* Sanchez nets four, Di Natale three as Palermo collapse
* Roma go 2-0 up but Parma and Amauri battle back for draw
Alexis Sanchez scored four goals and Antonio Di Natale grabbed a hat-trick as Udinese romped to a 7-0 win at nine-man Palermo on Sunday while AS Roma were held 2-2 by Parma in Vincenzo Montella's first home game in charge.
Udinese, who raced to a 5-0 halftime lead, and Roma both gained ground on fourth-placed Lazio, who lost 1-0 at Cagliari following a comical own goal from Brazilian defender Andre Dias after 40 minutes.
Udinese are fifth, just a point behind Lazio in the Champions League preliminary round spot, with Roma four points further back in sixth place.
Inter Milan in third visit Sampdoria later on Sunday (1945 GMT) with leaders AC Milan hosting second-placed Napoli on Monday (1945 GMT).
The scenes in Sicily were truly remarkable with Chile forward Sanchez, tracked by champions Inter, bagging a first half hat-trick and Di Natale completing the rout with a penalty just after the hour.
Sanchez, applauded by Palermo fans when later substituted, had grabbed his fourth after 48 minutes as Palermo fell apart with Armin Bacinovic and Matteo Darmian sent off for a second booking and a professional foul either side of the break.
Udinese have been in superb form after a shaky start while Palermo have suddenly started sliding down the table and the future of coach Delio Rossi will now be under the spotlight given club president Maurizio Zamparini's famously short fuse.
"I know it has nothing to do with the lads. It is solely my fault. I prepared badly for the game. There is not seven goals' difference between Udinese and Palermo," Rossi told Sky.
Parma boss Pasquale Marino's job was also looking under threat with Roma 2-0 up at the break but a stunning backheel and a scrappy second from striker Amauri in quick succession in the second half sealed a point for the out-of-form side.
Roma beat Bologna 1-0 on Wednesday in former striker Montella's first game as caretaker since Claudio Ranieri quit last weekend and the 36-year-old's side again showed more verve than in recent weeks.
Captain Francesco Totti, controversially put on the bench by his ex-strike partner on Wednesday, returned to the starting lineup to make his 600th club appearance and netted a debatable penalty on 19 minutes before Juan bundled in after a corner.
In the battle to avoid the drop, bottom side Bari drew 1-1 with Fiorentina, Brescia were held 2-2 by Lecce and third-bottom Cesena grabbed a late 1-0 win at home to Chievo thanks to Luis Jimenez's 90th-minute penalty.
Catania gave themselves a little breathing space with 2-1 comeback win over Genoa, who had Domenico Criscito sent off for a professional foul and then had goalscorer Antonio Floro Flores and coach Davide Ballardini ordered from the bench for arguing.
Bologna shocked wilting Juventus 2-0 in Turin on Saturday.