AC Milan struggled to a 2-0 victory at Atalanta yesterday to remain joint top of the Serie A table with Juventus, which won 1-0 at lowly Lecce.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic converted from the spot after Milan were awarded a dubious penalty in the 22nd minute and Kevin Prince Boateng sealed the result eight minutes from time.
Milan were made to sweat before Boateng's goal, with the league's top scorer German Denis hitting the post for Atalanta.
Massimiliano Allegri's side are level on 37 points with Juventus, which ground out a 1-0 win at rock-bottom Lecce, courtesy of substitute Alessandro Matri's 27th minute header.
Udinese remain two points further back after a 4-1 victory over 10-man Cesena.
Elsewhere, Pasquale Marino's time in charge of Genoa got off to a dreadful start as he saw his new side lose 3-0 at Cagliari.
Milan took the lead when Alexandre Pato took a tumble in the box amid a crowd of players and the referee pointed to the spot. Ibrahimovic had scored all five of his previous penalties this season and he converted number six with a low shot into the left corner.
Atalanta almost got back into the game early in the second half but Denis saw his close-range effort crash back off the right post.
And Milan sealed the match when Ibrahimovic threaded a ball through to Boateng who lashed in an effort under the crossbar.
Juventus also struggled to pick up all three points at Lecce.
Matri had only come off the bench four minutes earlier but he was on hand to head home the only goal of the game after Lecce goalkeeper Massimiliano Benassi parried Mirko Vucinic's shot.
Elsewhere, Roma captain Francesco Totti scored two penalties to help his side to a 2-0 win over Chievo Verona.
Stevan Jovetic also scored twice - including once from the spot - as Fiorentina beat struggling Novara 3-0. Riccardo Montolivo grabbed the Tuscan side's other goal.