Javier Zanetti's late goal earned ten-man Internazionale a crucial 1-1 draw with Roma in their top of the table clash at the San Siro.
Roma looked to be heading for a vital three points courtesy of Francesco Totti's 38th minute opener, but they suffered a blow when Philippe Mexes was sent off six minutes from time for a second bookable offence.
Inter made their numerical advantage count with captain Javier Zanetti finding the net two minutes from the end to keep them nine points clear in the title race and maintain their unbeaten record in Serie A.
Fiorentina moved up to fourth spot with a 1-0 win over Livorno.
Ndiaye Papa Waigo scored the only goal of the game on 58 minutes to give the Viola the spoils.
Milan dropped down to fifth after they were held to a 1-1 draw at struggling Catania.
Brazilian ace Alexandre Pato fired Milan in front on 56 minutes, but Gionatha Spinesi earned Catania a point with a 63rd minute leveller.
Parma climbed out of the bottom three with an impressive 2-0 win over Udinese.
Cristiano Lucarelli broke the deadlock on 77 minutes and Luca Cigarini's penalty four minutes from time put the game beyond Udinese.
Siena piled the misery on basement boys Cagliari with a late 1-0 victory.
Former Middlesbrough striker Massimo Maccarone was the hero for Siena with the winner two minutes from time.
Genoa boosted their European hopes with a 2-0 victory at home to Napoli.
Giuseppe Sculli set Genoa on their way with the opener four minutes before the break.
Things got worse for Napoli when Maurizio Domizzi was sent off for giving away a penalty and Marco Borriello scored from the spot to secure the win.
Lazio climbed further clear of trouble at the wrong end of the table with a 1-0 success over Reggina.
Manchester City loanee Rolando Bianchi scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot right on the stroke of half-time to give Lazio the points.
Atalanta came from behind to beat Sampdoria 4-1 in Bergamo.
Sergio Volpi gave Sampdoria the dream start with the opener after just three minutes, but Cristiano Doni (13, 31) turned the game on its head with a brace.
Sergio Floccari added a third on 36 minutes and Daniele Capelli made it 4-1 eight minutes after the break.
Palermo proved too strong for Empoli at La Favorita running out 2-0 winners.
First half goals from Henrique Fabio Simplicio (14) and Leandro Rinaudo (38) proved to be enough for the home side.