The contest in Pescara was nine minutes old when Mario Balotelli struck from the spot. Sulley Muntari took Robinho’s free-kick and finished unerringly to make it two and Mathieu Flamini put the result beyond doubt after half-time. Balotelli added the final flourish, turning inside the area and slamming high into the roof of the net.
As for the champions, they made it nine victories in a row thanks to Alessandro Matri’s 18th-minute winner in Bergamo, while second-placed Napoli beat Bologna 3-0. Marek Hamsik, Cavani and Dzemaili with the goals.
Elsewhere, Udinese beat Palermo 3-2 to climb into fifth and all but end Palermo’s hope of avoiding relegation. Palermo looked like they had battled back for a draw, but with six minutes to go, a howler by Palermo goalkeeper Sorrentino gifted Udinese the goal and more importantly all three points.
At the bottom end of the table, Torino and Genoa drew 0-0, while Siena must conjure something special to wriggle free of the relegation noose after losing 1-0 at home to fourth-placed Fiorentina. Meanwhile, Parma FC won 1-0 at Cagliari Calcio.
The bottom of the table looks like this with two games to go:
16: Torino 37 points
17: Genoa 36 points
18: Palermo 32 points
19: Siena 30 points
20: Pescara 22 points