A brace from Carlos Tevez in a cagey 2-1 win over 10-man Parma restored Juventus’s 14-point lead over Roma and kept the champions on track for a third consecutive Serie A title.
Roma had cut the gap on Tuesday with a last-minute 2-1 win at home to Torino.
But any expectations Juventus would drop points and hand Rudi Garcia’s team hopes of a title slip-up were effectively over by the 65th minute in Turin on Wednesday, when Parma, having reduced the arrears thanks to Cristian Molinaro’s half-volley, were reduced to 10 men when Amauri saw red for fouling defender Giorgio Chiellini.
Roberto Donadoni’s visitors pushed the champions all the way but Juve held on for a 26th win that also kept them on track to become the first Serie A champions with 100 points from the season.
While Roma tightened their grip on second place, Napoli stayed in the hunt for the second automatic Champions League qualifying spot with a 4-2 win away to Catania.
Napoli coach Rafael Benitez left Gokhan Inler, Goran Pandev and Gonzalo Higuain on the bench for the trip to Sicily, where the hosts were looking for only their second win over their rivals in their last 10 league encounters.
Striker Duvan Zapata honoured his rare start, in place of Higuain, by scoring a brace, with Napoli’s other goals coming from Jose Callejon and Brazilian defender Henrique.
Benitez’s men held on to claim an 18th win which kept them third but still six points off Roma, who also have a game in hand.
Napoli were handed an unexpected favour when Phillipe Mexes and Mario Balotelli, from a free kick, scored one apiece in a shock 2-0 win away to Fiorentina to boost AC Milan’s flagging campaign.
Fiorentina are also chasing the third and final Champions League qualifying spot and although still fourth Vincenzo Montella’s men are now 10 points adrift of Napoli.
Elsewhere, Atalanta’s 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Livorno, coupled with Lazio’s shock 2-0 defeat away to Genoa, pushed the Bergamo-based side up to seventh and only four points off the first Europa League qualifying place held by fifth-placed Inter, who are in action against Udinese Thursday.
Verona slipped further out of Europa League contention with a 1-0 defeat away to Cagliari, a result which helped push Sampdoria, who snatched a 2-1 win away to struggling Sassuolo, up to ninth place.