Inter Milan suffered a shock defeat at home by Serie A's bottom club Novara as Catania enjoyed a thumping home win over Genoa.
Claudio Ranieri's tumultuous time in charge of Inter suffered a fresh setback following a surprise 1-0 loss at the hands of Novara at the San Siro.
Experienced striker Andrea Caracciolo scored the game's only goal on 56 minutes to move Novara level on points with second bottom Cesena.
Pablo Barrientos scored a second-half brace as Catania enjoyed an emphatic a 4-0 success at home to Genoa.
Francesco Lodi gave Catania a seventh minute lead from the penalty spot before Barrientos doubled the lead four minutes into the second half.
Barrientos scored his second of the game three minutes later and Gonzalo Bergessio rounded off the scoring with Catania's fourth just past the hour mark.
Lecce picked up a point in their battle to avoid the drop following a 0-0 draw at Atalanta, who hit the post midway through the first half through Federico Peluso.
Juventus were denied the chance to reclaim top spot after their game at Bologna was postponed, while Parma's match at home to Fiorentina was also called off.