Napoli keep pace with Juve, Inter go third
Napoli kept up their pursuit of Juventus at the top of Serie A and sent out a message to their title rivals with a comprehensive 5-1 win over Pescara at the Stadio San Paolo.
Gokhan Inler and Edinson Cavani both grabbed a brace each with Marek Hamsik also on target as Walter Mazzarri's side tore Pescara to shreds.
Birkir Bjarnason had given the visitors hope when he reduced the arrears in the first half, but a red card to Antonio Bocchetti capped a day to forget for Cristiano Bergodi's men in Naples.
Gian Piero Gasperini was denied any joy on his return to Inter Milan as Santiago Garcia's own goal gifted the Nerazzurri an undeserved 1-0 victory over Palermo.
Gasperini was unceremoniously sacked as Inter boss having overseen just five games last season, but his revenge mission came undone when Rosanero full-back Garcia contrived to put through his own net in the 74th minute.
Inter appeared lost without suspended striker Antonio Cassano and influential midfielder Wesley Sneijder, currently a peripheral figure at the San Siro due to a contract dispute.
Whether unmerited or not, a first win in four outings boosts the Nerazzurri back into third place, while Palermo slip back into 17th and within two points of the relegation places.
Mattia Destro bagged a brace on his return to Stadio Artemio Franchi as Roma rallied from a goal down to defeat Siena 3-1.
Destro's 12 goals were crucial as Siena avoided relegation last season but the Tuscan outfit were unable to hold onto his services in the close season as Roma landed their man following protracted negotiations.
Siena looked poised for a measure of revenge against the capital club when Neto headed them in front today, but Destro struck either side of a Simone Perrotta goal as Roma hit back for all the points after the break.
Miroslav Klose's 10th goal of the Serie A season lifted Lazio into fourth place at the expense of Parma with a 2-1 victory.
Both sides went into the game chasing qualification for European competition and Giuseppe Biava's early goal put the Biancocelesti on the path to a Champions League place.
Klose doubled the hosts' advantage just before the break and Parma would end the day six points shy of contention for the Europa League, despite Ishak Belfodil halving the deficit by following up his own saved penalty.
Two goals from Stevan Savic were not enough to earn Fiorentina all three points as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Sampdoria.
Savic put Fiorentina ahead in a one-sided first half, but Nenad Krsticic levelled shortly after the break before a Gonzalo Rodriguez own-goal gave the visitors a surprise lead. Savic equalised in the 75th minute but Vincenzo Montella's side were unable to find a winner, even if Samp did end the game with 10 men thanks to Shkodran Mustafi's late dismissal.
Udinese restored a little pride to their stuttering season with an impressive 4-1 win over Cagliari.
Alberto Paloschi heaped the pressure on Genoa coach Luigi Delneri with his first ever Serie A hat-trick earning Chievo a 4-2 triumph in Liguria.
All three of Paloschi's goals came in the first half with Ahmed Said's reply not saving the Rossoblu from a drone of whistles at the interval.
Bosko Jankovic pulled a goal back in the 56th minute but, after being reduced to 10 men following the showing of a red card to Marco Andreolli, Adrian Stoian scored a fourth to keep the Flying Donkeys soaring and leave Genoa in the thick of the danger at the foot of Serie A.
Alessandro Diamanti and Manolo Gabbiadini earned Bologna all three points with a 2-1 win over Atalanta at the Stadio Dall'Ara, but the home side were made to work hard for victory.
Diamanti's deflected free-kick put Bologna in front, but they wasted a hatful of chances to make it two and were punished early in the second half when German Denis brought the Bergamese side level.
But Manolo Gabbiadini restored Bologna's advantage against the run of play and Stefano Pioli's men managed to defend the points in the face of an Atalanta onslaught. Already out of the Europa League and starting the weekend in the bottom half of the Serie A standings, there has been little to cheer for fans at the Stadio Friuli of late, but they lifted the mood at the expense of a Cagliari side who crumbled all too easily.
It took until the 33rd minute for Roberto Pereyra to break the deadlock, but Gabriele Angella added a second six minutes later and, only three minutes into the second half, Danilo made it 3-0.
Giovanni Pasquale got the fourth just after the hour mark, rendering Daniele Dessena's 81st-minute header little more than a consolation.