Marek Hamsik scored the only goal of the game as 10-man Napoli went second in Serie A on Saturday with a 1-0 victory at Genoa.
Michele Pazienza was sent off late on for the southerners who produced dogged rearguard resistance to sneak the victory.
Match-winner Hamsik was coy about Napoli’s title chances.
“Winning the title will be very difficult but we’re there and we’ll see what happens,” he told SkySport. “The important thing is to win at places like Genoa, away from home and we need to keep going like this.”
Genoa got about a strangely subdued Napoli and created the first chance of note on 20 minutes as Marco Rossi lobbed goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis but also lifted the ball over the bar.
The hosts were made to pay five minutes later as Hamsik timed his run to perfection to head in Walter Gargano’s free-kick.
Luca Toni then caused panic in the Napoli defense with a deflected cross but Rossi couldn’t turn it in.
Genoa were again on top after the break and opened up Napoli with a delightful move but Omar Milanetto couldn’t beat De Sanctis.
Another flowing Genoa move gave sub Giandomenico Mesto a chance but he blazed over.
Gergely Rudolf then crossed for Toni but from inside the six yard box he stabbed wide.
Earlier in the day, Mauricio Pinilla came off the bench to inspire Palermo to a 3-1 win over Parma to bring the Sicilians to fifth and a point off the Champions League places.
Alessandro Lucarelli gave Parma a first half lead but Pinilla equalized after the break and then teed up Fabrizio Miccoli to smash home the winner before Cristian Zaccardo’s late own goal added gloss to the result.
Parma were ahead on seven minutes as Lucarelli headed home Sebastian Giovinco’s corner, unmarked from close range with Federico Balzaretti ball-watching.
Palermo had enjoyed a lot of possession but created nothing and Rossi hauled off playmaker Javier Pastore for Pinilla at halftime.
The move paid instant dividends as the Sicilians were level on 51 minutes.
Antonio Nocerino drove forward from midfield and played a one-two with Josip Ilicic, retrieving the midfielder’s brilliant backheel before shooting on goal.
Antonio Mirante saved the shot but Nocerino prodded the follow-up to Pinilla to fire into the empty net.
Ten minutes later and the turnaround was complete as Dorin Goian launched a long ball forward which Pinilla won in the air, knocking the ball down to Miccoli to volley home.
But a minute from time Zaccardo headed Ilicic’s cross past his own goalkeeper under pressure from Patjim Kasami.
In the day’s other early match Udinese also came from behind to win 2-1 at home to Fiorentina.