Late Adriano penalty gives Inter victory
An 89th minute penalty from Brazilian Adriano gave Inter Milan a 2-1 victory over Lecce on Sunday but Sampdoria kept a hold on third place with a 1-0 win over Chievo Verona.
Inter have conceded they are out of the title race but with their ambitions in the Champions League still alive they badly needed to bounce back from last week's derby defeat to AC Milan.
Without a title since 1989, Inter have had a habit of falling to pieces after derby losses and the trend looked as though it could continue when Alex Pinardi put Lecce ahead in the 21st minute after some poor defending.
Five minutes later though Inter drew level when Colombian defender Ivan Cordoba headed home a Sinisa Mihajlovic corner.
Inter were awarded a penalty for a foul on Julio Ricardo Cruz and Adriano confidently blasted it home.
Chievo then had Ghanian defender John Mensah sent off for a second yellow card before Sampdoria grabbed the points when Francesco Flachi's strike was deflected in by his team mate Andrea Gasbarroni.
Palermo move up fifth place with a well-earned 2-2 draw at Livorno, despite playing the final half hour with 10 men following the dismissal of Cristian Zaccardo.
Italy striker Luca Toni twice put Palermo ahead but the Tuscans took a point with a 73rd minute Dario Passoni equaliser.
Struggling Parma beat Cagliari 3-2 thanks to a spectacular 30-metre strike in the final seconds from Brazilian Fabio Simplicio.
A Daniele Bonera own goal gave Cagliari the lead in the fourth minute but six minutes later Parma's Alberto Gilardino produced some outstanding skill to turn and score from close range.
Cesare Bovo put Parma ahead in the 17th minute but Cagliari looked to have snatched a point with David Suazo's 90th minute equaliser.
But Simplicio's brilliant goal with the last kick of the game gave Parma three vital points in their fight against relegation.
Lazio's recent revival came to an end with a 1-0 defeat in Sicily to Messina but they could count themselves unlucky to have not got at least a draw out of the game.
Carmine Coppola's fierce left-foot drive in the 44th minute was all that seperated the sides but Lazio hit the post through Sebastiano Siviglia and four minutes from the end Fabio Liverani hit the bar with a free-kick.
Lowly Fiorentina picked up a 2-1 win over Reggina with a debut goal from Giampaolo Pazzini and a 69th minute Fabrizio Miccoli penalty easing the pressure on coach Dino Zoff.