Udinese’s push for Champions League football gathered steam on Sunday with a crushing 7-0 away win at Palermo.
Antonio Di Natale scored a hat-trick to bring his season tally to 21 Serie A goals, but even he was outdone by Chilean winger Alexis Sanchez who scored four in the rout, as Udinese climbed to within a point of fourth-placed Lazio.
Palermo finished the match with nine men after midfielder Armin Bacinovic was sent off five minutes before half-time and defender Matteo Darmian saw red on the hour mark.
Lazio failed to make up any ground on the top three, after an Andre Dias own goal five minuted before the break saw them suffer a 1-0 loss at Cagliari, and Roma remain in sixth place after relinquishing a two-goal lead at home in their 2-2 draw with lowly Parma.
Roma caretaker boss Vincenzo Montella was looking for a win in his first home game in charge, but a brace from Parma striker Amauri wiped out first-half strikes from Francesco Totti – making his 600th appearance for Roma – and Brazilian defender Juan.
Cesena had a Luis Jimenez goal to thank for their 1-0 win at home over Chievo Verona, and Catania came from behind to beat Genoa 2-1 at home.
Antonio Floro Flores handed the visitors the lead in the 19th minute, but second-half goals to Maxi Lopez and Gonzalo Bergessio lifted Catania to an important win in a fiery encounter that saw Domenico Criscito and Flores ordered off for Genoa, and Blazej Augustyn dismissed for Catania.
Brescia played out a 2-2 draw with Lecce at the Stadio Mario Rigamonti, and Bari needed a late equaliser from Abdelkader Ghezzal to claim a point in their 1-1 draw at home with Fiorentina.