Reigning champions Juventus stormed back into second place in the Serie A table, while AC Milan's imploding season took another turn for the worse.
A day after Napoli removed Inter Milan from first place with their confident victory at Torino, Massimiliano Allegri's Bianconeri went to Bologna and won 3-0 to also leapfrog the Nerazzurri.
Miralem Pjanic fired Juve ahead with a sumptuous free-kick before the half-hour mark. The Bosnian then turned provider for Mario Mandzukic, who hooked home at the far post.
After the break, Blaise Matuidi confirmed the outcome with a screamer into the bottom corner, bringing Juve to within a point of Napoli heading into the last round of fixtures before Christmas.
Earlier today Gennaro Gattuso's 10-man Milan, already languishing down in seventh, were thrashed 3-0 at lowly Hellas Verona.
The team stacked with €230m worth of new players could only draw with previously pointless Benevento at the beginning of December and this week UEFA said it was monitoring the club's activities ahead of a potential Financial Fair Play investigation.
One bright point had been Milan's progression past Verona in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday, but in a twist of fate Hellas subjected the Rossoneri to defeat by the same scoreline.
Antonio Caracciolo's header from a Romulo corner gave the Gialloblu the upper hand and on-loan Juve teenager Moise Kean gave them further food for thought with his precise finish.
Daniel Bessa took the comeback off the table and Suso's late dismissal added insult to injury.
Verona briefly left the relegation zone thanks to that result, but Crotone dumped them back into 18th place when they beat Chievo 1-0 with a solitary first-half strike from Ante Budimir.
Matteo Politano hit a post and saw his penalty attempt saved before substitute Alessandro Matri came through at the death for Sassuolo in a 1-0 triumph at Sampdoria.
Elsewhere, Fiorentina's battle to escape mid-table obscurity continues after they were held to a goalless draw in Tuscany by Genoa.
Benevento's wait for a first top-flight win went on as Sergio Floccari's second-half brace helped SPAL come from behind to win 2-1.
Michele Cremonesi's 59th-minute own goal had given the basement boys hope of pulling off a landmark victory, but Floccari struck in the 64th and 74th minutes to condemn Benevento to another defeat.
Nantes maintained their push for European football after recording a 1-0 Ligue 1 victory over Angers despite the dismissal of Yacine Bammou.
Bammou was sent off in the 66th minute after receiving his second yellow card, but by that point the home side were already in front.
Emiliano Sala supplied the winning goal in the first half after delivering an unstoppable penalty, finding the net for the sixth time this season, to heighten the pressure on relegation-threatened Angers.
Mario Balotelli was on target to keep Nice on the coat-tails of Nantes in a 1-0 victory over Bordeaux.
Balotelli struck for the ninth time in this term's league campaign after beating goalkeeper Jerome Prior in the 37th minute.
Nantes occupy fifth place with Nice four points behind in sixth, both teams having played 18 matches.
Julian Korb scored an 83rd-minute equaliser as hosts Hannover claimed a point in a dramatic 4-4 draw with Bayer Leverkusen at the HDI Arena.
Julian Brandt had put the visitors in front after 11 minutes, but Ihlas Bebou levelled almost immediately and a Niclas Fullkrug penalty put Hannover in front on 21 minutes.
After Admir Mehmedi equalised for the visitors, Felix Klaus restored Hannover's advantage on the stroke of half-time.
Two second-half goals from Leon Bailey appeared to have turned it around for Leverkusen, but Korb's strike sealed the home side an entertaining point.
RB Leipzig were unable to claim second place as they slipped to a shock 3-2 home defeat to Hertha Berlin.
The visitors raced into a 3-0 lead thanks to two goals from Davie Selke and one from Salomon Kalou.
Willi Orban pulled one back and Marcel Halstenberg added a second for Leipzig in injury time but they could not complete the comeback.
The win came despite Hertha having Jordan Torunarigha sent off in the early stages when leading 1-0.
Cristhian Stuani's fifth-minute goal was enough to give Girona their second straight LaLiga win over Getafe on Sunday.
Stuani met Johan Mojica's cross with a powerful header past visiting keeper Vicente Guaita to give his side an early lead.
The 1-0 victory was another blow for Getafe who had been held to a goalless home draw by Eibar in their previous match.
Javi Calleja's Villarreal edged a close encounter at Celta Vigo to reclaim their place in the top six.
Pablo Fornals scored the only goal of the game in the 34th minute at Balaidos.
That ended a three-game losing streak across all competitions for the Yellow Submarine, with Celta six points away from both the bottom three and the European spots.
Bottom club Las Palmas staged a late comeback against Espanyol, but missed the chance to claim a remarkable victory via an injury-time penalty.
Gerard Moreno's first-half brace appeared to be consigning the hosts to a 12th league defeat of the season until a stirring finale.
Loic Remy pulled one back with nine minutes left and Jonathan Calleri levelled in the closing seconds but, when an injury-time spot-kick presented itself for Jonathan Viera, he missed.