With the winter break looming large, Pescara nicked a last-gasp winner against Catania, Parma returned to form with victory at Bologna and Udinese played out a draw in Bergamo
Pescara netted a free kick in the dying embers of their clash with Catania on Friday to emerge as 2-1 victors in the first match of Serie A round 18.
They took the lead midway through the first half, arguably against the run of play, as Vladimir Weiss' cross found Mervan Celik, who struck the opening goal from the edge of the box.
However, just six minutes later, Mariano Izco cut a ball back for Pablo Barrientos, and the Argentine winger
slammed home the finish to restore parity at the Adriatico.
Yet it was Pescara who eventually grabbed the winner through Eugenio Togni deep in stoppage time. The midfielder found the a flighted free kick from 25 yards out.
The hosts climb out of the relegation places, but the Sicilians, meanwhile, drop to ninth in the standings.
ATALANTA 1-1 UDINESE
Udinese's unspectacular start to the season was confirmed on Saturday, as they could only muster a 1-1 draw with Atalanta - their second in succession.
Luis Muriel marked his return from a hip injury which kept him out for several months with an acrobatic volleyed attempt at the far post from Giovanni Pasquale's corner.
But the Orobici did equalise not long after. Gabrielle Angella's push on Federico Peluso in the box allowed German Denis to fire his seventh goal of the season from the penalty spot.
Atalanta sit 11th in Serie A, one place below the Zebrette, who find themselves in 10th place.
BOLOGNA 1-2 PARMA
Bologna's unbeaten run of five matches came to an abrupt end in Saturday's Emilia-Romagna derby, as Parma ran out 2-1 winners at the Dall'Ara.
The Rossoblu did break the deadlock first, however, when Frederik Sorensen swept up a shot that crashed against the crossbar on 54 minutes.
But only two minutes later, Jaime Valdes' piledriver from distance put both sides on level terms, and on the hour mark, Nicola Sansone completed the visitors' turnaround.
Bologna drop to 14th in the table, but Parma climb to eighth following their second consecutive victory.
PALERMO 0-3 FIORENTINA
Fiorentina took full advantage of Inter's slip-up against Genoa by powering 3-0 past Palermo to regain their grip on third place in Serie A.
The Viola found the initiative on 51 minutes when Juan Cuadrado's through ball was driven low and hard by Stevan Jovetic, and the Montenegro international doubled their lead with a chipped spot-kick when Luca Toni was grounded by Massimo Donati.
Fiorentina completed the rout just one minute shy of injury time through Gonzalo Rodriguez from another penalty after Michel Morganella was adjudged to have handballed in the area.
It was the centre-back's fifth goal of the season, and it helped the Tuscans move back into a Champions League spot. For the Rosanero, conversely, they drop into the relegation zone.
SAMPDORIA 0-1 LAZIO
Delio Rossi failed to inspire Sampdoria's fortunes on his first match in charge, as his former side Lazio inflicted a 1-0 defeat on his new charges at the Marassi.
The winning goal came inside 28 minutes via Senad Lulic's galloping run down the left flank, resulting in a cross which was diverted into the path of Hernanes, and the Brazilian midfielder's goal handed the Biancocelesti their first success over the Ligurians since 2004.
Lazio rise to second in Serie A following their eighth win in a run of 11 unbeaten matches, but Sampdoria have now lost three on the bounce and drop to 15th.
SIENA 0-2 NAPOLI
Napoli put a sequence of four straight reverses to the sword after they registered a late 2-0 victory over Siena - led by new boss Giuseppe Iachini - on Sunday.
The signs were pointing towards another miserable afternoon for the Partenopei, who were already reeling from a two-point deduction and the likes of Paolo Cannavaro suspended, but Christian Maggio turned in Marek Hamsik's effort with five minutes left on the clock.
The win was soon in the bag when Edinson Cavani struck a penalty home following Felipe's foul on Goran Pandev in the box, but that was not before Emanuele Calaio was shown a straight red card for swinging an elbow.
Napoli stay fifth but move two points of Inter above them in fourth, while Siena remain rooted to the bottom of the table, five points adrift of safety.
TORINO 2-0 CHIEVO
To wrap up the first half of the season in Italy, Torino halted a run of six matches without a win by beating Chievo 2-0.
The Granata opened the floodlights as early as the 13th minutes when a corner was touched into the wrong goal by Gennaro Sardo, and a matter of moments later, the game was practically over - Alessandro Gazzi's deflected strike looping over Stefano Sorrentino.
The home side climb to 13th in the Serie A standings, just one place behind the Flying Donkeys in 12th.