Julio Cruz stepped off the substitutes’ bench to score the only goal of the game and send Internazionale clear at the top of the Serie A table with a 1-0 win over Lecce .
New Inter boss Jose Mourinho was famed for making match-winning substitutions during his time at Chelsea, and did so again at the San Siro as Cruz netted just seven minutes after coming on for defender Cristian Chivu in the 72nd minute.
It was a timely strike from the Argentinian that prevented a frustrating night for Inter and sent them a point clear at the top of the Serie A table.
Juventus dropped to fifth after a goal from Gianvito Plasmati earned Catania a 1-1 draw and brought the Old Lady’s winning run to an end.
Juve had moved up to second after two narrow 1-0 wins, with Brazilian striker Amauri grabbing the vital goal each time, and he looked like doing the business again after giving the hosts the lead after just 16 minutes.
But Catania, who held the Bianconeri to two 1-1 draws in the league last season, refused to throw in the towel and were rewarded for their efforts when second-half substitute Plasmati headed in an equaliser 22 minutes from time.
Lazio have replaced Juve in second after they beat Fiorentina 3-0 at the Stadio Olimpico.
Keen to get back to winning ways after a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of AC Milan at the weekend, they handed out a heavy beating of their own with second-half goals from Stefano Mauri, Goran Pandev and Sebastiano Siviglia.
Atalanta moved up to third with a 1-0 win over Cagliari thanks to a 79th-minute goal from Sergio Floccari, while Napoli went fourth after holding off a late Palermo comeback to win 2-1.
Fabrizio Miccoli stepped up to score from the penalty spot with seven minutes remaining to set up a tense finale to the game after a goal in each half from Marek Hamsik and Marcelo Zalayeta had put Napoli in charge.
Antonio Floro Flores scored one and created two more to inspire Udinese to victory over 10-man Bologna and move them up to sixth.
The former Italy Under-21 striker won the penalty with which Gaetano D’Agostino gave the visitors the lead and then scored himself after rounding off a fine breakaway move, before laying on the third goal for Simone Pepe.
Genoa moved to eighth after inflicting more misery on 10-man Roma with a 3-1 win.
Diego Milito scored twice following Giuseppe Sculli’s opener. Daniele De Rossi scored for Roma before receiving his marching orders with 22 minutes left.
Brazil striker Alexandre Pato ensured Milan continued their resurgence with victory at Reggina.
The 19-year-old scored the winner with less than 20 minutes remaining after Bernado Corradi, Reggina’s only goalscorer in the league so far, had equalised Marco Borriello’s opener for the Rossoneri.
Michele Marcolini scored to protect Chievo’s proud record at the Stadio Bentegodi and give them a 1-1 draw with Torino.
Rolando Bianchi scored for the visitors from the penalty spot 10 minutes before half-time.
Finally Sampdoria failed to register their first win of the season as they were held to a goalless draw by Siena.