Lazio cement top spot, Napoli go fifth
Ten-man Lazio extended their lead at the top of Serie A with a smash-and-grab 1-0 win over Palermo at the Stadio Renzo Barbera. Andre Dias scored with Lazio's first chance of the game and the Biancoceleste defended their slender lead against an insistent but unfortunate Palermo.
Giuseppe Biava was sent off in the 77th minute but, even with a one-man advantage, the Rosaneri were unable to find a way through as Lazio held on for a win which restored their four-point lead over Inter Milan at the top of Serie A.
Napoli moved up to fourth thanks to Ezequiel Lavezzi's late strike which earned a 1-0 victory at Brescia. Coach Walter Mazzarri rested several key players ahead of the trip to Liverpool in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday and Lavezzi's 77th-minute goal justified the decision.
Brescia struck the woodwork twice, but were unable to respond to Lavezzi's goal, and defeat left them just one point off the bottom of the table.
Sampdoria also left it late to grab a 1-0 victory over Cesena at the Stadio Dino Manuzzi to move onto the fringes of the top four. Giampaolo Pazzini's first goal in the league this season in the third minute of stoppage time earned the Blucerchiati three points after the home side had done most of the running. Cesena dropped into the bottom three as a result of the cruel, late defeat.
Cagliari struck twice in the second half to beat Bologna 2-0 and climb out of the relegation zone. Nene broke the deadlock in the 50th minute and Radja Nainggolan doubled his team's lead with 12 minutes remaining to lift the Sardinian outfit to 13th and leave Bologna second from bottom.
Parma also edged out of the drop zone with a goalless home draw against Chievo in a game which saw both sides reduced to ten men. Blerim Dzemaili was sent off five minutes into the second half for the hosts while the visitors lost Gelson Fernandes late in the contest. Parma, who have not won since 29 August, hit the woodwork in the second half but could not find the breakthrough and had to settle for a point.
Udinese continued their rise up the standings with a 2-0 triumph at a Bari side who are free-falling in the opposite direction. Alexis Sanchez scored one and set up the other for Mauricio Isla as the Friuli club moved to eighth. Paulo Barreto missed a penalty for Bari, who finished the weekend bottom of the pile after a fourth successive defeat.