Cagliari picked up a crucial point in their battle against relegation at the expense of an AC Milan side whose recent resurgence was stalled by a 1-1 draw at the Is Arenas.
Victor Ibarbo gave the Sardinians the lead on the stroke of half time before Mario Balotelli responded from the penalty spot after Cagliari had Davide Astori sent off but, despite a late siege on the Cagliari goal, the Rossoneri were unable to find a winner leaving the home side four points clear of the drop zone.
In the late game, Inter Milan moved up into fourth with a regulation 3-1 win over Chievo at the Stadio Guiseppe Meazza.
Antonio Cassano scored the opening goal for the hosts in the second minute with a long range strike before Luca Rigoni equalised for Chievo with a header in the 21st.
Inter were quickly back ahead, though, thanks to Andrea Ranocchia's header five minutes later, with Diego Milito's 50th minute strike from the middle of the box enough to seal the win.
Aurelio Andreazzoli started life on the Roma bench with a defeat as his side were beaten 3-1 at Sampdoria.
Andreazzoli, who was placed in charge following the dismissal of Zdenek Zeman earlier in the week, saw the size of the task in hand as Samp showed more hunger and desire to get three points which move them further away from the relegation zone.
Marcelo Estigarribia gave the home side the lead in the 56th minute and Gianluca Sansone doubled their advantage after Roma's Pablo Osvaldo missed a penalty and Erik Lamela had a goal disallowed. Lamela did reduce the arrears in the 75th minute, but Mauro Icardi sealed the win for the Blucerchiati just two minutes later.
Robert Pereyra's seventh-minute goal gave Udinese all three points as they made it 11 games in a row at home without defeat by beating Torino 1-0 at the Stadio Friuli.
Pereyra put a buoyant Udinese in front while Torino were still getting to grips with the game, and Francesco Guidolin's side remained in control of the game without needing to score a second goal to take the points.
Torino struggled to create chances and rarely made Udinese sweat as the Bianconeri climbed up to seventh in the Serie A table, four points adrift of a place in Europe next season.
Andrea Bertolacci struck the post twice in the second half as Genoa were held to a 0-0 draw by Parma.
A goalless draw suggests a game of little attacking invention but there was no shortage of chances in an open match. Bertolacci went closer than most when he hit the woodwork in the 48th and 57th minutes, but neither side could find the net.
Palermo came from behind to avoid what would have been a painful defeat at home to fellow relegation strugglers Pescara, with Alberto Malesani securing a 1-1 draw on his debut on the Rosanero bench.
Malesani, appointed earlier this week to replace Gian Piero Gasperini, saw his new side fall behind to a goal from Birkir Bjarnason in the 73rd minute.
Diego Fabbrini levelled ten minutes from time, though, and a strong finale to the game gave the bottom side in Serie A hope of climbing to safety, even if the point still left them rooted to the foot of the table.
Relegation-threatened Siena claimed a 1-1 draw in their visit to Bologna and can consider themselves fortunate after being pegged back for much of the match by the hosts.
Nigerian striker Innocent Emeghara put the visitors ahead at Renato Dall'Ara with a 33rd-minute effort only for Panagiotis Kone to level matters five mintues before the break.
Bologna had virtually all of the remaining chances but were unable to find a winner, handing second-bottom Siena a point in their battle against the drop.
Catania dominated but squandered a series of chances as they were unable to make the breakthrough in a 0-0 draw against Atalanta at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia.
Lucas Castro and Alejandro Gomez both missed golden opportunities to score for the visitors in the first half before Atalanta goalkeeper Andrea Consigli made a great save after the break to ensure his side a point and a valuable clean sheet.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report