Inter Milan could not take full advantage of Fiorentina’s slip-up at Napoli as the Nerazzurri were held to a goalless draw at home to reigning Serie A champions Juventus.
In a hard-fought encounter at the Giuseppe Meazza stadium, Inter almost broke the deadlock in the 27th minute but Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon tipped Marcelo Brozovic’s curled effort onto the crossbar.
Juve also were denied by the woodwork in the 69th minute when Sami Khedira’s right-footed shot beat Inter Milan goalkeeper Samir Handanovic but rattled the left post.
The outcome in Milan has left Inter in third place, level on 17 points with second-place Roma.
Fiorentina, therefore, remain top of the pile, despite a five-match winning streak in all competitions ending with a 2-1 defeat at Napoli.
Gonzalo Higuain scored the winner with a quarter of an hour remaining, only a couple of minutes after Nikola Kalinic had cancelled out Lorenzo Insigne’s goal at the beginning of the second half.
The Partenopei’s third successive win lifted them to fourth, with Sassuolo a place below them on goal difference only after beating sixth-spotted Lazio 2-1.
Domenico Berardi ‘s seventh-minute penalty and Simone Missiroli’s strike on the hour proved enough to down the Roma club, who pulled one back through Felipe Anderson but then had Danilo Cataldi sent off in injury time.
Palermo ended a four-game losing run by edging to a 1-0 victory at rock-bottom Bologna, who slumped to their seventh defeat in eight games.
Franco Vazquez scored the only goal of the game in the 23rd minute to leave the hosts rooted to the foot of the standings with just three points to their name.
Carpi remain just two points better off after they succumbed to a 3-0 defeat at Atalanta.
Mauricio Pinilla’s seventh-minute goal put Atalanta on their way before Alejandro Gomez’s powerful drive and Luca Cigarini’s penalty either side of the interval wrapped up victory.
Panagiotis Tachtsidis’ last-gasp winner rescued a dramatic 3-2 victory for 10-man Genoa over Chievo, who took the lead in the first minute through Alberto Paloschi.
Goals from Leonardo Pavoletti and Serge Gakpe put Genoa ahead but the game looked to have turned in Chievo’s favour when Blerim Dzemaili was dismissed and Sergio Pellisier levelled, only for Tachtsidis to win it for the hosts.
Luca Paganini’s header and Federico Dionisi’s strike from just outside the area gave Frosinone a 2-0 victory over Sampdoria, while Cyril Thereau’s goal six minutes from time nullified Giampaolo Pazzini’s first-half penalty as Udinese claimed a 1-1 draw at Verona.
Roma had climbed to second place in the Serie A table by beating Empoli 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico to register a third straight victory.
After probing the Tuscans’ weak spots for the best part of an hour, Miralem Pjanic rattled in a free-kick to kick off a 13-minute goal rush.
Daniele De Rossi and Mohamed Salah followed the Bosnian’s lead with efforts of their own and, with the outcome and destination of all three points confirmed, Liechtenstein international Marcel Buchel opened his account for Empoli to give the travelling fans something to cheer about.
The Giallorossi are now one point behind leaders Fiorentina, who visit Napoli on Sunday, while Empoli remain precariously perched above the relegation zone after losing for the third time in four outings.
AC Milan’s troubles continued as they struggled to draw 1-1 at Torino.
So far has the Milan star fallen that the mission was to avoid a third straight league defeat and Carlos Bacca’s second-half goal ensured they would do so, but Daniele Baselli went on to deny them a first win since September.