Marco Borriello came off the bench to strike nine minutes from time and handed Serie A leaders Juventus a 1-0 victory at Cesena on Wednesday, a result that condemns the home side to Serie B football next season.
Marco Borriello celebrates with Del Piero after scoring the winnner for Juventus against Cesena in a Serie A match on April 25, 2012.
The win at the Dino Manuzzi stadium sees Juve remain three points clear of AC Milan at the top of the standings with four games remaining.
Juventus head coach Antonio Conte believed that his side could create history after they beat Cesena to move closer to the Serie A title.
"It was really difficult for us today with 11 men behind the ball, but this is a great sign of maturity and we passed the test. We sweat buckets against a team that did everything possible to stop us," he said.
"We have an extraordinary opportunity, you could even say unique. The pen is on the table and we can write history," he added.
Juventus looked to be heading for a frustrating afternoon after Andrea Pirlo had struck the post from the penalty spot early on and team-mate Paolo De Ceglie had also been denied by the woodwork in the opening half.
However, Borriello came to the rescue just six minutes after replacing Alessandro Matri.
Cesena, who failed to test Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon throughout the game, lie at the foot of the standings and are unable to catch Genoa, who hold the last position of safety. They are 14 points behind Genoa with 12 points still up for grabs and return to the second division after two campaigns in Italy's top flight.
Kevin-Prince Boateng kept AC Milan title hunt and sent the club who brought him to Italy closer to relegation with a late 1-0 win against Genoa.
Kevin-Prince Boateng celebrates after scoring in a Serie A match between AC Milan and Genoa on April 25, 2012.
The Ghana international kept Milan's Scudetto challenge on track with an 86th-minute goal in a frustrating match for Massimiliano Allegri's hosts.
Genoa, who remain just one point above the relegation zone, lost Bosko Jankovic to a red card midway through the second half.
Novara maintained hope of staying in the division with a narrow 2-1 win over Lazio - and complicated the Biancoceleste's push for a Champions League spot in the process.
An own goal from Mobido Diakite put Novara in front against the run of play in the 35th minute, but Antonio Candreva replied immediately.
As Lazio pushed for a winner, former Napoli striker Giuseppe Mascara did his ex-club a favor with a winner for the Piedmontese side, who cannot now be mathematically relegated until at least the weekend.
Inter Milan drew level on points with Udinese following a 3-1 victory at the Stadio Friuli on Wednesday as the battle for places in Europe intensifies.
Danilo gave Udinese the lead in the sixth minute, but two goals from Wesley Sneijder turned the game in Inter's favor before Ricardo Alvarez added another before the break.
The result was harsh on the home side, who did all of the attacking, but just failed to turn their dominance into goals as Inter drew level in the table with five clubs now vying for third place.
Napoli moved into fourth place in Serie A with a 2-0 win away at Lecce, with goals from Marek Hamsik and Edison Cavani keeping their prospects of Champions League football alive.
The visitors scored at the start of either half to go within a point of third-placed Lazio, who surprisingly lost at Novara, while Udinese also slipped up at home to Inter Milan.
Hamsik handed his side the lead in the fifth minute, with Cavani doubling the lead six minutes after the break as Lecce failed to make their own chances count.
Fiorentina midfielder Andrea Lazzari struck to hand his side a 2-1 win and dent Roma's European ambitions.
Stevan Jovetic got the Viola off to a dream start with a glancing header from Lazzari's cross to put the visitors ahead after two minutes.
Roma struggled to break down a resolute Fiorentina defence but captain Francesco Totti managed to equalize 19 minutes from time, before Lazzari's late intervention.
Parma further boosted their survival hopes and heaped yet more home misery on Palermo with a 2-1 victory at La Favorita.
After falling behind to an early Abel Hernandez strike, Parma secured their third straight win thanks to second-half efforts by Stefano Okaka and Jonathan Biabiany.
The three points lifted the visitors into ninth place, nine points clear of danger and now almost certainly assured of safety with just four games remaining.
Bologna extended their unbeaten run to four games as they earned a valuable point with a 1-1 draw at Siena.
Mattia Destro had put Siena ahead early in the second half before Bologna striker Alessandro Diamanti equalised with a free-kick with 21 minutes remaining.
Neither side could find a winner as both teams were happy to settle for a point apiece at the Artemio Franchi stadium in their battle to remain in Serie A.