Clarence Seedorf made a winning start to life as AC Milan coach, although he had to wait for Mario Balotelli to score an 82nd-minute penalty before finally breaking Hellas Verona's resistance and earning a 1-0 victory.
Fielding a bold attacking side in the first game of his coaching career, Seedorf saw exactly why the Rossoneri were in the wrong half of the table coming into this game. They struggled to find a way through against a disciplined Verona side who would have been good value for a point.
However, a late penalty provided Milan with a lifeline and Balotelli took it to lift Seedorf's men up to 11th place, seven points behind the top five.
Luca Antonelli's late winner earned Genoa a 1-0 victory and inflicted a third defeat in four games on Inter Milan.
Antonelli headed home in the 83rd minute to drop Inter further off the pace in the hunt for Champions League qualification. They have still not won since before Christmas and have scored only one goal in their four games this year.
A late Rolando Bianchi goal denied Napoli victory at the Stadio Dall'Ara as 10-man Bologna grabbed a 2-2 draw.
Bianchi gave a bright Bologna side the lead just before half-time, but it was a different story in the second 45 minutes.
Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Callejon turned the match around, but it was Bianchi who was to have the final say shortly after Panagiotis Kone saw red, grabbing a last-gasp equaliser.
Alessandro Matri made a dream Fiorentina debut and Catania coach Rolando Maran a dismal return as the Viola thrashed the Sicilians 3-0 to reduce the arrears on third-placed Napoli to three points.
Matri, who joined from AC Milan in midweek, scored twice in the first half after an opening goal from Matias Fernandez put Vincenzo Montella's men on their way to victory.
The on-loan Milan striker left the action early in the second half having done enough to earn Fiorentina a win which leaves Catania rooted to the foot of the table.
Two fighting comebacks from 10-man Lazio saw the Biancoceleste edge closer to the top five and extend their unbeaten record under coach Edoardo Reja with a 3-2 win at struggling Udinese.
Antonio Di Natale broke his almost three-month scoring drought to put the Zebrette ahead with an early penalty, but Antonio Candreva levelled with a spot-kick of his own just after the hour-mark.
Lazio, who had been reduced to 10 men before that equaliser when Ogenyi Onazi picked up two quick yellow cards, then fell behind again when Emmanuel Badu scored midway through the second half. However, an own goal from Andrea Lazzari and a last-gasp Hernanes effort made it seven points from three games for Reja.
Antonio Cassano inspired Parma to an injury-time victory as they came from behind to make it three straight Serie A wins with a 2-1 success at Chievo.
The visitors trailed to Alberto Paloschi's 15th-minute goal, but would have levelled 10 minutes later had Amauri not seen his penalty saved by Christian Puggioni.
They had to wait just three more minutes for the equaliser, though, as Cassano finished with aplomb, and the Italy striker turned creator to set up a 93rd-minute winner for Alessandro Lucarelli, which left Chievo in trouble towards the bottom of the table.
Ciro Immobile and Matteo Brighi were on the mark as Torino inflicted a 2-0 defeat on relegation-threatened Sassuolo, who were unable to build on their shock victory over AC Milan.
Sassuolo's 4-3 triumph over the seven-time European champions last Sunday ended a run of five successive defeats in league and cup but, rather than heralding a revival, it proved a false dawn as they slumped to another loss on Sunday.
Immobile opened the scoring in the 25th minute and Brighi added a second just after the break as Torino remained in seventh place in the standings while leaving Sassuolo stuck in the bottom three.
Giacomo Bonaventura's strike midway through the second half was enough to earn Atalanta a 1-0 win over Cagliari and take them into mid-table.
The 24-year-old earned Stefano Colantuono's men all three points after they survived a first-half storm which saw Cagliari hit the woodwork twice.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report