Napoli and Inter on the up
A solitary strike from Marek Hamsik returned Napoli to second spot in Italy's Serie A, but the Southerners made hard work of beating ten-man Chievo 1-0.
Upwardly-mobile Inter Milan had edged into second spot earlier in the day, throwing down the gauntlet to Walter Mazzarri's Napoli, who were without injured star striker Edinson Cavani.
But the alternative strike duo of Lorenzo Insigne and Goran Pandev struggled to take up the Uruguayan's mantle, falling over each other to waste promising opportunities. Slovakian playmaker Hamsik took matters into his own hands and fired the only goal of the game to keep the Campanians within three points of Juventus, before Chievo's Kamil Vacek saw red late on.
The Nerazzurri had earlier leapfrogged Napoli and into second place thanks to a 3-1 victory at Bologna. Andrea Ranocchia gave the visitors the lead in the 27th minute before Diego Milito added a second just after the half-time break.
Nicolo Cherubin replied immediately, but Esteban Cambiasso scored his first goal of the season minutes later to seal Inter's fifth consecutive win, which keeps the Nerazzurri four points shy of the reigning champions.
Udinese turned the tables on Roma at the Stadio Olimpico, recovering from going two goals down by picking up a valuable three points with of a 3-2 victory. Two goals in two minutes from Erik Lamela appeared to have put the Giallorossi on the way to victory, but they suddenly stopped playing, allowing Udinese to hit back at them.
Maurizio Domizzi pulled a goal back before half-time and Antonio Di Natale brought them level early in the second half. Di Natale then scored the winner from the penalty spot and Panagiotis Tachtsidis completed Roma's self-destruction by earning a red card in stoppage time.
Juventus had Arturo Vidal to thanks as they edged out Catania 1-0, in today's early kick-off. After the hosts had a goal disallowed in the 25th minute, the home side struggled to maintain a level head and Juve took advantage.
Vidal scored the only goal of the game 12 minutes after the interval and it was enough to earn the Bianconeri all three points. Catania's misery was then compounded as they ended the game with ten men after Giuseppe Marchese was sent off.
Fiorentina needed two wonder goals to see off nine-man Lazio 2-0. Adem Ljajic drove a rocket into Albano Bizzarri's net after referee Mauro Bergonzi had ruled out his tap-in following Mati Fernandez's saved penalty.
Lazio rallied after the interval, but they grew frustrated when Stefano Mauri's goal was ruled out for a offside amid noisy appeals, with both Cristian Ledesma and Hernanes sent to the changing rooms as tempers began to fray.
Vincenzo Montella's men had kept their cool, though, and veteran striker Luca Toni rubber-stamped all three points with a ferocious strike at the death. Fiorentina's victory sees them climb into fifth place in the league table, halving the six-point advantage of the capital club, who slip to fourth.
Parma registered their first away victory of the season by means of a 3-1 triumph at 10-man Torino, while Daniele Dessena scored the only goal of the game as Cagliari claimed their third successive 1-0 win away to Sampdoria.
Elsewhere, Atalanta overcame the dismissal of Federico Peluso to hold off the challenge of Pescara in a goalless contest at the Stadio Adriatico.