Juventus remained three points clear at the top of Serie A thanks to a late David Trezeguet goal at Udinese.

The striker came off the bench to score with just six minutes remaining.

Juve were aided by the dismissal of Udinese’s Pinzi on the hour and coach, Marcello Lippi admitted: “We weren’t 100% and had to ride our luck at times.’

Second-placed Inter were another team at the top who were helped by an opponent’s dismissal. Bologna’s Carlo Nervo was sent off in the 19th minute for serious foul play. A Recoba brace earned Inter a 2-1 win.

Milan lost ground on the top two, only managing a 0-0 draw at home to Chievo, due mainly to some excellent goalkeeping from Cristiano Lupatelli.

In the Roman derby a late equalizer from Roma substitute Cassano made the score 1-1 and left fourth-placed Lazio adrift of Juve by 12 points. A controversial encounter saw Stankovic (Lazio’s goal scorer) and Roma’s Delvecchio dismissed for fighting and Roberto Mancini slammed the linesman for costing his side three points.

When Corradi found the net with just eight minutes remaining, Couto was adjudged to be offside, but a furious Mancini maintained he was not interfering with play.

“A linesman simply cannot make these mistakes and I think he should be suspended for a time. Either that or he changes jobs,” he said.

Piacenza sunk further into trouble following a 3-1 defeat at Empoli. Captain Eusebio Di Francesco criticised his teammates for accepting relegation before the season has finished.

“I would say too many of the players have let themselves believe we are already down,” he fumed.

Torino gave themselves a glimmer of hope by beating Reggiana 1-0, with a 12th minute penalty from Ferrante, but they remain bottom level on points with Piacenza and Como.