|Benatia opens the scoring for Udinese at the Stadio Friuli [GALLO/GETTY]
Udinese took the Italian league lead with a 2-0 win over last-place Bologna on Sunday.
Morocco defender Mehdi Benatia scored following a corner kick in the 29th minute and captain Antonio Di Natale - who has led Serie A in goals scored the past two seasons - converted a penalty in the 72nd at the Friuli stadium in Udine.
Udinese goalkeeper Samir Handanovic preserved the north-eastern club's lead by keeping out a dangerous free kick from Alessandro Diamanti in the 60th.
With 11 points, Udinese have one more than Napoli, Palermo and Cagliari.
Napoli beat 10-man Inter Milan 3-0 Saturday, 10-man Palermo defeated Siena 2-0 and Cagliari won 2-0 at Lecce.
Thiago Ribeiro and Davide Biondini scored in the first half for Cagliari, while Giulio Migliaccio gave Palermo the lead following a free kick from captain Fabrizio Miccoli.
Palermo defender Federico Balzaretti picked up his second yellow card in the 55th but the Sicilian squad doubled the lead in added time with a penalty from Abel Hernandez after Siena's Luca Rossettini was sent off for protesting.
Elsewhere, Lazio beat Fiorentina 2-1 with a late goal from Miroslav Klose and Parma beat Genoa 3-1 with two goals from 1.64-metre forward Sebastian Giovinco.
Fiorentina fans still remember Klose scoring a goal while offside in the Champions League when he was with Bayern Munich a couple seasons ago, and this time the Germany forward found the target without the help of the referee, heading in from the centre of the area to raise his tally to five goals in seven matches in all competitions in his first season in Italy.
Alessio Cerci had given Fiorentina the lead eight minutes in at its Artemio Franchi stadium and Brazil playmaker Hernanes equalised for Lazio in the 28th.
Giovinco also played a part in Parma's third goal from captain Stefano Morrone, while Rodrigo Palacio pulled one back for Genoa with a penalty in injury time, drawing him even with Giovinco atop the league scoring chart with five goals.
Also, Cesena forward Adrian Mutu had a penalty blocked in a 0-0 draw with Chievo Verona.
Earlier in the lunchtime fixture, Argentine midfielder Alejandro Gomez scored an injury-time equaliser as Catania drew 3-3 at newly promoted Novara.
Brazilian forward Jeda gave Novara the lead for the first time in the 85th by heading in his own rebound but Gomez equalised with an intelligent angled shot to earn Catania a deserved draw.