The Giallorossi skipper rolled back the years with a blistering 25-yard drive that gave Bianconeri goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon absolutely no chance
Juventus tried to rally in the remaining half hour but a blunt Bianconeri outfit were unable to force an equaliser, meaning Napoli can now cut their lead at the summit of the standings to just two points should the Partenopei defeat Sampdoria at home on Sunday.
Despite their woeful recent form, Roma began in a sprightly fashion, with Pablo Osvaldo looking particularly lively up front. Indeed, the forward threatened twice inside the opening 10 minutes, cutting inside Leonardo Bonucci early on only to shoot straight at Buffon, before then being forced too far wide by the Juventus skipper to get a shot away after being slipped through by Erik Lamela.
However, Juventus, despite their Champions League exertions in midweek, also played their part in what was an agreeably open start to the game, with Andrea Pirlo very nearly opening the scoring with a clever free kick that could very easily have sneaked into the bottom right corner of Maarten Stekelenburg’s goal, had the Dutchman not got down so swiftly to parry the ball to safety.
Rather frustratingly, though, the pace of the game dropped and the atmosphere became increasingly tetchy. Indeed, Daniele De Rossi levelled Stephan Lichtsteiner with a desperately late lunge on the Swiss wing-back before Francesco Totti elected to run his studs down the leg of Pirlo, leaving the playmaker with a nasty gash on his knee.
Happily, the half-time break removed some of the mounting tension from the game, allowing both sides to rediscover their attacking instincts, with particularly pleasing results for the neutral. First, Osvaldo hooked the ball just wide after sliding to get on the end of Totti's through-ball and then, just moments later, Mirko Vucinic's whizzed the most wonderfully executed volley just past Stekelenburg's right post.
It was obvious that a goal was coming and it arrived just before the hour mark - and in sensational fashion. Miralem Pjanic tried his luck with a free kick but it was blocked by the Bianconeri wall. However, the ball only went as far as Totti, who unleashed a blistering, first-time shot that gave Buffon in the Juventus goal absolutely no chance.
Juventus pushed forward in search of an equaliser but, in truth, it was Roma who looked the more likely to score next, and it was only a combination of poor finishing and wonderful defending that prevented them from doing so, with Daniele De Rossi miscuing after being teed up by Osvaldo, before Lichtsteiner threw his body in the way of an effort from Marquinho.
In the end, though, a solitary strike from their skipper proved enough to earn Roma a long overdue win - and blow the Scudetto race wide open in the process.