League leaders Roma beat Udinese 1-0 away on Sunday to set a new all-time record of nine consecutive wins at the start of a Serie A season to restore their five-point cushion.
Roma, who have conceded just one goal in their nine wins under French coach Rudi Garcia, were reduced to ten men in the second half after Brazilian Maicon saw red for a second bookable offence.
However the setback failed to shake the leaders, who virtually sealed the points when American Michael Bradley scored with a precise first-time shot in the 82nd minute.
Udinese were unlucky to see one goalbound shot cleared off the line in the first half and coach Francesco Guidolin said: "Roma are a great side, they showed that when they were reduced to ten men, but in the first half they rode their luck a little."
Garcia said if there was good fortune, Roma had created it themselves.
"You make your own luck," Garcia told Sky Sport Italia. "Especially when you give everything, week in week out."
Title challengers Napoli had heaped the pressure on Garcia's side before what was always going to be a tough away trip to Udinese by dominating Torino 2-0 at the San Paolo to reduce their arrears to two points.
And for much of what was a balanced encounter, Roma finally looked as if they would fail to take all three points for the first time in the league this season.
Both sides saw several chances go amiss but Udinese were denied a near certain opener on 38 minutes when Leandro Castan peformed heroics, his overhead kick on the goalline keeping out Gabriel Silva's goalbound effort.
Eight minutes after the restart Maicon's drive from 15 metres sailed just over the Udinese crossbar, but 13 minutes later he marched off after an unnecessary foul on Emmanuel Badu in midfield.
Roma, to their credit, kept their calm and Dutch midfielder Kevin Strootman held up play at the edge of the area before squaring for Bradley to beat Kevala with a coolly-taken first-timer.
Roma now lead Napoli by five points with Juventus remaining in third, also five points adrift, after a 2-0 home win over Genoa.
Arturo Vidal, who had hit the crossbar with an angled drive early in the first half, opened the scoring with a 23rd minute penalty, although Juve midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah appeared to have been fouled outside the box.
Asamoah was pivotal in Juve's second, his dribbling on the left mesmerising the Genoa defence before Tevez collected his pass, feinted past one defender and beat Mattia Perrin in the visitors' net.
Juve coach Antonio Conte was pleased with his side's performance, especially the emerging pairing of Tevez and Spanish international Fernando Llorente: "I liked what I saw from Tevez and Llorente, they are beginning to play well together."
Days after an impressive performance which earned a 1-1 draw at home to UEFA Champions League group opponents Barcelona, AC Milan dropped precious points in a 3-2 defeat at Parma.
Parma held a 2-0 lead at half-time thanks to goals from Marco Parolo and former Rossoneri and Inter striker Antonio Cassano.
Mario Balotelli returned from a ban and recent injury but was replaced early in the second half.
Milan battled back into contention in two second-half minutes when Alessandro Matri scored his maiden league goal for the visitors, with Matias Silvestre bundling the ball home two minutes later.
Parma, however, stunned Massimiliano Allegri's side when Parolo grabbed his second in the fourth minute of injury time to send his side up to seventh in the table.
Klose inspires Lazio win
Super-sub Miroslav Klose inspired Lazio to a 2-0 victory over Cagliari that eased the growing pressure on coach Vladimir Petkovic.
The capital club approached Sunday night's match searching for their first win in six games in all competitions, at the end of a week which saw president Claudio Lotito turn up to training unexpectedly to deliver a motivational speech.
Petkovic knew his boss would not visit him again without bringing worse tidings so, after watching Cagliari dominate the first half without scoring, he threw Klose into the fray to spark a revival.
The former Bayern Munich star did not disappoint, heading home the pressure-relieving opener on 52 minutes before Antonio Candreva's penalty gave Lazio a comfortable cushion heading into the last half hour.
The win boosted the Romans into seventh place while a third away defeat of the season left Cagliari in 13th.