PIACENZA, April 27 (Serie A) - Piacenza gave themselves renewed hope of avoiding the drop with an emphatic win against Perugia on Sunday afternoon.
The hosts, who went into the game knowing a win was imperative to their chances of staying up, started brightly and had the game sewn up by half-time.
Eusebio Di Francesco gave them a fifth-minute lead which was added to by Armando Campagnano and Dario Hubner before the break.
Ze Maria pulled one back for Perugia five minutes after the restart, but Campagnano`s second of the afternoon and a late strike from Claudio Ferrarese sealed the win.
Piacenza are now five points adrift of safety with just four games remaining.
Luigi Cagni's men started as though they were determined to claim all three points and it was not long before they moved in front.
Enzo Maresca`s free-kick into the Perugia penalty area was not cleared and the ball fell kindly for Di Francesco who fired home.
Perugia appeared a little stunned by Piacenza's explosive start but gradually they worked their way back into the game and could have drawn level after 14 minutes.
Manuele Blasi whipped in a free-kick which required Piacenza goalkeeper Maurizio Franzone to scramble across to his near post to make a save.
The hosts survived the scare and moved further ahead eight minutes before half-time - Campagnano lobbing giant Aussie keeper Zeljko Kalac with great poise.
Kalac did get a hand on Di Francesco`s shot five minutes later but he was unable to prevent veteran Hubner - recalled to the side by Cagni - from volleying into the unguarded net.
No doubt with the words of coach Serse Cosmi ringing in their ears, Perugia emerged after the break with renewed vigour and promptly made it 3-1 - Ze Maria netting from a free-kick.
But any hope they may have had of using the goal to launch a comeback ended after 63 minutes when the impressive Campagnano fired home from the edge of the box.
A wonderful day for Piacenza was capped 10 minutes from full-time when substitute Ferrarese - on at half-time for Ciro De Cesare - volleyed home via the underside of the bar.
Ze Maria struck the woodwork with a free-kick deep into injury time, but Perugia finished well beaten.