A coach-less but stubborn Sampdoria put the brakes on Napoli's Serie A title ambitions by holding the Neapolitans to a scoreless draw at the San Paolo on Sunday. Napoli had hoped to close the gap on Juventus to just two points after the championship leaders were stunned 1-0 by Francesco Totti's rocket strike for Roma on Saturday.
But three days after a shock 3-0 defeat at home to Viktoria Plzen in the UEFA Europa League, Walter Mazzarri's side failed to conjure a goal for the second match in succession. Napoli were to rue several missed chances as Sampdoria increased the pressure in the final minutes with a series of counter-attacks which had the hosts on the ropes before they were forced to settle for a morale-sapping draw.
Meanwhile, Catania continued their fairytale campaign with a 1-0 win at home over Bologna which moved them up to seventh and within sight of the European places.
Torino moved up two places thanks to Valter Birsa's 87th-minute winner in a 2-1 victory over Atalanta, while Juraj Kucka's 33rd-minute goal was enough to see Genoa move further away from the drop zone with a 1-0 win over Udinese.
A Marco Sau double for Cagliari assured a 2-0 win away to new boys Pescara and moved the Sardinians up to 14th.
Fiorentina nets four
AC Milan, 2-1 winners over Parma on Friday, remained fourth after Inter Milan, in fifth at one point adrift of the Rossoneri, suffered a crushing 4-1 defeat away at Fiorentina.
Both Adem Ljajic and Stevan Jovetic scored a brace to claim the Viola's first league win over Inter in 12 games, with Antonio Cassano scoring a late consolation for the visitors.
Fiorentina took a deserved lead in the 13th minute after Serbian striker Ljajic headed home from Jovetic's head-on following good build-up play on the left. Montenegro striker Jovetic capitalised on more shaky defending by strolling unchallenged along the area and sending a rocket past the rooted Handanovic into the roof of the net.
Inter were found wanting again barely ten minutes after the restart when a saving tackle from deep in defence left the ball ricocheting around the area before it fell to Jovetic, who gave Handanovic no chance from ten metres out.
Ljajic made it 4-0 for the hosts on 65 minutes when he danced into the area after collecing Valero's pass from the left to beat Handanovic down low with a dipping shot. Cassano reduced the arrears in the 86th minute when he pounced on a loose ball to beat Viviano with a superbly curled strike.