It was a quieter affair in Italy this week, but it did not stop Palermo from claiming bragging rights in the Derby di Sicilia, Torino holding Fiorentina and Lazio thrashing Udinese
Marek Hamsik scored the only goal of the game as Napoli moved to within two points of leaders Juventus with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Cagliari at the Is Arena.
Shorn of the services of Edinson Cavani and Goran Pandev, the Partenopei were by no means at their best in Sardinia, but they still had the best chance of the first half as Lorenzo Insigne saw his terrific curling effort strike the inside of the post and then roll across the line.
However, it was Cagliari who were dominating both possession and territory and Ivo Pulga's men crashed the woodwork themselves in the second half when Paolo Cannavaro deflected Daniele Conti's cross against his own bar.
It was Napoli, though, who finally made the breakthrough. Slovakia international Hamsik finished calmly into the bottom right corner after the ball had fallen kindly for him inside the area.
Cagliari poured forward in the remaining 18 minutes but, despite their best efforts, were unable to prevent the visitors from recording a victory which sees them climb above Inter and Fiorentina into second in the standings.
PALERMO 3-1 CATANIA
Palermo bounced back from last week's horror show at Bologna in emphatic fashion, by defeating arch-rivals Catania 3-1 in Saturday's Derby di Sicilia.
Gian Piero Gasperini's side crashed to a three-goal reverse at the Dall'Ara in the previous round of fixtures, but Fabrizio Miccoli's shot from the edge of the box on 16 minutes set the tone early on.
The Rosanero then doubled their lead shortly after the interval via Josip Ilicic, who was teed up by Franco Brienza on the edge of the area and subsequently fired home the second goal of the evening.
Ilicic then grabbed his second and Palermo's third on the hour mark after capping off a quick-fire counter-attack, leaving Mariano Andujar to pick up the pieces for Catania.
There was still time for a late consolation from the Elefanti, however, as Francesco Lodi pulled one back for the visitors with 15 minutes left, but it was too little too late as Palermo climbed to 15th. Catania, meanwhile, stay seventh.
ATALANTA 0-1 GENOA
Genoa eased the pressure on under-fire coach Luigi Del Neri as they recorded a vital 1-0 victory at Atalanta to stop the rot.
The winning goal came on 39 minutes as Andrea Bertolacci collected the ball inside the penalty area and fired a powerful shot past Andrea Consigli. The result ended a run of nine matches without a win in Serie A and six defeats on the bounce.
Despite Emiliano Moretti's red card with stoppage time looming for a second bookable offence on Maxi Moralez, the Ligurians jump out of the relegation zone and into 16th place while the Orobici remain ninth.
CHIEVO 0-0 SIENA
A drab affair was witnessed at the Bentegodi as a profligate Chievo failed to make home advantage count against fellow strugglers Siena.
The Flying Donkeys have been susceptible defensively this season, with only two clean sheets to their name, but boss Eugenio Corini will have been pleased with his side's resilience.
Emanuele Calaio came closest to breaking the deadlock in the second-half but Stefano Sorrentino refused to be beaten between the posts, while Mamadou Samassa, on the pitch for half an hour, was sent off late on for the hosts.
Chievo climb out of the relegation places while Siena fall into 18th following Genoa's win.
PESCARA 0-1 ROMA
Zdenek Zeman made a winning return to his former stomping ground on Sunday as Roma ground out a 1-0 win away at Pescara.
Mattia Destro proved the difference between the two sides on five minutes, netting the rebound from Mattia Perin's attempt to parry away Francesco Totti's free kick.
The result means the Giallorossi have now registered clean sheets and victories in successive matches and consolidate fifth position in the table. Pescara, however, stay bottom, leaving new coach Cristiano Bergodi with plenty of work to do.
TORINO 2-2 FIORENTINA
Fiorentina had to rely on a last-gasp equaliser on Sunday to draw 2-2 with Torino and maintain their pursuit of a Champions League place.
The Granata took the lead with only five minutes of the first-half remaining as Alessio Cerci met Danilo D'Ambrosio's looping cross at the far post to beat Emiliano Viviano and net against his former club.
However, D'Ambrosio then turned from hero to villain midway through the second period as he tripped Juan Cuadrado in the box, allowing Gonzalo Rodriguez to step up and send Jean-Francois Gillet the wrong way.
Their comeback lasted barely two minutes, though, when Valter Birsa's cross evaded everyone in the area and crept past the Italy goalkeeper, but Mounir El Hamdaoui's powerful strike from Cuadrado's through ball was worthy of a point.
The Viola sit third in the table, while Torino sit in 14th spot.
SAMPDORIA 1-0 BOLOGNA
Sampdoria seem to have turned a corner after their narrow 1-0 success over Bologna made it two wins on the bounce for the Blucerchiati.
However, their cause was greatly helped by Archimede Morleo's red card on five minutes. The full-back was adjudged to have pulled back Mauro Icardi as the last man in a counter-attacking move.
Victory was secured after an hour as Andrea Poli played a one-two with Eder and coolly bent the finish home from close range.
The home side climb to 12th in the standings but Bologna fall into the bottom three.
LAZIO 3-0 UDINESE
Lazio consolidated fifth place in the Serie A table with a comfortable 3-0 triumph over an Udinese side who were no match for their Roman counterparts on Tuesday.
On 17 minutes, Alvaro Gonzalez got the ball rolling for the Biancocelesti, latching onto Stefano Mauri's through pass and firing the finish past Zeljko Brkic.
And on the half-hour mark, Miroslav Klose doubled Lazio's lead, taking advantage of another assist from the left-footed playmaker before catching out the Serbian goalkeeper.
If the points were not already in the bag, Hernanes then made sure with a wonderful strike with little over an hour of the match played.
While the hosts are now unbeaten in four matches, the Zebrette are now winless in six and fall to 12th place.