AC Milan missed the chance to go seven points clear of Inter Milan in the Serie A after they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by bottom side Bari.
Milan had Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic sent off in a nightmare day for boss Massimiliano Allegri, who must have feared the worst when his side went a goal down against the run of play six minutes before half-time courtesy of a Gergely Rudolf goal.
Milan struggled to break down a resolute Bari defence, and Ibrahimovic’s frustration got the better of him on 73 minutes when he was dismissed for a swat to the mid-section of Marco Rossi.
The league leaders managed to salvage a point eight minutes from full-time, however, when substitute Antonio Cassano was picked out by a Luca Antonini cross and the striker slotted home from close range.
The point means Milan have a five-point buffer over second-placed Inter Milan – who themselves were held to a 1-1 draw at lowly Brescia on Friday – with both teams still to play nine games.
Elsewhere on Sunday, Udinese continued their march up the table with another heavy win – this one a 4-0 drubbing of Cagliari.
First-half goals to Medhi Benatia and Alexis Sanchez got the ball rolling for Udinese, before Antonio Di Natale again got his name on the scoresheet with a second-half brace to take his tally for the season to 24.
The win lifted Udinese over Lazio and Napoli into third place, although Napoli can regain third spot should they defeat, or draw against, Parma in Sunday’s late game.
Lazio, however, dropped to fifth regardless of other results after they suffered a 2-0 defeat to fierce rivals Roma at the Olympic Stadium.
Veteran striker Francesco Totti scored a brace to bring up his 199th Serie A goal as Roma kept up their push for Champions League football next season by moving to within four points of fourth place.
Fiorentina enjoyed a 1-0 win over Chievo Verona, thanks to a Juan Vargas goal three minutes after half-time, and Antonio Floro Flores scored to hand Genoa a 1-0 home win over Palermo.
A Cristian Llama strike with 15 minutes to go was enough to give Catania a 1-0 win over Sampdoria, and Bologna scored a 1-0 away win over struggling Lecce.
More to follow