Juventus maintained their 13-point lead at the top of Serie A on Sunday after Paulo Dybala hit the winner in a 1-0 victory at Bologna to keep the champions ahead of Napoli who easily saw off Parma 4-0.
But there was drama in Tuscany as Jordan Veretout converted a 101st-minute penalty to hold third-placed Inter Milan 3-3 in a chaotic game.
Inter, now nine points behind Napoli in third, are just two points ahead of city rivals AC Milan who remain fourth after a 3-0 win over Empoli on Friday.
In Turin, Dybala came off the bench to slot home in the 67th minute after defender Danilo deflected Blaise Matuidi’s low cross straight to the Argentine international in front of a gaping goal.
Napoli eased past mid-table Parma, Piotr Zielinski scoring in the 19th minute before Arkadiusz Milik rolled a cheeky free-kick under the wall and past Luigi Sepe.
Milik added the third with a fine strike past Sepe in the 73rd minute following sloppy play from Parma, and Adam Ounas completed the rout by finishing off a superb passing move with an angled strike.
The goals were the first in Serie A for Carlo Ancelotti’s side in three matches.
“Juve are far away but next week we want to play well against them at the (Stadio) San Paolo,” said Milik, who now has 14 league goals for the season.
“We’re a long way from the title but we need to keep going and hope that they go through a bad patch.”
Juventus travel to Napoli next week knowing that anything other than a defeat effectively seals their eighth straight league title before they try to overhaul a 2-0 deficit against Atletico Madrid in their Champions League last-16 second leg at the Allianz Stadium.
“We’ll be up against an even more defensive Atletico, we’ll have to be even more quick and precise with our passes, something that we weren’t today,” said Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri.
“I’m convinced we can go through.”
Bologna stay third-from-bottom on 18 points and three from safety.
‘No ifs or buts’
There was frustration for Inter who had fought back after going a goal down through a Stefan de Vrij own goal just seconds into their game in Florence.
Matias Vecino levelled after six minutes with Matteo Politano pulling the visitors ahead four minutes before the break.
Ivan Perisic converted a 52nd-minute penalty awarded after consultation with VAR, with Colombian striker Luis Muriel pulling one back for Fiorentina with an incredible free-kick from distance after 74 minutes.
In a dramatic finale, Fiorentina were awarded a penalty for a contested Danilo D’Ambrosio handball, which looked to have bounced off his chest.
VAR and Perisic Goal.— FN MEDIA (@FNMEDIA_) February 24, 2019
Fiorentina 1-3 Inter
Veretout kept his cool to send Samir Handanovic the wrong way, giving Fiorentina a precious point to move up to ninth, two points off the Europa League places.
“There are no ifs or buts, it’s clear. It’s his chest. There is no argument,” raged Inter coach Luciano Spalletti.
On Saturday, Edin Dzeko’s 95th-minute winner completed Roma’s fightback at lowly Frosinone as they won 3-2 to keep pace with fourth-placed AC Milan.
Rejuvenated Dzeko has four goals in his last five league games after his brace at the Stadio Benito Stirpe, following a fallow few months up front for Eusebio Di Francesco’s inconsistent side.
Dzeko’s winner, which came after he had equalised Camillo Ciano’s comical fifth-minute opener for Frosinone, kept Roma one point behind Milan, who occupy the final Champions League place, ahead of next week’s Rome derby against Lazio.
Lazio are six points behind Roma after their match with Udinese set for Monday night was postponed as it was considered too close to the first leg of their Italian Cup semi-final against Milan.
Simone Inzaghi’s side are level on 38 points with Atalanta and Torino, who beat Atalanta 2-0 on Saturday with goals either side of half-time from Armando Izzo and Iago Falque.
Icardi was stripped of the armband last week amid ongoing tensions over negotiations for a new contract and comments made by his wife and agent, Wanda Nara, on Italian TV.
He has not featured in Inter’s two games since, with goalkeeper Samir Handanovic replacing him as skipper.
The Argentine has reportedly become an increasingly isolated figure at the club, with only four team-mates still on his side in his dispute with the club – Danilo D’Ambrosio, Andrea Ranocchia, Antonio Candreva, and Kwadwo Asamoah.
Speculation has grown that Icardi will leave the club at the end of the season, with Juventus, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and a host of Premier League clubs all set to be interested in the striker.
What remains to be seen is if he plays for his current club. It seems unlikely that Inter and Icardi are unable to find some sort of resolution to the current situation and that the player misses the rest of the season, but at the moment, the future looks bleak for the 26-year-old.
Top scorer Mauro Icardi watched from the stands as Inter Milan strengthened their grip on third place in Serie A with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Sampdoria at San Siro.
Icardi was stripped of the captaincy and refused to travel for the midweek Europa League game in Vienna amid ongoing contractual issues.
Inter were forced to battle in his absence, with all three goals coming in a five-minute spell deep into the second half.
Danilo D’Ambrosio opened the scoring for the hosts after 73 minutes but Sampdoria substitute Manolo Gabbiadini equalised almost immediately.
Radja Nainggolan came to Inter’s rescue three minutes later when he scored the winner with a low shot from the edge of the box.
Second-placed Napoli sit 13 points behind runaway leaders Juventus after being held to a goalless draw at home to Torino.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men missed a handful of chances in an entertaining game while Brazilian Allan was spared a sending-off in injury time after his initial red card was rescinded by VAR due to mistaken identity.
Lazio’s fading hopes of closing in on a Champions League qualifying place were further hit as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at Genoa.
The visitors took the lead towards the end of the first half through Milan Badelj and could have doubled their advantage when the same player hit the bar.
But Genoa grabbed a 75th-minute equaliser when an attempted clearance by Lucas Leiva deflected in off Arnaldo Sanabria.
And another poor clearance deep into injury time fell to Domenico Criscito who fired home a low shot to grab a dramatic winner.
Fiorentina came from behind to win 4-1 at relegation-threatened SPAL in a game which hinged on a VAR decision.
Andrea Petagna’s opener for the hosts was cancelled out by Edimilson Fernandes just before half-time, but SPAL thought they had re-taken the lead on 77 minutes through Mattia Valoti.
Instead, play was brought back to the other end where a penalty was awarded to the visitors, Jordan Veretout putting Fiorentina 2-1 up.
Further goals from Giovanni Simeone and Gerson in the final 10 minutes gave the scoreline a flattering look.
Lukasz Teodorczyk struck an 86th-minute winner as Udinese claimed their first win in five games with a 1-0 triumph against bottom club Chievo.
Empoli ended a run of eight league games without a win as they brushed aside Sassuolo 3-0 with goals from Rade Krunic, Afriyie Acquah and Diego Farias.