Hat-tricks from Vincenzo Montella and David Trezeguet gave AS Roma and Juventus FC 5-0 wins in Serie A on Sunday, but leaders Internazionale FC will go into the final game next week a point clear after defeating Piacenza FC 3-1.
Three in title race
All three teams remain in the title race, with Inter leading on 69 points from Juventus on 68 and Roma on 67. If Inter win at S.S. Lazio, they will secure their first title in 13 years - but a slip-up could let in Juventus, who are at lowly Udinese Calcio, or Roma, who travel to mid-table Torino Calcio.
Inter were struggling at 1-1 against Piacenza until superb free-kicks from Alvaro Recoba and Ronaldo secured victory. Piacenza ended the game with nine men after they had Vincenzo Sommese and Francelino Matuzalem sent off. Héctor Cúper's side made the perfect start when Colombian defender Iván Córdoba poked them ahead in the seventh minute after a goalmouth scramble from a corner. But Matuzalem beat Francesco Toldo with a well-placed finish to equalise in the 36th minute.
Inter went back in front on 70 minutes when Recoba curled a free-kick from 25 metres into the top corner. Ronaldo sealed the victory with his fourth goal in as many games, thumping a free-kick past Piacenza goalkeeper Paolo Orlandoni.
Juventus pushed Brescia Calcio into the relegation zone with a stunning second-half display. Trezeguet put them in front with a thundering header from an Alessandro Del Piero corner after eight minutes but it was not until after the 60th-minute dismissal of defender Daniele Bonera for a crude challenge on Del Piero that Juventus extended their advantage.
Brescia two points adrift
Del Piero struck in the 71st minute with a bending free-kick, Trezeguet scored his second and Juve's third five minutes later and the game was all over when Del Piero converted an Edgar Davids cross to make it 4-0 with 11 minutes left. Trezeguet completed the rout with his third goal in the final minute. With a game to play, Brescia are two points adrift of Piacenza and Hellas-Verona FC - who meet next week - in the fourth relegation place.
Roma damaged AC Chievo Verona's UEFA Champions League hopes with a convincing performance in the capital. Montella opened Roma's account with a 26th-minute header and eight minutes later headed the second from a Cafu cross.
Down to ten men
Montella completed his hat-trick with a 51st-minute penalty and Chievo fell to pieces in the 66th minute when, having used all their substitutes, winger Eriberto was forced off with an injury leaving his side with ten men. A stunning solo goal from Emerson made it 4-0, and substitute Antonio Cassano rounded off the win with nine minutes to go.
Bologna FC moved into the fourth qualification spot for the Champions League when second-half goals from Giuseppe Signori and Fabio Pecchia gave them a 2-0 win over Lazio. Bologna, who had Giulio Falcone sent off after 70 minutes, are level on points with Milan AC who came from behind to win 2-1 at Verona. Trailing to Adrian Mutu's goal, Milan responded through second-half strikes from Filippo Inzaghi and Andrea Pirlo.
Parma move clear
At the foot of the table Parma AC are clear of relegation worries after two goals in the last ten minutes from Marco Di Vaio gave them a 2-1 win at already doomed AC Fiorentina. Udinese are also safe after 90th-minute penalty from David Di Michele secured a 2-1 success at US Lecce. Another last-minute goal, from Torino's Fabio Galante, earned his side a 1-1 draw at AC Venezia. Luciano Zauri scored Atalanta BC's 75th-winner in a 2-1 defeat of AC Perugia.