Lazio stun Parma as Fiorentina slip at Samp
Lazio defender Antonio Candreva struck late to secure a 3-2 win over Parma and maintain their Europa League hopes as Fiorentina's Champions League bid was dented in a scoreless draw away to Sampdoria on Sunday.
Earlier, goals in either half from Mattia Destro and Michel Bastos helped Roma to a cagey 2-0 win away to Serie A strugglers Sassuolo to close the gap on leaders Juventus to 11 points.
Juve are at third-placed Napoli later Sunday when they will be looking to restore their 14-point lead as they stride towards a likely third consecutive scudetto.
At the Olympic Stadium Senad Lulic gave Lazio a 15th minute lead and after Jonathan Biabiany had levelled barely 10 minutes later Miroslav Klose put the hosts within sight of a precious win with a 67th minute strike.
Lazio suffered a blow when a defensive mix-up saw Michael Ciani intercept a cross intended for Antonio Cassano with the ball spinning away from the defender and out of reach of 'keeper Federico Marchetti and into the Lazio net.
Parma looked to be heading for a share of the spoils but when Spanish striker Keita drove a daisycutter into the area Candreva ran in to volley beyond Antonio Mirante and into the net for a welcome injury-time winner.
Parma remain sixth with a game in hand but are only one point behind fifth-placed Inter who occupy the first Europa League qualifying spot ahead of their visit to Livorno on Monday.
Lazio's 12th win of the campaign kept them in eighth although Edy Reja's men are now only two points off Parma and three behind Inter.
Lazio's win was tempered by a fans' boycott in protest at current president Claudio Lotito, meaning the club's home games have been sparsely attended.
Reja played down Lazio's Europa League hopes and admitted his side are suffering from the boycott.
"It would be a minor miracle if we qualified for Europa," he told Sky Sport Italia.
"We're still suffering from the absence of fans, although we did hear the fans who did turn up. Thanks to them, it gave us the extra spur for the win."
- Fiorentina's top-three bid dented -
Fiorentina's bid for a top three finish and Champions League qualification, meanwhile, suffered a blow in a scoreless draw away in Genoa which saw Juan Vargas smash a freekick off the crossbar and Samp coach Sinisa Mihajlovic red-carded at the end of the game for dissent.
Fiorentina remain fourth but are now nine points behind Napoli in third and only four ahead of Inter.
Coach Vincenzo Montella appeared composed, but said: "A draw was a fair result although we're disappointed not to take more given the chances we had, especially from Vargas's effort."
Mihajlovic's expulsion came after he protested a late decision vociferously into the face of the linesman.
But he, too, was satisfied with a draw: "We were up against a side which plays the best football in the league.
"Credit to Fiorentina, they played well but we also had our chances in the second half."
Elsewhere, 10-man Verona kept in the hunt for Europe's second-tier club competition with a 3-0 home win over Genoa, with veteran striker Luca Toni grabbing a late brace.
Marco Donadel opened the scoring with a low strike from outside the area and then Verona were reduced to 10 men when Michelangelo Albertazzi picked up a second booking on the cusp of half time.
Genoa did little to capitalise on the advantage and Toni made the visitors pay with two late goals inside the space of six minutes to take his tally for the season to 15, just three shy of leader Carlos Tevez.
Verona sit in ninth, only two points behind Lazio and one ahead of Torino who secured a 2-1 win over Cagliari, but Toni said the Europa League is now only a distant dream.
"We're trying not to think about it. We're coming off a really bad period and a lot of people thought we were already on holiday," said Toni.
"But despite being a man down we knuckled down today and got the win."