Fiorentina boosts European hopes
SERIE A RESULTS
Adem Ljajic starred as Fiorentina cruised to a 3-0 victory away to Sampdoria, who played the last 10 minutes of the game a man short following the sending off of Daniele Gastaldello.
Ljajic ran the show for the visitors and against a team coached by former Fiorentina boss Delio Rossi, who lost that job following a violent altercation with the Serbian last May.
He scored the second just before the break, adding to Juan Cuadrado's opener, before setting up Alberto Aquilani for the third.
The victory boosted Fiorentina's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.
Lazio are three points off the last Europa League spot for next season after a goalless draw with Parma at the Stadio Ennio Tardini.
Back-to-back defeats against Juventus and Udinese had left the Biancocelesti playing catch-up in the race for fifth while mid-table Parma came into the game with just one win from their last five.
Scoring has been an issue for Lazio and now, from their last six matches, they have only scored twice.
Thankfully Vladimir Petkovic's side have been reasonably secure at the other end, but they will have to do without defender Giuseppe Biava for at least one match after he picked up a red card for a second booking in injury time.
Udinese moved up to fifth in Serie A with their fourth win in a row thanks to Roberto Pereyra's goal in a 1-0 win against Cagliari.
Pereyra, who hit the crossbar in the first half, made amends with a more difficult effort midway through the second half to lift Udinese into a qualifying berth for the Europa League, ahead of the remainder of the weekend's matches on Sunday.
Cagliari's reaction was too little too late and they ended the game with 10 men after Mauricio Pinilla was shown a red card deep in stoppage time.
Genoa picked up three crucial points in their battle against relegation with a narrow 1-0 win at Chievo on Sunday.
Davide Ballardini's men came to life in the second half with Marco Borriello scoring the only goal of the game in the 74th minute to take the Rossoblu out of the bottom three thanks to Roma's win over Siena.
With four games of the season to go, Genoa are level on points with Palermo just above the bottom three, while Chievo are not mathematically safe yet with just a seven-point advantage over the relegation zone.
Elsewhere, Palermo moved out of the Serie A relegation zone and dealt Inter Milan's hopes of European football next season a blow with a hard-fought win on Sunday.
Josip Ilicic scored the only goal of the game after only 10 minutes to lift the hosts out of the bottom three on goal difference.
Defeat left Inter in seventh, two points off a Europa League place.
Siena's relegation worries increased as Pablo Osvaldo's hat-trick helped European hopefuls Roma to an emphatic 4-0 Serie A victory at the Stadio Olimpico.
Osvaldo netted twice in the first half, with Erik Lamela on target in between, and then completed his treble midway through the second period.
The result lifted Aurelio Andreazzoli's side to fifth in the standings, while Giuseppe Iachini's side slumped to 19th following wins for fellow strugglers Palermo and Genoa.
Atalanta and Bologna shared two goals to get the point both were looking for in a low-key 1-1 draw at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia.
After a dull first 45 minutes in which both sides appeared happy enough running the clock down and taking a point each, Atalanta emerged for the second half with a bit more motivation.
Luigi Giorgi gave them the lead midway through the second period, but Alberto Gilardino equalised and the game returned to its first-half rhythm, with both teams seemingly content to settle for a draw.
The result increases the two teams' cushions over the relegation zone to 10 and 11 points respectively.