Veteran defender Sinisa Mihajlovic scored in the 35th minute to lead Inter Milan to a 1-0 win over Brescia and lift it to fourth place in the Serie A standings.
Inter remains the only unbeaten team in the league after 16 rounds but trails leader Juventus by 15 points after winning only four and drawing a record 12 matches.
Udinese remains in third place after scoring three first-half goals to beat 10-man Lazio 3-0 for its eighth win in 10 games.
Juventus tops the standings with 39 points following a goalless draw Saturday against AC Milan which is second on 35 points four ahead of Udinese. Inter is a distant fourth with 24 the same as Sampdoria.
At Friuli stadium in Udine Colombian midfielder David Pizarro converted a penalty kick in the 14th minute and forward David Di Michele made it 2-0 three minutes later to pave the way for an easy victory.
Striker Vincenzo Iaquinta netted his sixth goal of the season to make it 3-0 in the 37th.
Lazio one player down after only seven minutes following the ejection of defender Sebastiano Siviglia was left with 17 points after its seventh loss of the season only a point above the relegation zone. The latest flop may cost Lazio's coach Mimmo Caso his job.
At San Siro Mihajlovic scored the game winner for Inter with a curling free kick past the wall and into the net.
It was Mihajlovic's 35th career free kick goal.
"It was not a perfect match for Inter but at least we scored a good result. We had played much better in previous matches and failed to win said Mihajlovic who transferred from Lazio in the off season along with coach Roberto Mancini.
As strikers Adriano and Christian Vieri squandered more chances Brescia put the Inter defense under pressure in the closing minutes and groups of fans jeered the home team.
The Inter coach said his team won a difficult match "which was difficult because Brescia is a good team and because we squandered several chances for a second goal."
"We moved two points closer to Juventus and Milan. Let's hope our comeback has begun ... we still hope to win the title Mancini said.
At Stadio Olimpico imaginative forwards Antonio Cassano and Francesco Totti each scored two goals and striker Vincenzo Montella added another as AS Roma thrashed Parma 5-1. Earlier this week Parma surprisingly qualified for the round of 32 of the UEFA Cup under newly signed coach Pietro Carmignani.
Totti became the highest scoring player in AS Roma history improving his career record to 108 Serie A goals with the Roman team.
Roma which had a disastrous start to the season has 23 points one short of Inter and Sampdoria which won 4-1 at 10-man Lecce.
In other matches Sunday Bologna downed Reggina 2-0 on goals by Claudio Bellucci and Mourad Meghni; Cristiano Rigano and Spain forward Javier Portillo gave Fiorentina a 2-0 home win over Chievo Verona; and Siena and Livorno played to a 1-1 draw in the Tuscan Derby.
In a late match Cagliari was at Palermo. Saturday's Messina-Atalanta match was abandoned following severe rain. A new date for the match was not immediately decided.
Serie A soccer then goes into a two-week break for the Christmas and New Year holidays. The 17th round is scheduled for Thursday Jan. 6.