Third-placed Inter Milan scored twice in the last six minutes through Stefan De Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni to snatch a 2-1 win at Parma in Serie A on Sunday despite a subdued display.
The scarcely-deserved victory left Inter eight points behind leaders Juventus and four adrift of second-placed Lazio with 10 games each to play.
Gervinho put Parma ahead with a solo goal in the 15th minute and, after a subdued display, Inter suddenly burst into life when defender De Vrij headed an equaliser and substitute Bastoni grabbed the winner three minutes later.
Inter had reserve goalkeeper Tommaso Berni shown the red card and ordered from the bench for dissent in the second half -- his second dismissal of a season in which he has yet to make an appearance on the pitch.
Inter coach Antonio Conte was suspended for accumulation of yellow cards and his side, held to a 3-3 draw at home by Sassuolo on Wednesday, seemed to miss the ranting of their fiery manager on the touchline.
They fell behind when Gervinho got to the byline, cut back inside to leave one defender on the ground then drove a low shot past Samir Handanovic.
Andreas Cornelius, scorer of a hat-trick in Parma's 4-1 midweek win at Genoa, missed two good chances to extend their lead as they pulled Inter's defence apart.
Inter pushed Parma back after the break but the home defence, expertly marshalled by 38-year-old Bruno Alves, rarely looked like being breached except when Alexis Sanchez forced a rare save from Luigi Sepe.
But six minutes from time, Lautaro Martinez headed a corner back into the area and De Vrij flicked it past Luigi Sepe to level.
Parma had Juraj Kucka sent off for dissent, lost concentration and left Bastoni unmarked to head in from a cross by fellow substitute Victor Moses three minutes later.
AC Milan sink Roma
AC Milan scored twice in the last quarter of an hour to sink AS Roma 2-0 in a slow-paced Serie A match on Sunday as both teams struggled in the San Siro heat.
The match kicked off at 1715 local time with the temperature around 32 Celsius and, although the pitch was almost entirely in the shade, the conditions clearly affected both teams.
After an entirely forgettable first half, Milan, still missing forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a calf injury, finally stirred into life after the break as Hakan Calhanoglu and Lucas Paqueta forced saves from Antonio Mirante.
The hosts broke through in the 76th minute when Franck Kessie’s shot was saved at close range by Mirante and the ball rebound to Ante Rebic. His first shot struck the post but the ball came straight back to him and he scored at the second attempt.
Calhanoglu converted a penalty in the 89th minute to give Milan their second straight win since the restart of Serie A. They stayed seventh with 42 points, six behind fifth-placed Roma.
Villarreal volley their way past toothless Valencia
IMAGE: Villarreal are among the top three form teams in the league since the season returned after the three-month new coronavirus stoppage and this was their fourth victory since the restart, a record matched only by Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. Photograph: Villarreal /Twitter
Villarreal beat neighbours Valencia 2-0 on Sunday with a pair of brilliant volleyed goals in the first half to boost their chances of a top-four finish, whilst further crushing their rivals hopes of returning to the Champions League.
Former Valencia forward Paco Alcacer opened the scoring with a superb volley on the turn in the 14th minute but opted against celebrating against the club where he began his career.
Alcacer’s strike partner Gerard Moreno scored an even better goal to double the lead in the 44th, as goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo launched the ball upfield and Santi Cazorla controlled it in the air with an irresistible touch before Moreno’s ferocious volley.
Villarreal are among the top three form teams in the league since the season returned after the three-month new coronavirus stoppage and this was their fourth victory since the restart, a record matched only by Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.
The result took them up to fifth on 51 points, within three of fourth-placed Sevilla with six games remaining in the season.
“If we keep playing like we are at the moment we can compete with anyone,” said goalscorer Alcacer.
“We’re not putting any pressure on ourselves, all we can do is go into every game with the same attitude we showed today and try and take the team as high as we can.”
By contrast, Valencia have picked up just four points since the campaign resumed and were left eighth in the table on 46, while they are without an away win in the league since December.
Also on Sunday, Levante effectively sealed their top-flight status with a thumping 4-2 win at home to Real Betis to move up to 12th on 41 points, 15 clear of the relegation zone.
Betis were left 13th on 37, 11 above the bottom three.