Milan closed the gap on Serie A leaders Roma, thrashing bottom club Ancona 5-0.

The emphatic victory brings them to within a point of Roma who were held 1-1 at home by Udinese. Fellow title chasers Juventus also dropped points as they fought out a 3-3 thriller with Empoli leaving David Trezeguet and Tommaso Rocchi to argue over the match ball, as both grabbed hat-tricks.

Juve now find themselves three points off the pace while Empoli move out of the bottom three.

At the San Siro, Portuguese star Rui Costa stole the headlines by ending a two-year goal drought after Andriy Shevchenko had opened the scoring with a 64th minute penalty.

Substitute John Dahl Tomasson got the third with another spot-kick on 78 minutes and Brazilian midfield ace Kaka completed the rout with a late brace.

In the capital, Udinese went into their match-up having taken just two points from their last three games but showed no fear against the table toppers, even after defender Christian Panucci put the home side ahead on 15 minutes, sweeping in a Mancini cross.

The visitors refused to lie down though and with only two minutes remaining, Marek Jankulovski volleyed home to clinch a well-earned point.

Lazio went level on points with Inter as a 55th minute goal from Brazilian playmaker Cesar was enough see off Lecce 1-0.

Inter’s poor run continued as they were held 1-1 away at Modena. Alvaro Recoba’s 11th minute opener was wiped out three minutes before the break as Nigerian hit man Ayodele Makinwa raced through to lob the oncoming Francesco Toldo.

Parma also joined the two teams on 32 points, drawing 0-0 with Bolgna. Chievo were forced to come from behind to beat Brescia 3-1 at home after Andrea Caracciolo had given the visitors the lead on the stoke of half-time.

Andrea Barzagli equalised for the home side in the 52nd minute and then late goals from Mario Santana and Giuseppe Sculli completed the comeback.

Perugia must have thought that they had earned three priceless points in their hunt to avoid relegation after veteran Fabrizio Ravanelli put them 1-0 up with just six minutes gone away at Siena. That was how it remained until Norwegian front man Tore Andre Flo drew his side level with only three minutes left on the clock. Then in deepest stoppage time, Fernando Menegazzo delivered a crushing blow to the visitors sweeping home the winner.

Meanwhile two goals in two minutes for Fabio Bazzani gave Sampdoria a comfortable 2-0 victory over struggling Reggina.