Lazio beat Empoli 4-0 to take over second spot in Serie A from city rival AS Roma, who were held 1-1 at Torino on Sunday.
Stefano Mauri, Miroslav Klose, Antonio Candreva and Felipe Anderson scored to give Lazio an eighth consecutive win despite playing the last 32 minutes with 10 men after defender Diego Novaretti was sent off following a second booking.
Lazio moved a point above Roma after Torino substitute Maxi Lopez canceled out Alessandro Florenzi’s penalty.
Lazio and Roma play each other in the penultimate match of the season.
SSC Napoli climbed to fourth after beating ACF Fiorentina 3-0 to leapfrog above their opponents. UC Sampdoria moved level with Fiorentina after drawing 1-1 at AC Milan.
Elsewhere, Atalanta BC beat US Sassuolo 2-1 to move seven points above the relegation zone, while AC Cesena lost 1-0 to AC Chievo Verona. US Citta di Palermo won 3-1 at Udinese.
Lazio were flying high in Serie A and confidence was further boosted after beating Napoli last week to reach the Coppa Italia final against Juventus.
It got off to the perfect start when Mauri headed in Pedro Luis Cavanda’s cross from the right.
Lazio doubled their lead shortly after the half-hour with almost a carbon copy of the first goal, this time it was Klose who headed in Cavanda’s cross.
Candreva all but sealed the win just before half-time with a sublime long-range effort that swerved into the near top corner and Felipe Anderson added to Empoli’s humiliation in the 53rd minute, tapping in the rebound after his initial effort was saved by Luigi Sepe.
Roma were looking for a third successive win to keep hold of second spot after ending a disastrous streak that had dashed their title hopes.
They struggled to carve out clear-cut opportunities before breaking the deadlock 12 minutes into the second half when Daniele de Rossi was tripped by Emiliano Moretti and Florenzi converted.
However, Maxi Lopez equalized seven minutes after coming off the bench, although Roma players protested furiously that the ball had already crossed the byline when Bruno Peres cut it back for Giuseppe Vives, who flicked it on for the Argentine to score from close range.
In Naples, both sides were looking to bounce back from losing Coppa Italia semi-finals last week.
Dries Mertens scored the opener in the 24th minute when Micah Richards backed off the Belgian as he was closing in on goal, allowing him to curl a brilliant finish into the far side of the net from the edge of the area.
Gonzalo Higuain thought he had doubled Napoli’s lead 12 minutes later with a thunderous effort that crashed off the underside of the bar and appeared to have crossed the line before bouncing out, but the goal was not given.
Italy will introduce goal-line technology in the Coppa Italia final and from next season in Serie A.
Goals from Marek Hamsik and Jose Callejon secured the win.
In the evening match, Alfred Duncan’s own goal canceled out Roberto Soriano’s second-half opener for Sampdoria.
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