Milan: Felipe Caicedo snatched a late winner to keep Lazio third in Serie A with a 2-1 victory over Sassuolo on Sunday just ahead of city rivals Roma, who beat Brescia 3-0 with England defender Chris Smalling involved in all of his side's goals.
Champions Juventus maintained their grip on the top of Serie A with a 3-1 win at Atalanta on Saturday, to stay one-point ahead of Inter Milan who eased past Torino 3-0.
The two Roman outfits are now third and fourth respectively before Cagliari, a point behind in fifth, play lowly Lecce later on Sunday.
Serie A top scorer Ciro Immobile struck to put Lazio ahead after 34 minutes in Sassuolo with his 15th league goal this season.
But struggling Sassuolo pulled back a goal back through Francesco Caputo just before the break.
Ecuadorian Caicedo came off the bench to seal a fifth consecutive league win in injury time to keep Lazio seven points behind Inter Milan in third place.
Roma are now two points behind their local rivals after defender Smalling scored and set up the other two goals in a victory over bottom club Brescia.
Smalling, on-loan for the season from Manchester United, headed in the first from a corner after 48 minutes in the Stadio Olimpico.
The 30-year-old then provided the cross that allowed fellow defender Gianluca Mancini to volley in eight minutes later, with Edin Dzeko completing the rout on 66 minutes after Smalling's headed assist.
Brescia, now coached by 2006 World Cup winner Fabio Grosso, remain rooted to the bottom of the table.
Forward Mario Balotelli was dropped for Sunday's game because of his lack of committment in training.
The Italy international tried to play down Thursday's training ground bust-up with Grosso.
"Recovery! Coming back soon, for the moment let them talk," the former Marseille attacker said in a post on Instagram showing him undergoing physiotherapy.
Elsewhere, Samuel Di Carmine scored the only goal as Verona piled the pressure on Fiorentina, despite Franck Ribery returning after his three-match suspension.
The Tuscany side are in tenth place with just one point from their last three games.