Juventus continued their relentless surge towards a fourth consecutive Scudetto with an emphatic victory over Verona in Turin.
After Roma were held to a draw by Palermo on Saturday, the need for three points was vital in order to establish a five-point lead at the summit.
Paul Pogba opened the scoring with a spectacular strike, with Carlos Tevez then continuing his fine form with a brace to put the Old Lady out of sight.
However prior to the Argentinean’s second goal of the game came a new starlet in the shape of Roberto Pereyra, who scored for the first time in the famous colours of the club to cap off a wonderful evening for Massimiliano Allegri’s men.
Champions League challenge
With Juventus and Roma set to battle for the title, and fill the first two Champions League slots in the process, the need to finish in third is growing increasingly important for a number of Serie A clubs.
After squandering a two-goal lead against Rudi Garcia’s side in the Capital derby last week, Lazio saw their hopes take a further knock courtesy of Rafael Benitez’s Napoli, who have now leapfrogged them into third place as a result.
Former Real Madrid forward Gonzalo Higuain scored the only goal of the game to demonstrate his importance to the Spaniard amid interest from Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool.
Meanwhile AC Milan’s poor start to the New Year went from bad to worse as Atalanta stunned the Rossoneri at the San Siro to pile the pressure on Filippo Inzaghi.
German Denis was the matchwinner, with the goal boosting his side’s chances of staying in Serie A for yet another year.
High-flying Sampdoria continued their unlikely quest for European football, with Gonzalo Bergessio and Eder putting Parma to the sword.
Chievo saw their hopes of staying in Italy’s top flight take a further knock, with Fiorentina leaving the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi with all three points courtesy of a last-gasp winner from Khouma Babacar.
His dramatic goal deep into injury time came after the home side had looked to have snatched an unlikely point, with Sergio Pellissier cancelling out Gonzalo Rodriguez’s first-half opener.
Meanwhile fellow relegation strugglers Cesena also saw their hopes of a point vanished at the death, with Maxi Lopez scoring his first goal for Torino to give the visitors all three points.
The visitors were cruising after Marco Benassi and Fabio Quagliarella put them two goals to the good, but Franco Brienz’s brace had them on course for a draw prior to Lopez’s dramatic late intervention.
Sassuolo were denied victory by a last-minute goal from Ioannis Fetfatzidis as Genoa secured a point in a thrilling 3-3 draw.
Domenico Berardi and Iago Falque exchanged goals, with Simone Missiroli and Fetfazidis then scoring to have the game delicately poised going into the dying stages.
Berardi scored his second of the game to have the visitors heading towards an unlikely victory, but Fetfatzidis struck to save his side from defeat.
Meanwhile Gianfranco Zola’s Cagliari held Udinese to pick up another point under the former Chelsea wizard.
Joao Pedro had seen his early goal cancelled out by goals from Udinese duo Allan and Thomas Heurtax, but Danilo Avelar struck late to level the game.