Internazionale FC beat Como Calcio 4-0 to move to within three points of leaders Juventus FC.
Internazionale FC secured a 4-0 win at home to Como Calcio to move to within three points of Serie A leaders Juventus FC as S.S. Lazio also gained victory but fellow UEFA Champions League candidates AC Chievo Verona lost.
Visitors Como need points desperately to ease their plight in the relegation zone, but were struggling from the moment Gabriel Batistuta gave Inter a 13th-minute lead. Como's Nicola Amoruso then had a goal ruled out for offside, and Inter took advantage on 24 minutes when Luigi Di Biagio headed in Alvaro Recoba's corner. Not long afterwards Amoruso had a penalty saved by Francesco Toldo - but in the 31st minute, Christian Vieri missed an Inter spot kick.
However, Vieri found his range eleven minutes after the break, and the Italian striker then scored his 23rd of the season 14 minutes from the end. Inter are now three points behind Juventus - and five ahead of third-placed AC Milan. Como are 17th, ten points from safety with nine games to go.
Fourth-placed Lazio came from behind to gain a comfortable 4-1 win against lowly Empoli FC. The visitors took a surprise lead when Massimo Oddo scored a fourth-minute own goal. But within three minutes, Claudio Lopez equalised and Bernardo Corradi scored not long before half-time to give Lazio a lead they never lost, with Diego Simeone and Lucas Castroman adding after the break.
Parma AC are still in the race for fourth place after their 4-0 victory at Chievo. The home team were hoping to stay within a point of Lazio, but they never really recovered after Adrian Mutu gave Parma a fourth-minute lead. Chievo's Salvatore Lanna was sent off ten minutes into the second half, and Hidetoshi Nakata and Sabri Lamouchi soon made it 3-0. Parma lost Mutu 13 minutes from time to a second yellow card, but it did not prevent Alberto Gilardino scoring their fourth.
Udinese Calcio lost ground on Parma as they fell to a 1-0 defeat at Bologna FC. Guiseppe Signori's seventh-minute goal was enough to give Bologna a victory that moves them up to eighth and to within sight of a UEFA Cup place for the fifth time in their history.
AS Roma's hopes of another European campaign remain in the balance as they fell into the bottom half with a 1-0 loss at AC Perugia. Fabrizio Miccoli's 49th-minute goal lifted Perugia to ninth, one ahead of Roma, while Brescia Calcio are now level on points with the capital club after beating bottom side Torino Calcio.
Delight for Piacenza
Piacenza FC can dream of avoiding relegation, though, as they overhauled fellow strugglers Atalanta BC. Atalanta would have risen out of the bottom four with victory, but goals from Dario Hübner and Ciro De Cesare moved 16th-placed Piacenza to within seven points of safety.