Juventus hit the woodwork three times and had a goal controversially disallowed as they were held 0-0 at Genoa yesterday, their sixth draw in their last seven Serie A games.
Mirko Vucinic hit the crossbar and post with headers early in the second half, then Simone Pepe fired against the foot of the post before having a goal ruled out for offside as they lost more ground on leaders Milan. The Rossoneri took full advantage with a 2-0 win at home to Lecce which took them four points clear of second-placed Juventus, who remain unbeaten after 27 games.
Antonio Nocerino and Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored in each half for the defending champions and Champions League quarter-finalists who have 57 points. Ibrahimovic's goal made him the league's top scorer this season. Lecce's defeat left them in deep trouble with 25 points in 18th place, six adrift of Cagliari and safety.
Juventus nearly fell behind after only 10 seconds at Genoa but Rodrigo Palacio's dipping shot was brilliantly turned over the bar by Gianluigi Buffon. Both teams had further chances in a flowing first half which somehow ended goalless. There was even more drama after the break when a Vucinic back-header bounced off the bar and the Montenegro forward also struck the foot of the post with another effort.
Pepe should have broken through when he was allowed a free shot on goal from a free-kick but instead whacked his effort against the woodwork from six metres. He had the ball in the net shortly afterwards but it was ruled out for offside, although replays suggested he was level with the last defender when the ball was played through.
Relegation-threatened Cesena went down 2-0 at home to Siena in a match which hinged on a controversial incident in the 73rd minute. Siena were awarded a penalty for a sliding tackle by Luca Ceccarelli, who was also sent off, although replays suggested he made contact with the ball. Claudrio Terzi's penalty was saved by Francesco Antonioli but Franco Brienza scored from the rebound, then Albanian Erjon Bogdani volleyed the second in the 81st minute. Cesena, joint bottom alongside Novara, have 17 points.
Fiorentina's indifferent season continued with a 1-0 defeat at Catania leaving them 15th with 32 points. Francesco Lodi scored with a penalty just before the hour for the Sicilians who are eighth with 38 points.