clock.
Roma clearly missed talismanic captain Francesco Totti, who is out injured, and Udinese had another fantastic chance in the 38th minute when Gabriel Silva chipped goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis, but Leandro Castan cleared off the line with an acrobatic overhead kick.
A Roma victory appeared even more unlikely when Maicon was given his marching orders in the 66th.
However, Bradley scored the winner minutes after being brought on for Marco Borriello. Kevin Strootman was given too much time on the ball and he spotted Bradley's run, allowing the U.S. international to drill the ball into the bottom left corner.
Juventus badly needed a win after a miserable week which saw Antonio Conte's side defeated at Real Madrid in the Champions League, days after letting slip a two-goal lead to lose 4-2 against Fiorentina.
Arturo Vidal, who had earlier hit the crossbar, fired Juventus in front from the spot in the 22nd minute after Davide Biondini tripped Kwadwo Asamoah, although the foul appeared to be just outside the area.