Sunday's action exploded into life after a quiet start to affairs, as Bologna came back from behind twice to draw with Chievo, while Novara netted a pair at the death against Siena
|Cagliari 3-0 Cesena
Massimo Ficcadenti marked his return to the Cagliari hotseat in style after leading the Sardinians to a comfortable 3-0 win over Cesena, edging his former club ever closer to Serie B football next season.
He had Mauricio Pinilla to thank, as the Chilean hitman netted an impressive hat-trick of strikes to condemn the Seahorses to a sixth defeat in seven matches. His first came on 14 minutes, tapping home a rebound from Thiago Ribeiro's saved shot.
His second came from the penalty spot after Thiago was felled in the box, amid suspicions the Brazilian went down a little too easily. Nevertheless, Pinilla was on hand to slot his spot-kick into the top-left corner during first-half stoppage time.
The Chilean completed his treble after the interval, again in dubious circumstances. Mario Rossi was adjudged to have fouled Andrea Cossu, but Pinilla once more stepped up and drilled the penalty through the middle past Francesco Antonioli.
Cesena's misery was further compounded by the introduction of Victor Ibarbo for the hosts. The Colombian attacker attracted fouls from Rossi and Giuseppe Colucci, both of whom were given their marching orders late on in the encounter.
Cagliari climb to 13th place in the Serie A standings, but Cesena remain rock bottom, and it now seems only a matter of time before their relegation is confirmed.
|Bologna 2-2 Chievo
Bologna were forced to come back from behind twice to earn a creditable 2-2 draw with Chievo at the Dall'Ara on Sunday.
The Flying Donkeys took the lead on 27 minutes. Sergio Pellissier's free kick found Marco Andreolli in the box to put his side in the driving seat early on. The goal was also testament to their positive start to the match.
However, Bologna found the equaliser early in the second-half, as Diego Perez's set-piece was finished off expertly by Marco Di Vaio. There were calls that the striker was in an offside position, but replays showed he timed his run to perfection.
Chievo, meanwhile, were in no mood to back down, as more intuitive play from Pellissier paved the way for Cyril Thereau to place the ball into an empty net and restore his side's lead with 15 minutes to play.
But sadly for Di Carlo's men, Bologna's late pressure was too much to handle, as the lively Alessandro Diamanti powered home a strike from the edge of the box past a helpless Stefano Sorrentino to ensure the spoils were shared.
The Rossoblu now find themselves in the top half of the Serie A table, in 10th place, while Chievo sit 11th.
|Catania 1-0 Lazio
Lazio are in serious risk of losing their grip on third place in the Serie A table after going down to a late Catania goal on Sunday, in a 1-0 defeat at the Angelo Massimino.
The winner came with just 10 minutes to spare, as Nicola Legrottaglie rose highest to meet Francesco Lodi's corner and put the ball beyond the reach of Federico Marchetti.
More bad news ensued for the Biancocelesti, as coach Edy Reja was sent to the stands for protesting at a decision made by referee Andrea Romeo.
Lazio stay in third, but are now only two points ahead of Napoli, who play Udinese in Sunday night's Calcio offering.
|Siena 0-2 Novara|
Novara struck twice in the latter stages to record a surprise 2-0 victory at Siena, handing returning coach Attilio Tesser a first win back in the Piedmont club's dugout.
After an uninspiring 72 minutes of play at the Artemio Franchi, talisman Marco Rigoni suddenly popped up on the edge of the hosts' box to finish off Andrea Caracciolo's headed lay-off.
The points were then sealed nine minutes later. Filippo Porcari was the man to extend Novara's slender lead, again courtesy of Caracciolo's head, as the gangly striker teed off the midfielder to shoot the ball past Gianluca Pegolo.
The minnows remain 19th, but are now eight points from salvation, while Siena's hopes of survival have taken a blow, despite remaining 16th.
|Lecce 1-1 Palermo
Lecce capitalised on Parma's defeat to AC Milan on Saturday by grabbing a vital point in their quest to avoid the drop after drawing 1-1 with Palermo.
The match gave birth to its first goal just six minutes in. Ezequiel Munoz brought down Andrea Bertolacci in the box, allowing David Di Michele to slam home the penalty and give the Giallorossi a precious advantage.
However, only nine minutes later, Munoz made amends for his earlier mistake by capitalising on Massimiliano Benassi's misjudgement in the Lecce net to set up an intriguing contest.
Massimo Oddo then headed for an early bath after being shown a straight red for hauling down Abel Hernandez as the last man. Nicolas Bertolo was the next player to be sent off prior to half-time, reacting badly to a challenge from Gennaro Delvecchio.
A chance-littered second-half ensued, but Lecce had Benassi on hand to deny the likes of Munoz, Josip Ilicic and Eran Zahavi from winning the points for the Sicilians. The hosts stay 18th, but are now only four points adrift, while Palermo drop to 11th.
|Udinese - Napoli