A spectacular long range effort from Brazilian Matuzalem struck ten minutes from time to earn Genoa a vital point in their bid to avoid relegation after a 1-1 draw against derby rivals Sampdoria on Sunday. The result leaves the oldest team in Italy two points away from safety following Siena's crucial 3-2 win at rock-bottom Pescara on Saturday.
Fellow strugglers Palermo also remain two points behind Siena as they drew 1-1 at home to Bologna. Eder scored his fifth goal of the season for Sampdoria in the 28th minute of the Derby della Lanterna, sending a free-kick under the jumping wall and into the bottom left corner.
Sampdoria had Andrea Costa sent off after 78 minutes for picking up two yellow cards and midfielder Matuzalem capitalised two minutes later, his 35 yard cross-come-shot from the right wing nestling in the top left corner.
In Palermo, Slovenia midfielder Josip Ilicic bagged his third goal in three matches to put the Rosanero ahead after just five minutes, but Manolo Gabbiadini equalised for Bologna in the 17th minute. With just six rounds of Serie A remaining Palermo and Genoa both need to make up two points on Tuscans Siena to survive while Pescara appear dead and buried at nine points from safety.
Inter slip to another defeat
In Trieste, a Mauricio Pinilla double for Cagliari condemned Inter Milan to a 2-0 defeat, their third in four matches. Pinilla sent Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic the wrong way from the penalty spot in the 63rd minute after he was tripped in the area by Matias Silvestre. He then slotted home his second on 76 minutes from close range as the Inter defence stood motionless.
In Torino, ten-man Roma defeated the Granata 2-1 with Pablo Osvaldo heading home on 22 minutes for the visitors. Rolando Bianchi equalised in the 31st minute with a close range effort, only for Erik Lamela to casually curl the ball into the top left corner from 25 yards out to snatch the winner.
Roma's Federico Balzaretti was sent off for collecting two yellow cards late in the second half. Elsewhere, Udinese beat Parma 3-0 with a double from Colombian Luis Muriel and another from Roberto Pereyra. Chievo drew 0-0 with Catania as they all but secured their safety in Italy's top division.
Napoli take point from Milan
In the final Serie A match of the day, AC Milan's Mathieu Flamini went from hero to zero as he first scored and was then sent off in the Rossoneri's 1-1 draw at home to UEFA Champions League rivals Napoli.
Flamini opened the scoring with his second goal of the season on the half-hour, but Goran Pandev brought the visitors level in the 33rd minute. The Frenchman then preceeded to get himself sent off in the second half.
The 1-1 draw means Milan have just six matches to make up a four point gap on second placed Napoli if they are to achieve automatic UEFA Champions League qualification for next season.
AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri still believes his side can make it into second place. "With four points and six rounds to play there are still many chances for us to catch Napoli," he said.
"Napoli are a side capable of defending their lead, but this is an important point for us, because we have maintained a certain distance from Fiorentina. Football is unpredictable, so we have to be wary. In any case, third place is a great achievement considering how we started the season."
Meanwhile, Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri feels his side should have taken all three points from the clash. "I am not remotely satisfied with the result, as we pegged Milan back in their own half and I really wanted to win this game," he claimed.
"Looking at the incidents, we deserved a victory. Towards the end, when Milan went a man down, I really saw us coming away with all three points, but we weren't clinical enough. We always allow our opponents more chances than we should."