Milan sixth; Napoli and Roma held
Giampaolo Pazzini picked up where he left off against Bologna to fire AC Milan into sixth place in the Serie A table with a well-taken brace in a 2-1 win.
The Italy international orchestrated the Rossoneri's first win of the season with a hat-trick at the Renato Dall'Ara back in September, but he had laughed off suggestions he could repeat the trick at the San Siro. There was a touch of fortune about his opener deep into the second half, but his second goal was borne of fantastic individual skill and a predatory instinct in front of goal.
Philippe Mexes gave the hosts cause for concern with a careless own goal in the final stages but a rejuvenated Milan side found themselves back in the race for Europe.
Roma's bid to claim sixth plac back from AC Milan failed as the Giallorossi were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Inter Milan at the Stadio Olimpico.
Francesco Totti's penalty put Roma in front in the 22nd minute before Rodrigo Palacio equalised in first-half stoppage time. Roma had the better chances to win it but both sides appeared to tire quickly as the game soon fizzled out in the second half.
Napoli failed to make up ground on Serie A leaders Juventus as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Fiorentina at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
Facundo Roncaglia's spectacular, if unintentional goal from within his own half gave the home side the lead in the 33rd minute, but Edinson Cavani replied within ten minutes to join an exclusive club of players with 100 Serie A goals. Both sides had chances to win the game in the second half, but a draw was a fair result for two sides who remain in the hunt for a place in the Champions League next season.
Catania's bid to take European football to the Stadio Angelo Massimino next season continued apace thanks to a 2-0 victory at relegation-threatened Genoa.
Chievo restricted Parma to a frustrating 1-1 draw at the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi that did nothing to boost either side's ambitions for the season.
The Flying Donkeys were eager to seal a first win over Parma since May 2007 but Roberto Donadoni's men took the lead against the run of play, Ishak Belfodil scoring from Parma's first attack immediately before the break.
Alberto Paloschi ensured the points were shared with a headed goal shortly before the hour mark but - with other results going against them - both clubs slipped one place down the league table, to ninth and 12th respectively.
The Sicilian club closed to within two points of a Europa League berth as Genoa failed to respond to goals in either half from Gonzalo Bergessio and Pablo Barrientos.
Cagliari were unable to capitalise on a farcical own goal and Luigi Giorgi's late dismissal as Atalanta ground out a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia.
The Rossoblu arrested a six-game losing run with victory over Genoa last time out and Michele Canini's hapless own goal looked to be sending them on their way to three more points in Bergamo. But Guglielmo Stendardo led from the back to book Atalanta a share of the points with his second-half header, with Daniele Conti missing a dramatic chance to win it for Cagliari after Giorgi saw red late on.
Serie A bottom club Siena recorded a first league win in seven games when they beat Sampdoria 1-0 at Stadio Artemio Franchi. The Bianconeri - deducted six points for match fixing offences prior to the commencement of the season - picked up a much-needed victory through a second-half goal from Gianluca Pegolo.
Pescara remain firmly ensconced in a Serie A relegation battle after losing 2-0 at home to Torino.
The visitors took the lead after just four minutes through Mario Santana and doubled their advantage shortly before the interval when Alessio Cerci punished some slack home marking.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report