Lazio's third place, however, is now under threat after a 3-2 reverse at Genoa which left Vladimir Petkovic's side only three points ahead of Milan and Inter Milan, with Fiorentina, in sixth, a further point off the pace.
As Inter dropped more points in a shock 3-1 defeat away to Siena, city rivals Milan stole the limelight thanks to a Balotelli double on what was the 22-year-old's debut following his transfer from Manchester City in midweek.
Messi gives Barcelona drawBarcelona: Lionel Messi extended his record streak by scoring in his 12th consecutive Spanish league game to give leader Barcelona a 1-1 draw at Valencia, while Atletico Madrid remained perfect at home through 20 games in all competitions.
Midfielder Ever Banega struck first for Valencia in the 33rd, only for Messi to level for the visitors from the penalty spot six minutes later.
It was Barcelona's second draw in five days after being held 1-1 by archrival Real Madrid in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal.