AC Milan relieved the pressure on under-fire manager Massimiliano Allegri by condemning Serie A leaders Juventus to only their second defeat in 53 games, 1-0.
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Robinho was the difference on the night as he slotted a penalty under the diving Gianluigi Buffon, following a spot-kick awarded for a handball by Arturo Vidal.
Juve could have gone seven points clear with a win, but remain just four ahead of Fiorentina in second and Inter in third.
Cristiano Bergodi got a sense of the task he faces at Pescara after a 1-0 defeat at home to Roma saw his side slip to the bottom of the table.
Pescara turned to their former defender after Giovanni Stroppa resigned in the wake of a 1-0 defeat at Siena, a result that saw them drop into the bottom three. And another 1-0 loss today, coupled with Siena's 0-0 draw at Chievo, means Pescara prop up the table on goal difference.
Roma got off to the perfect start at the Stadio Adriatico, with Michael Bradley curling a shot just wide after four minutes. And the visitors were in front seconds later when Francesco Totti's shot from outside the area was well saved by Mattia Perin, only for Mattia Destro to be left with a simple tap-in.
Torino and Fiorentina shared four goals in an entertaining 2-2 encounter at the Stadio Olimpico.
Alessio Cerci put the home side in front in the 40th minute and Gonzalo Rodriguez responded from the penalty spot in the 74th minute.
Valter Birsa's first goal for Torino restored their lead two minutes later, but Mounir El Hamdaoui struck five minutes from time to snatch a point for the Viola.
Andrea Bertolacci's solitary strike saw Genoa end a run of six straight defeats with a 1-0 victory at Atalanta as the Rossoblu survived Emiliano Moretti's late dismissal.
Luigi Del Neri had overseen five losses since replacing Luigi De Canio in October but Bertolacci finally broke the new coach's duck to lift Genoa out of the bottom three.
Goalkeeper Sebastien Frey had to be at his best as Atalanta poured forward in search of an equaliser, with his task made all the more difficult when Moretti saw red four minutes from time.
Andrea Poli's goal moved Sampdoria further clear of the relegation zone and condemned Bologna to a seventh defeat in eight away games, 1-0.
Poli netted two thirds of the way through this contest as Bologna paid dearly for an early red card to defender Archimede Morleo. Morleo was dismissed just five minutes into the game for a professional foul on the home side's Argentinian striker Mauro Icardi.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report