Udinese returned to the top of the table with a 2-2 draw at home to Genoa on Sunday. Only 24 hours after losing the lead to champions Inter Milan, Pasquale Marino's team regained the Serie A leadership despite dropping two home points.
Marino didn't want to discuss first place, preferring to concentrate on his side's inability to hold onto a 1-0 lead. "I was enjoying myself whilst it was 1-0 but then once we were behind it's normal that things were more difficult for us," he said. "We're not thinking about being top because we know that it's impossible for us to win the championship. We always try to win games but we're coming up against opponents, like Genoa, who play well and look to make life difficult for us. We made quite a few mistakes but that's due to the fact we're playing a lot. I'm happy with the way we reacted to falling behind."
It could have been a different story but for the excellent goalkeeping of Slovenian stopper Samir Handanovic. Udinese got off to a great start after four minutes as Gaetano D'Agostino scored from the spot following a foul by Domencio Criscito on Antonio Floro Flores. But Genoa began to dominate and Handanvoic had to race from his line to smother an effort from seven yards by Argentine forward Diego Milito. He then dived full length to his left to tip away a header from Thiago Motta as Genoa continued to threaten an equaliser.
Udinese's resistence finally crumbled on 64 minutes as Milito equalised from the spot after a soft penalty given against Aleksander Lukovic when he tangled with Anthony Vanden Borre. Just three minutes later Genoa went in front through a classy finish by substitute Giuseppe Sculli. Marino responded to the goals by throwing on Italy pair Antonio Di Natale and Fabio Quagliarella and the restored parity by flicking home a cross from another international team-mate, Simone Pepe.
In other games Fiorentina failed to move into the top three as they lost 1-0 at Siena. Siena's Liechtenstein forward Mario Frick had already hit the post with the goal open before Moroccan Houssine Kharja sealed the three points 14 minutes from time. Lazio are only two points off top in fourth after they beat Catania, 1-0, at home courtesy of a Pasquale Foggia strike five minutes from time.
Cagliari continued their resurgence as they came back from a goal down to beat Bologna, 5-1, at home. Marco Di Vaio opened the scoring for the visitors but two goals each from Robert Acquafresca and Brazilian Jeda as well as one from Daniele Conti gave the Sardinians their third win in four matches. Since losing their first five games of the season, Cagliari have 10 points from their last five matches and no longer look like relegation certainties. The five goals were also as many as they had scored in their previous nine games put together.
AC Milan host Napoli in Sunday's evening match with both sides able to go top if they win.