Serie A round-up
Inter beat Genoa in a nine-goal thriller at Giuseppe Meazza under new coach Andrea Stramaccioni, while Juve cut AC Milan's lead at the top.
Last Updated: 01/04/12 10:22pm
Inter Milan beat Genoa 5-4 in a nine-goal thriller at Giuseppe Meazza as new coach Andrea Stramaccioni made an enthralling start to life in charge of the Nerazzurri.
Diego Milito scored a hat-trick for Inter in a game which included four penalties and two red cards.
Walter Samuel gave Inter a three-goal lead after Milito's early brace before Emiliano Moretti pulled a goal back and Rodrigo Palacio scored with Genoa's first of three penalties.
Mauro Zarate restored a two-goal lead for Inter before Julio Cesar was the first to head for an early bath after conceding a penalty, which was scored by Alberto Gilardino.
Fernando Belluschi was then sent off with Milito completing his hat-trick from the spot before the last penalty and the last goal of the game from Gilardino completed the scoring.
Juventus reduced the arrears on AC Milan at the top of the table to two points thanks to a 3-0 win over fourth-placed Napoli at the Juventus Stadium.
Goals from Leonardo Bonucci, Arturo Vidal and Fabio Quagliarella provided the perfect response to Milan's draw with Catania as the two-team battle for the Scudetto intensified.
Napoli ended the game with 10 men after losing Juan Zuniga in the second half, and they joined fellow UEFA Champions League-chasing sides Udinese and Lazio in losing this weekend.
A dominant Roma brushed aside Serie A strugglers Novara with a 5-2 victory at the Stadio Olimpico.
Andrea Caracciolo put the visitors ahead in the 17th minute before Roma's Marquinho equalised eight minutes later.
Daniel Osvaldo put Roma in front before half-time.
Fabio Simplicio then extended the Giallorossi's lead in the 56th minute before Bojan made it 4-1 shortly after the hour mark.
Substitute Takayuki Morimoto cut the gap with 12 minutes remaining but substitute Erik Lamela capped a wonderful afternoon for Luis Enrique's side by scoring his team's fifth late on.
The outcome has kept Roma in sixth place, four points behind city rivals Lazio, who hold the last Champions League qualifying spot.
Novara, meanwhile, lie second-from-bottom, cut well adrift from safety.
Udinese's hopes of securing Champions League football suffered a further setback as they lost 1-0 at Siena.
Mattia Destro netted the game's only goal 20 minutes from time to lift the Tuscan team eight points clear of the relegation zone.
Udinese, looking to repeat last season's fourth-place finish, entered this game on the back foot after a 1-0 defeat at Novara and draws against Napoli and Palermo.
Palermo struck three times in the final 22 minutes as they fought back from a goal down to defeat Bologna and record their first away league win of the season.
Palermo went into the match as the only Serie A team without a win on their travels this campaign and that miserable run looked set to continue as hosts Bologna took a 50th-minute lead through Frederik Sorensen.
However, Palermo battled back and drew level through Massimo Donati in the 68th minute before an Abel Hernandez strike put them ahead eight minutes later.
The visitors suffered a setback in the 81st minute when they lost defender Andrea Mantovani to a second yellow card, but Bologna could not capitalise and Palermo sealed the victory when Archimede Morleo put through his own goal with four minutes remaining.
The victory lifts Palermo into the top 10 of the standings, three points above Bologna.
Luca Rigoni scored a late winner as Chievo climbed into the top half of the Serie A standings with a 2-1 victory at Fiorentina.
Just as the game at the Artemio Franchi stadium appeared to be heading for a draw, Rigoni struck two minutes from time to hand Chievo three vital points.
Sergio Pellissier had put the visitors ahead in the 24th minute but Fiorentina got an equaliser through substitute Adem Ljajic with 19 minutes remaining.
The result lifts Chievo to 10th in the standings with eight games remaining, while Fiorentina - victorious just once in their last nine games - have dropped to 17th in the standings, five points clear of the drop zone.
Lecce and Cesena played out a goalless draw which did little for either side's survival hopes.
The best chance of the match fell to Lecce's Colombian midfielder Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, who fired wide two minutes into injury time with just Francesco Antonioli to beat.
The Puglia side have now failed to win any of their last five league games and are five points adrift of safety with eight games to go, while Cesena remain 14 adrift at the bottom, having last won in Serie A on January 15th.
Cagliari moved level on points with Atalanta and opened up a nine-point advantage over the relegation zone with a 2-0 victory at the Stadio Sant'Elia.
Daniele Conti set the hosts on their way with an 11th-minute free-kick and Mauricio Pinilla made the points safe after the interval.
Cagliari goalkeeper Michael Agazzi had to be substituted early in the second half but Atalanta, despite plenty of possession, were unable to seriously test his replacement Vlada Avramov until deep into stoppage time.