An inspired substitution from coach Jose Mourinho allowed Inter Milan to stay top of the Serie A table with a 1-0 victory over Lecce at the San Siro on Wednesday.

The champions had dominated from start to finish but Lecce looked like they would frustrate them right to the end until substitute Julio Cruz fired home from just inside the area.

Sweden forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half with a thundering free-kick that crashed back off the bar with goalkeeper Francesco Benussi well beaten.

After the break Mourinho threw caution to the wind, bringing on Cruz as a third striker for left-back Cristian Chivu and the gamble paid off as the Argentine netted seven minutes after his introduction.

Lazio continued to be the surprise team of the season with a stunning 3-0 success over Fiorentina to take them up to second. The capital based club scored all three goals in a stunning eight-minute period at the beginning of the second period.

Stefano Mauri opened the scoring on 51 minutes with an overhead kick from two yards out after Argentine striker Mauro Zarate's header from Pasquale Foggia's deep left-wing cross came back off the bar.

Four minutes later Macedonia striker Goran Pandev pounced on a mistake in the La Viola backline to fire home the second with hisleft foot and four minutes after that Sebastiano Siviglia won a free header in the box to add the third.

Juventus dropped to third as they were held to a 1-1 home draw by Sicilians Catania.  Brazilian Amauri scored for the third league game in a row, heading home a pinpoint cross from talented young winger Sebastian Giovinco on 16 minutes.

The visitors remained competitive throughout, though and got a deserved equaliser midway through the second period when a deep cross from Giacomo Tedesco somehow reached the back post where Gianvito Plasmati had the simple tasking of heading home from close range.

Juve's response was immediate as Alessandro Del Piero and Amauri both shuddered the bar within seconds of each other but despite intense late pressure the Turin giants couldn't find a winner.

Milan track
In Reggina, AC Milan continued their recent improvement with their third win in a row, and second in the league, with a 2-1 success.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti started with both high profile summer signings Ronaldinho and Andrei Shevchenko on the bench and former Genoa forward Marco Borriello justified his inclusion from the start by heading home a Clarence Seedorf free-kick on 16 minutes.

Reggina were level on 59 minutes when former Manchester City striker Bernardo Corradi prodded home from inside the six yard box after Kakha Kaladze had failed to clear a free-kick from Santos.

But Milan were back in front 17 minutes from time with a goal made in Brazil as Pato converted Kaka's pass for his third goal in as many games.

AS Roma's difficult start to the season continued as they had a disaster at Genoa, going down 3-1 and having midfielder Daniele De Rossi sent off.

The hosts had the lead after just four minutes as Giuseppe Sculli caught former Liverpool full-back John Arne Riise napping at the back post to dink the ball over goalkeeper Doni from close in.

De Rossi hauled Roma level on 28 minutes at the second attempt heading home a parry from goalkeeper Rubinho after his first header from Cicinho's free-kick was beaten out.

But Genoa went back in front through Diego Milito, who looked suspiciously offside, and then De Rossi was shown a harsh straight red card for a foul.  And Milito rounded off the victory two minutes from time, converting Raffaele Paladino's cross at the back post as Roma pushed up searching for an equaliser.