AC Milan and Juventus remain locked at the top of Serie A after wins over Atalanta and Lecce respectively.
Goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic (penalty) and Kevin-Prince Boateng were enough to give AC Milan a 2-0 win at Atalanta.
Juventus are in second spot on goal difference after a narrow 1-0 win at basement boys Lecce with Alessandro Matri scoring the only goal of the game after 27 minutes.
Udinese kept up the pressure on the top two with a convincing 4-1 win at home to ten-man Cesena.
Captain Antonio Di Natale got Udinese off to a flying start when he scored in the very first minute, but Eder drew Cesena level five minutes before the break.
Kwadwo Asamoah restored Udinese's lead on 54 minutes before Cesena were reduced to ten men on 62 minutes when Maurizio Lauro was red carded.
Udinese made their numerical advantage count through Dusan Basta (75) and Di Natale (82).
Francesco Totti scored his first two goals of the season with two penalties in Roma's 2-0 victory over Chievo at Stadio Olimpico.
Stevan Jovetic bagged a brace as Fiorentina cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory at Novara.
Ricardo Montolivo grabbed the other goal as Fiorentina started 2012 in style to move them clear of trouble at the wrong end of the table.
Pasquale Marino got off to a losing start as Genoa's new coach after seeing his side go down 3-0 to Cagliari.
Joaquin Larrivey put Cagliari ahead from the penalty spot in the 12th minute and Victor Ibarbo doubled their lead early in the second half.
Genoa's misery was compounded when Andreas Granqvist put through his own net 18 minutes from time.
Bologna boosted their survival hopes with a 2-0 win over ten-man Catania.
Substitute Nicolo Cherubin put the hosts ahead early in the second half before Catania lost Marco Biagianti to a red card 12 minutes from time and Marco Di Vaio sealed victory with a second for the home side in the closing stages.
Sixth-placed Napoli claimed an impressive 3-1 victory over Palermo in the day's late game to improve their chances of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League.
Goran Pandev broke the deadlock in the 35th minute before Edinson Cavani doubled their lead early in the second half and Marek Hamsik made the points safe.
Fabrizio Miccoli pulled a goal back for Palermo in the 89th minute but it came too late to cause any panic within the Napoli ranks.