Theo Hernandez nodded in a late winner to keep AC Milan top of Serie A heading into the winter break with a 3-2 victory over Lazio on Wednesday.
Milan are one point ahead of city rivals Inter who earlier extended their winning run to seven games with a 2-1 success over Hellas Verona.
Lazio had come from two goals down thanks to Luis Alberto and Ciro Immobile but French defender Hernandez headed in his third goal in as many games in injury time to seal all three points.
Milan shook off the continued absence of injured star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to continue their unbeaten run which goes back to last March as they target a first Serie A title since 2011.
The two Milan clubs have surged ahead of their rivals, with Roma moving up to third, six points behind Inter, after a 3-2 win over Cagliari.
“I’m very proud of these lads,” said coach Stefano Pioli whose side have 34 points in 14 Serie A games, twice as many as at this stage last season. “They are doing something important. With Ibra on the pitch we are stronger, but we are taking advantage of everyone’s characteristics even without him.
Napoli dropped from third to fifth, two points behind Roma, despite Lorenzo Insigne scoring late to rescue a 1-1 draw at home with rock-bottom Torino.
Reigning champions Juventus are sixth – 10 points adrift of top spot – after crashing to their first Serie A defeat of the season, 3-0 at home against Fiorentina on Tuesday.