Milan: Serie A leaders Juventus were held to a 1-1 draw by Inter Milan who hit back through a clinical Mauro Icardi strike after conceding an early Carlos Tevez goal on Tuesday.
Second-placed AS Roma cut the gap to one point with a 1-0 win at Udinese, although the hosts claimed that Davide Astori`s header never crossed the line after it bounced down off the crossbar.
Gianfranco Zola`s Serie A coaching career got off to a miserable start when his Cagliari side were thumped 5-0 at Palermo.
Germany forward Mario Gomez missed a penalty and Fiorentina had two men sent off in a 1-0 defeat at bottom club Parma while a spectacular goal by Simone Zaza, who met a corner with a full-blooded volley, gave Sassuolo a shock 2-1 win at AC Milan.
Two goals from Argentina forward Gonzalo Higuain took his tally to nine and helped Napoli win 4-1 at relegation-threatened Cesena, keeping them joint third with Lazio who beat Sampdoria 3-0 on Monday.
Jose Callejon also scored and Daniele Capelli turned Marek Hamsik`s shot into his own goal.
Titleholders Juventus lead with 40 points from 17 games with Roma on 39 and Lazio and Napoli on 30.
Tevez gave Juventus a fifth-minute lead with his 11th goal of the season as the hosts dominated the first half.
Inter, with Lukas Podolski making his debut as a halftime substitute, hit back in the second and Icardi levelled when he cleverly turned in Fredy Guarin`s incisive pass.
Icardi then slid the ball wide from a Podolski break and wasted another chance when he curled the ball wide with Pablo Osvaldo unmarked in the area. Osvaldo remonstrated furiously and was himself reprimanded by Guarin for his behaviour.
Zola, who replaced Zdenek Zeman after an eight-match winless run, barely had time to settle into his seat before Michel Morganella and Ezequiel Munoz put the Sicilians 2-0 ahead.
Cagliari then had Daniele Conti sent off for a second bookable offence in the 26th minute before Paulo Dybala made it 3-0 with a penalty just after the half hour.
Dybala and Edgar Barreto completed the rout after halftime, leaving Cagliari (12 points) firmly entrenched in the relegation zone. Palermo are joint seventh with Milan on 25 points.
Andrea Costa gave Parma an early lead with a close-range header before Gomez, plagued by injury since his move to Fiorentina, saw a weak penalty saved by Antonio Mirante in the 33rd minute.
The visitors had Gonzalo Rodriguez and Stefan Savic sent off in the last 15 minutes.