Claudio Ranieri has urged caution from his Roma side, despite Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Atalanta moving them to the top of the Serie A table.
Roma took advantage of title rivals Intenazionale and Milan both being held to draws to move one point clear in the race for the Scudetto following goals from Mirko Vucinic and Marco Cassetti at the Stadio Olimpico.
“It’s a great feeling to be first in the standings,” said Ranieri.
“But the tournament has not finished today although the atmosphere in the city might suggest otherwise.
“Inter remain favourites to win the scudetto because they have won it in recent years. But all is to play for.
“There are five games left to play and we have to play them with humility because each game will pose a challenge.
“We face five very difficult games but we have to face each of them knowing that everything depends on us.
“Our destiny is in our hands. Before Inter had the upper hand but now we do.”
“Now the race for the Scudetto is in our hands but we must be focused on one game at a time.
“We made our lives difficult in the second half and we could have done more to close the game.
“Without taking anything away from the opposition, it was only natural that the nerves would start to kick in at some point.
Inter host Ranieri’s former club Juventus next weekend while Roma take on city rivals Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico.
“The (Inter v Juve) game is crucial for everyone,” added Ranieri.
“Inter will want to bounce back while Juve also need a win to remain in contention for a Champions League place.
“But we also have one tough game next weekend.”
Roma go into next weekend’s derby on the back of five straight wins as part of a 23-match unbeaten run. However, Ranieri is wary of the threat Lazio pose.
“It’s a game where it doesn’t matter where you lie in the standings,” said Ranieri.
“It’s the derby and that game means a lot to the fans.
“Lazio have been playing good football off late and it’s not going to be easy.
“I expect a beautiful game, where both teams will go out to win.”