ROME, Jan 29 (Reuters) - David Trezeguet hit a hat-trick in the first 18 minutes for leaders Juventus in a 3-1 victory at Ascoli on Sunday.
The champions now have 59 points from 22 matches, eight ahead of Inter Milan who won 2-0 at bottom club Lecce. AC Milan are third on 47 after a 1-1 draw with Sampdoria on Saturday.
Rested during Juve's midweek Italian Cup defeat by Roma, Trezeguet was at his predatory best against Ascoli.
The French striker opened the scoring in the eighth minute, lashing home the loose ball after Emerson's shot had bounced off a defender.
His second came five minutes later when he turned Mauro Camoranesi's low cross in from close-range.
Alessandro Del Piero created the third, running down the left before curling a perfectly-weighted cross into the box for Trezeguet to turn past keeper Ferdinando Coppola.
Ascoli pulled one back in the 33rd minute when Gianluca Commotto broke down the right and cut the ball back across the area for Marco Ferrante to blast past Gianluigi Buffon.
Struggling Lecce had won just two points in their previous six Serie A matches and sacked coach Silvio Baldini midweek but they made Inter work until the 72nd minute when Luis Figo scored with a right-footed shot from inside the area.
A second yellow card for midfielder Cristian Ledesma reduced Lecce to 10 men five minutes later and Dejan Stankovic wrapped up Inter's win in stoppage time, firing in from 20 metres.
Fourth-placed Fiorentina (44) lost more ground on the leaders when they drew 0-0 at 10-man Udinese who had midfielder Roberto Baronio sent off on 22 minutes.
Fiorentina's bid for Italy's final Champions League berth is starting to come under attack from AS Roma, who beat Livorno 3-0 to notch their sixth consecutive Serie A win and climb to fifth on 39 points.
Francesco Totti put Roma ahead in the 31st minute with a deflected free kick. The Roma captain struck again from the penalty spot just before halftime after Rodrigo Taddei had been pulled down in the area.
Taddei sealed the win midway through the second half, running on to Totti's pass before sliding the ball past keeper Marco Amelia.