Milan, Dec 22: Juventus and Udinese failed to turn their attacking ambition into goals, playing out a 0-0 draw on Wednesday which leaves Antonio Conte's team level with AC Milan at the top of the Serie A standings.
In one of the few games of the night that didn't feature plenty of goals, Claudio Marchisio and Fabio Quagliarella had the best of Juve's chances while Mauricio Isla came close to breaking the deadlock for Udinese.
In a week where Italian football has been rocked by the latest arrests in a match-fixing investigation, attention turned back to the action on the pitch in a game where the scoreline belied the entertainment value. Although there were few clear-cut scoring opportunities, Udinese and Juventus attacked throughout.
In contrast there were goals galore in the other Serie A matches. Diego Milito broke his goalscoring duck to help Inter Milan beat Lecce 4-1, while Atalanta also won 4-1 against Cesena. Napoli did even better, humiliating Genoa 6-1.
Catania came back from two goals down to draw 3-3 at Parma.
Juventus remains unbeaten and is now level on points with Milan heading into the winter break. Despite that, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon insists the team is still not thinking of the Serie A title.
“It was a good game and I think in the end a draw was the fairest result,” Buffon said. “We're still unbeaten and that's a fact we're proud of, nobody would have ever thought of being in this place.
“What's our aim for 2012? It's not the title but we're aiming to qualify for the Champions League.”
Udinese, which lost its perfect record at the Stadio Friuli, is two points off Juventus and Milan.
A clearly irate Francesco Guidolin blamed Udinese's lack of goalscoring chances on the fact that this was his team's third match in a week.
“This is not football, it's not human to play three matches in five days and 20 hours, and always in the cold,” the Udinese coach said. “It's the third time that's happened to us. We played Thursday, Sunday and today. I don't want to look for excuses, I'm just asking if this is fair.”
Inter's revival has gathered pace recently but it seemed as if it would be halted in its tracks when Luis Muriel gave bottom-place Lecce the lead in the 20th minute.
Inter must have thought it was bewitched as it hit the woodwork four times before Giampaolo Pazzini equalized 10 minutes from halftime.
Milito, who has missed several easy chances of late, put Inter in four minutes after the interval. Esteban Cambiasso and Ricardo Alvarez secured the points.
Napoli got back to winning ways in spectacular fashion. Edinson Cavani beat the offside trap twice, either side of Marek Hamsik's strike before Cristobal Jorquera grabbed one back for Genoa in the 27th minute.
However, Goran Pandev, Walter Gargano and Juan Zuniga scored to hand Napoli its second win in eight games.
Like Genoa, Cesena was also in for a miserable night. Cesena, which started the night third from bottom, shocked Atalanta by taking the lead in the 12th minute thanks to Antonio Candreva.
However, Atalanta's response was swift and brutal. The league's top scorer German Denis leveled from the spot shortly afterward before Guido Marilungo scored a brace. Federico Peluso added the last goal in the second half.
Meanwhile, Roma's revival gathered pace as it beat struggling Bologna 2-0 with goals from Rodrigo Taddei and Pablo Osvaldo.
There was less joy for the capital's other club. Lazio was held to a goalless draw by Chievo, but it remains in fourth place.
Bortolo Mutti's first game in charge of Palermo started brightly against Novara. An own goal from Carlalberto Ludi gave the Sicilian side the lead and, although Josip Ilicic was sent off shortly before halftime, Palermo managed to get a second thanks to Nicolas Bertolo.
However, Andrea Mazzarani and Marco Rigoni secured a vital point for struggling Novara.
Catania also pulled off a comeback at Parma. Sergio Almiron leveled after Francesco Modesto had given Parma a fifth-minute lead. But goals from Jonathan Biabiany and Sergio Floccari put the home side back in front.
Catania was handed a lifeline when it was awarded a penalty which Francesco Lodi duly converted and Andrea Catellani grabbed the equalizer five minutes from time.
The midweek matches were originally slated to open the Serie A season in late August, but were postponed due to a players' strike.
While the strike was eventually settled, the Italian game continues to be rocked by an ongoing investigation into match-fixing and illegal betting on games.
On Monday, former Atalanta captain Cristiano Doni and 16 other people were arrested across Italy as part of an inquiry focused on several Serie A and B matches from the past two seasons.