Gian Piero Gasperini’s debut ended in defeat, as Palermo were beaten by Atalanta in the final minutes.
The Rosanero were forced to begin again after sacking Giuseppe Sannino following one point from three games. Gasperini was brought in for his first job since being fired by Inter just a few weeks into last season. He couldn’t count on the injured Franco Brienza and Eran Zahavi, but launched a 3-4-3 system without Fabrizio Miccoli. Curiously, Massimo Donati was re-routed to centre-back.
Atalanta were fresh from a shock victory over Milan at San Siro, but missed Federico Peluso, Davide Biondini, Ezequiel Schelotto, Carlos Carmona, Guido Marilungo, Ivan Radovanovic, Ferreira Pinto and Daniele Capelli. Giampaolo Bellini was injured in the warm-up, so Michele Ferri stepped in.
The tension was palpable with two teams who flooded the midfield, meaning chances were hard to come by.
German Denis’ volley was off target, but Andrea Consigli got down quickly to palm an Edgar Barreto daisy-cutter round the base of the near post.
A Palermo corner flashed all the way across the face of goal, as the home side were under pressure. Luca Cigarini broke the siege by setting up Cristian Raimondi, who hesitated and wasted the opportunity.
On 38 minutes Palermo thought they had taken the lead with Ezequiel Munoz, but he was correctly flagged offside when nodding in a free kick.
Denis failed to make the most of an error from make-shift centre-back Donati at the dawn of the second half, firing off target.
Under-21 international De Luca came off the bench and revived Atalanta, skipping between two defenders down the left before Samir Ujkani rushed out to block at his feet.
In the final minutes a Cigarini screamer took a touch off Donati to skim the near post. It was only a warning, as from that corner Raimondi got between defenders for a free header against his former club.