Internazionale continued their relentless march to the Serie A title, whilst city rivals Milan moved to within three points of a UEFA Champions League place.
Roberto Mancini's Nerazzurri secured a 2-1 win at Ascoli - their 24th from 28 games - and opened up an 18-point lead as Roma were held to a 0-0 draw with ten-man Fiorentina who had Dario Dainelli dismissed after 33 minutes.
Inter's hero was Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the Swedish striker claimed a brace (66, 74), but Ascoli managed to grab a consolation when Massimo Bonanni scored from the penalty spot in injury time.
Milan moved into fifth place courtesy of a 1-0 win over Atalanta, as nearest challengers Empoli were soundly beaten at Lazio.
Midfielder Massimo Ambrosini was the matchwinner for Carlo Ancelotti's men as he scored after 40 minutes at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.
Lazio cruised into a three goal lead against Empoli, as Goran Pandev, Tommaso Rocchi and Christian Manfredini all netted, rendering Sergio Almiron's stoppage time effort mere consolation.
The only other change in the top half of the table saw Udinese move up to ninth position after an emphatic 4-0 win at home to Livorno.
Antonio Di Natale (34, 69), Asamoah Gyan (37) and Paulo Barreto (83 pen) secured the victory for Udinese.
At the bottom of the table, both Parma and Reggina boosted their chances of survival with victories.
Claudio Ranieri's Parma triumphed 1-0 over Siena following Andrea Gasbarroni's goal after 18 minutes, and Siena's hopes of a comeback were dented when Paul Codrea saw red in the second half.
Reggina climbed out of the bottom three with an impressive 4-1 win against Catania.
Nicola Amoruso (56), Pasquale Foggia (60), Rolando Bianchi (84, pen) and Ricardo Esteves did the damage for Reggina, before Fausto Rossini's late consolation.
Messina replaced them in the relegation zone after goals from Roberto Muzzi (25), Alessandro Rosina (76, pen) and Roberto Stellone (85) saw them capitulate to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Torino.
Chievo also edged away from trouble with a 2-0 win at Cagliari, Matteo Brighi (50) and Erjon Bogdani (54) with the goals.
Click below for match summaries:
Ascoli 1-2 Internazionale
Cagliari 0-2 Chievo
Catania 1-4 Reggina
Fiorentina 0-0 Roma
Lazio 3-1 Empoli
Messina 0-3 Torino
Milan 1-0 Atalanta
Parma 1-0 Siena
Udinese 4-0 Livorno