AS Roma have stopped hiding their title ambitions after beating Catania 7-0 on Sunday to secure their fourth consecutive win in Serie A football championship.
The victory took Roma within one point of second-placed Palermo, who lost 1-0 in Cagliari (11th) Saturday. They are still four points behind leaders Inter Milan, who scraped a 1-0 win over bottom club Reggina on Sunday.
"Roma are playing Brazilian style," said Brazilian winger Mancini, who also got on the score-sheet at the Olympic Stadium. "We can fight for the scudetto till the end."
Roma have the best defence in Serie A, having conceded just eight goals, and the best attack along with Palermo, with a tally of 26 goals scored.
They will be able to gain on at least one of the top two when Inter and Palermo meet in Sicily next weekend.
With Juventus in Serie B because of the Calciopoli referee-rigging scandal, pundits have been tipping Roma as potential title challengers from the start.
The squad features three members of Italy's World Cup-winning team, Simone Perrotta, Daniele De Rossi and captain Francesco Totti and it is coached by the astute Luciano Spalletti.
Nevertheless, Roma had been shy about their ambitions, repeatedly pointing out that Inter and AC Milan have far stronger squads.
This coyness seems to have been dispelled by a series of fine performances and the fact that Milan have fallen too far behind to become realistic contenders.
Milan drew 0-0 with Empoli (6th) on Saturday and are a lowly 15th place with eight points - 22 fewer than Inter - after starting the season at eight.
They have picked up just seven points from their last nine games and the Champions League now appears to be their only hope of glory.