Inter Milan consolidated their position at the top of Serie A courtesy of a scrappy 1-0 home win over Torino in their final match of 2021.
It has been a year to remember for the Nerazzurri, ending an 11-year wait for the title under Antonio Conte, but Simone Inzaghi’s team could be on the way to repeating the feat.
Denzel Dumfries scored for the third time in four league matches and it was enough to secure another three points – a seventh straight Serie A success.
City rivals AC Milan are up to second and four points behind after winning 4-2 at Empoli.
Franck Kessie netted twice either side of Nedim Bajrami’s equaliser for the hosts, before second-half strikes from Alessandro Florenzi and Theo Hernandez sealed the win, despite Andrea Pinamonti’s late penalty.
Napoli continue to stutter after losing 1-0 at home to struggling Spezia. Juan Jesus’ 37th-minute own goal settled the game and inflicted a third loss in four league games on Luciano Spalletti’s side.
Napoli will begin the new year third in the table and seven points behind Inter.
Dusan Vlahovic ended tied with Cristiano Ronaldo’s record for the most league goals in a single calendar year as he failed to add to his 33 strikes in Fiorentina’s 1-1 draw at Verona.
Gaetano Castrovilli’s strike in the final 10 minutes earned the Viola a point, cancelling out Kevin Lasagna’s early opener.
Roma had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Stadio Olimpico after Eldor Shomurodov’s opening goal was cancelled out by Manolo Gabbiadini late on to earn Sampdoria a point.
Goals from Pedro, Francesco Acerbi and Luis Alberto saw Lazio win 3-1 at Venezia, who went into half-time level after Francesco Forte’s equaliser. The hosts finished the match with 10 men after Tanner Tessmann was sent off in stoppage time.
Sassuolo suffered a first defeat in seven league games as they lost 3-0 at home to neighbours Bologna. Riccardo Orsolini, Aaron Hickey and Federico Santander were on the scoresheet for the visitors.
It was the first time Sassuolo had failed to score in 15 games since mid-September.