A well-taken second-half strike from Argentinian midfielder Roberto Pereyra sealed a precious 1-0 win for Udinese away to Cagliari to keep the northerners' push for a place in Europe on track on Saturday.
Cagliari, who started the day only two places but nine points behind Udinese in 10th, finished the match with 10 men after Mauricio Pinilla was shown a straight red for a ridiculous shove from behind on Giampiero Pinzi.
However, by then the damage had been done as Udinese moved up to fifth ahead of the rest of the weekend's programme.
Elsewhere Saturday Atalanta were denied victory against Bologna by a superbly-worked goal from Alberto Gilardino.
Atalanta had the edge over the Rossoblu in rainy Bergamo and came close to breaking the deadlock in a lively second half thanks to Croatian teenager Marko Livaja.
Minutes later, a poor punched clearance by Bologna goalkeeper Gianluca Curci from Davide Brivio's left-wing cross fell to Giorgi Luigi, who with an acrobatic bicycle kick bundled the ball into the net.
Atalanta's celebrations lasted all too briefly, however.
When Alessandro Diamanti powered down the left he was given space to deliver an inch-perfect cross into the area for Gilardino, who controlled well before turning the defence and beating Andrea Consigli in the home goal.
In Saturday's late second-placed Napoli travel to Pescara knowing that anything but a win could see Juventus clinching a second successive Serie A title if they beat Torino in the Turin derby on Sunday.
Juventus have an 11-point lead on Napoli, with AC Milan in third a further seven points adrift ahead of Sunday's visit of Catania.