Pescara celebrated their first win of the season with a Vladimir Weiss screamer after 10-man Palermo wasted numerous chances.
Both sides had only one point to their names, although it was the Sicilians who felt it more of a crisis. Gian Piero Gasperini lost his debut after replacing Giuseppe Sannino last week and hoped for better in his second outing, though had to do without Mauro Cetto, Eran Zahavi and Milan Milanovic. Pescara kept faith with Coach Giovanni Stroppa despite three opening defeats. Ivan Pelizzoli was in goal due to Mattia Perin’s ban, while Christian Terlizzi and the injured Francesco Modesto and Alessandro Crescenzi also missed out.
This was an historic encounter, as the two clubs had never gone head-to-head in Serie A before.
The Delfini started brightly with Gianluca Caprari and Juan Fernando Quintero drilling just wide from distance in the opening minutes.
Abel Hernandez had the ball in the back of the net, but was flagged offside from Giorgi’s assist. The flag stayed down seconds later, but this time Pelizzoli smothered at the Uruguayan’s feet.
Palermo really should’ve scored with an extraordinary double chance on 18 minutes, but twice Pelizzoli parried around an Uros Cosic goalline clearance on Edgar Barreto and twice Hernandez fired the follow-up straight at him!
Hernandez did score with a spectacular kick, but was again offside. Pescara had a great chance moments later, but the finish from Ante Vukusic was weak and straight at Samir Ujkani.
Pelizzoli beat away a Luigi Giorgi screamer from the edge of the box, but Ujkani had to parry an Emmanuel Cascione header from point-blank range in a wide open and entertaining match at the Stadio Adriatico.
Palermo had been playing better in the first half, but shot themselves in the foot when Steve Von Bergen used his hand to stop Vukusic going clear on goal just outside the box for a straight red card. It was perhaps an instinctive gesture, but did take the ball off the Croatian’s foot.
The home side lost Cosic to a knee injury on the stroke of half-time.
Straight after the restart, Palermo nearly took the lead when Barreto threaded through for Ilicic, but the angled drive was well parried by Pelizzoli at full stretch.
Caprari was rightly booked for simulation and Pelizzoli ran off his line to clear from Ilicic. Ujkani got a hand to a Vukusic angled drive on a classic counter-attack, seeing it squirm away from an open goal.
Barreto nodded down for Ilicic to smash a fierce effort just off target and Gasperini went for broke in the final stages by introducing Fabrizio Miccoli and Franco Brienza.
It seemed to be heading for a 0-0 draw, but with four minutes to go substitute Vladimir Weiss unleashed an absolute blockbuster into the top corner that left Ujkani rooted to the spot! The former Manchester City midfielder hit a screamer from 20 metres that the goalkeeper could only watch fly into the net.
Elvis Abbruscato nearly got a second on the counter-attack from a Palermo corner, but this time Ujkani was alert and rushed off his line to clear at his feet just outside the box.
Sent off: Von Bergen 35 (Pa)