Juventus went back to the top of Serie A after a 3-0 win over Palermo on Sunday which took them ahead of Lazio on goal difference. The Old Lady of Turin also have a game in hand on most of their rivals and remain the only unbeaten team in the league.
Simone Pepe, Alessandro Matri and Claudio Marchisio scored the goals to down the Sicilians, who are yet to score away from home this season. Despite their lofty standing, coach Antonio Conte said he will only know if his side is capable of challenging for the title once they have reached the halfway point in the season.
"We'll talk again about that at the halfway point when we've played everyone," he said. "That's when we'll add up the numbers and we'll see where we are and what we want to become."
Before the game Conte had said he wanted his players to treat it like a FIFA World Cup™ final. "It was important to get back on track after the long break (they hadn't played in three weeks) with three points," Conte told Sky. "I exaggerated a bit but I wanted to give a clear message to the fans and players."
Juve dominated against Palermo throughout the match and could have won more comfortably. Giorgio Chiellini was the architect on 20 minutes as the hosts went in front, crossing from the left for an inexplicably unmarked Pepe to head home.
The killer second came three minutes after the break as Stephan Lichsteiner's slide-rule pass put Matri in behind the backline and he finished from a tight angle. Marchisio finished off a well-worked third on 65 minutes from close range as Matri's dummy from Mirko Vucinic's cross fooled the Palermo defence.
Udinese fell off the top and are now a point behind Juve in fourth as they lost 2-0 at Parma. Jonathan Biabiany was left alone and unmarked to head home a corner from eight yards before he won a penalty when Dusan Basta brought him down. Sebastian Giovinco netted from the spot for his seventh in the league this season.
Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin accused his players of getting above their station. "The key to the match was humility and Parma had more of that than we did," Guidolin said. "I said (on Saturday) that we mustn't be presumptuous but obviously I didn't manage to make myself understood."
Roma moved up to fifth with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Lecce. Miralem Pjanic scored his first goal for the club and Fernando Gago notched the second before Andrea Bertolacci pulled one back on the hour.
Marco Parolo scored seven minutes from time to give rock-bottom Cesena their first victory of the season in a 1-0 success at fellow strugglers Bologna. Finally, German Denis scored a brace, including one from the spot, to move top of the goalscoring charts with nine, one ahead of Udinese's Antonio Di Natale, as Atalanta drew 2-2 at Siena.