Napoli eased past Chievo 3-1 away on Sunday to provisionally move second and Gabriel Barbosa came off the bench to score his first Serie A goal as lethargic Inter Milan snatched a late 1-0 victory at Bologna to reclaim fourth place in the standings.
Napoli bounced back from their Champions League defeat by Real Madrid and extended their undefeated league streak to 14 games by defeating Chievo.
Lorenzo Insigne opened the scoring in the 31st minute with a delicious effort when he cut in from the left and curled a right-foot strike into the far corner, before Marek Hamsik finished from close range after hesitant defending in the 38th.
Piotr Zielinski added a third in the 58th minute when he finished calmly from the edge of the box, before Riccardo Meggiorini pulled a goal back for the hosts.
The win took Napoli up to 54 points in second place behind Juventus, one point ahead of AS Roma who host Torino later on Sunday.
In Bologna, Inter moved back level with Atalanta on 48 points and above Lazio who both won on Saturday after Brazilian Gabriel settled a lacklustre contest with an 81st-minute winner.
The 20-year-old Brazilian forward, nicknamed “Gabigol”, entered in the 74th minute and took seven minutes to end his goal drought when he finished calmly after being picked out by Danilo D’Ambrosio’s cross.
Before the youngster’s intervention, Inter had lacked the ideas and verve that have characterised recent performances under Stefano Pioli and looked set to rue a remarkable miss from Rodrigo Palacio, who fired over from four yards in the 12th minute.
“In the locker room they said that Gabigol would invite everyone for a Brazilian-style dinner when he got his first goal,” Pioli told Italian television. “I’m happy for him. “He’s working hard after a troubled start which is normal for a young player coming from abroad, but he’s doing well now and the whole squad deserves credit for that.”
Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic denied Vasilis Torosidis with an excellent save in stoppage-time as Bologna rallied, while the home side will feel hard done by after Eder’s blatant penalty-box foul on Blerim Dzemaili went unpunished.
Italy international Simone Zaza scored his first goal for Valencia as the La Liga strugglers picked up their first win in four games to beat Athletic Bilbao 2-0 and move seven points clear of the relegation zone on Sunday.
Former Manchester United winger Nani poked home the opening goal in the 13th minute while Zaza, who struggled at another Premier League club West Ham United, sealed the win with a scrappy finish in first-half injury time.
Elsewhere, bottom-club Pescara’s decision to reappoint Zdenek Zeman for a second spell in charge prompted an immediate change of fortunes as they ended a 22-game winless streak and picked up their second victory of the season with a stunning 5-0 triumph over Genoa.