Wins for Juve, Napoli and Inter
A review of the weekend's action in the Italian Serie A, including victories for Juventus, Napoli and Inter Milan.
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Serie A leaders Juventus had Arturo Vidal and some controversial refereeing decisions to thank as they beat Catania 1-0.
After the hosts had a goal disallowed in the 25th minute, and the Sicilians' owner and president Antonio Pulvirenti was sent away from the bench, the home side struggled to maintain a level head and Juve took advantage.
Vidal scored the only goal of the game 12 minutes after the interval, which, unlike Catania's effort, should have been disallowed and it was enough to earn the Bianconeri all three points.
Catania's afternoon was then compounded as they ended the game with 10 men after Giuseppe Marchese was sent off.
A solitary strike from Marek Hamsik returned Napoli to second spot but the Partenopei made hard work of beating 10-man Chievo 1-0.
Napoli were without injured star striker Edinson Cavani and the alternative strike duo of Lorenzo Insigne and Goran Pandev struggled to take up the Uruguayan's mantle.
Slovakian playmaker Hamsik took matters into his own hands and fired the only goal of the game to keep the Campanians within three points of Juve, before Chievo's Kamil Vacek saw red late on.
Inter Milan had temporarily moved second on Sunday afternoon thanks to a 3-1 victory at Bologna.
Andrea Ranocchia gave the visitors the lead in the 27th minute before Diego Milito added a second just after the half-time break.
Nicolo Cherubin replied immediately, but Esteban Cambiasso scored his first goal of the season minutes later to seal Inter's fifth consecutive win and keep them four points shy of Juve at the top of the table.
Fiorentina needed two wonder goals to beat nine-man Lazio 2-0 in a game riddled with controversial refereeing decisions.
Adem Ljajic drove a rocket into Albano Bizzarri's net after referee Mauro Bergonzi had bizarrely ruled out his tap-in following Mati Fernandez's saved penalty.
Lazio rallied after the interval, but grew frustrated when Stefano Mauri's goal was ruled out for a contentious offside, with both Cristian Ledesma and Hernanes sent to the changing rooms as tempers began to fray.
Vincenzo Montella's men had kept their cool, though, and veteran striker Luca Toni rubber-stamped all three points with a ferocious late strike.
Fiorentina's victory sees them climb into fifth place in the league table, halving the six-point advantage of the capital club, who slip to fourth.
Parma rewarded boss Roberto Donadoni's decision to commit his future to the club as three second-half goals saw them to a 3-1 victory at 10-man Torino.
Donadoni committed to two more years of service with the Ducali club earlier this week, but it was only after Gianluca Sansone was dismissed for the hosts that Parma came alive.
Nicola Sansone broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute, before teeing up Amauri almost straight away, and the visitors sealed all three points in the final minute through Aleandro Rosi before Migjen Basha grabbed a consolation in injury-time.
Daniele Dessena scored the only goal of the game as Cagliari claimed their third successive 1-0 win away to Sampdoria.
After the hosts had dominated the opening half, Dessena grabbed the match-winner shortly after half-time when he dived to head in a floated cross from Thiago Ribeiro.
Sampdoria had a Gianni Munari effort ruled out for offside but their poor run continued - they have now lost four on the spin - to fall out of the top half of the table.
Atalanta overcame the dismissal of Federico Peluso to draw 0-0 with Pescara at the Stadio Adriatico.
In fact it was the visitors who came closest to scoring in a lively match when Davide Brivio struck the post midway through the second half.
The result leaves Serie A newcomers Pescara a point behind their opponents in the standings, although they did manage to halt a run of back-to-back defeats.
On Saturday, Stephan El Shaarawy's goal against his former club was enough to earn AC Milan a 1-0 victory against Genoa at a semi-deserted San Siro.
The Italy international decided a tense encounter in the 77th minute, resolving Milan's immediate problems in Serie A, but leaving them still with plenty of margin for improvement.
Genoa lost their second game in a row to fall behind Milan in the table with the managerial switch from Luigi De Canio to Luigi Del Neri having no immediate impact.
Strugglers Siena and Palermo played out a goalless draw at the Stadio Artemio Franchi with the result not helping either side out a great deal.
Palermo had the better chances, but were unable to beat a Siena side who, without a six-point penalty, would be ahead of the Rosaneri in the table.
As it is, though, Serse Cosmi's side are still four points adrift of the Sicilians, who also remain in the bottom three.