Clarence Seedorf's stoppage-time goal gave AC Milan a 1-0 win over Chievo on Sunday which cut the gap on Inter Milan to just a point, but the win was overshadowed by a serious injury suffered by David Beckham.
Milan, who were eliminated from the Champions League by Manchester United in midweek and had seen experienced defender Alessandro Nesta ruled out for the season with a torn knee tendon, had been frustrated by a Chievo side.
But with time ticking down, Seedorf, who had replaced Andrea Pirlo in the 79th minute, unleashed a long-distance drive to secure the crucial win which cut the deficit on Inter who had slumped to a shock 3-1 defeat at Catania on Friday.
Milan's joy was tempered, however, when England midfielder Beckham limped off with three minutes left at the San Siro. Sky Sports Italy reported that Beckham had suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon injury which, if confirmed, would rule him out of the World Cup.
A pair of high-scoring draws
Juventus squandered a great opportunity to move into the Serie A top four when they were held 3-3 at Siena having roared into a 3-0 lead after just 10 minutes.
Juve stay in fifth place but were left to rue surrendering their early advantage after Alessandro Del Piero (2, 7min) and Antonio Candreva (10) had stunned Siena. Massimo Maccarone pulled one back after 16 minutes before Abdel Kader Ghezzal cut the deficit just after the break and then levelled from the penalty spot in the 76th minute to guarantee a share of the points. "I have never seen a game like it," admitted Juventus coach Alberto Zaccheroni.
Roma also failed to fully capitalise on Inter Milan's shock 3-1 defeat to Catania when they were held to a 3-3 draw at relegation-haunted Livorno. They stay in third place, six points behind Inter and two back from AC Milan, who can cut the gap on their city rivals to just a point later Sunday when they welcome Chievo to the San Siro.
Palermo and Sampdoria, who made up the top six at the start of the weekend, also failed to register a win. Palermo lost 3-2 at Udinese while Sampdoria conceded a stoppage time equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Bologna. Roma shared six goals with Livorno for whom Cristiano Lucarelli scored a hat-trick while Simone Perrotta, Luca Toni and David Pizarro all scored first-half goals for the capital city side.
Fiorentina came back from a goal down to defeat Napoli 3-1 on Saturday, bouncing back in style from their shattering midweek Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich. Ezequiel Lavezzi gave Napoli the lead early in the second half, but Alberto Gilardino levelled on the hour mark. Gilardino added a second three minutes from time before Stevan Jovetic scored Fiorentina's third in stoppage time.
It was Fiorentina's first win in Naples in 15 years and adding to their delight was the performance of 16-year-old Kouma Babacar, who had a hand in both goals.
Defending champions Inter Milan suffered just their third loss of the season as they fell 3-1 at Catania on Friday. The Sicilians claimed their first win in 44 years over their Serie A rivals - who were reduced to ten men - thanks to second half goals from Maxi Lopez, a Giuseppe Mascara penalty, and a last-gasp Jorge Martinez winner.
Argentine striker Diego Milito had looked as if he had put Inter on their way to victory when he scored the opening goal after 54 minutes under the driving rain in the Stadio Angelo Massimino. Maxi Lopez got the equaliser for Catania with a close range shot after 73.
And they moved ahead with a penalty after Ghana midfielder Sulley Muntari got his second yellow card nine minutes from time for a blatant handball less than two minutes after coming on in place of Esteban Cambiasso. The stadium erupted in joy as Martinez picked up a high clearance to put the result beyond any doubt.
The game at Catania was brought forward to Friday to allow Jose Mourinho's Inter side to prepare for their Champions League trip to Chelsea on Tuesday where they are defending a 2-1 lead.