Palermo are practically in Serie B after sensationally losing at home to Siena, who leave the foot of the table with this result.
It was a true last chance saloon for both teams, as they were stuck together propping up the table with 21 points, on a par with Pescara going into the weekend. They were five points adrift of the safety zone and Palermo Coach Gian Piero Gasperini confessed “whoever loses this will be cut out of the race to stay in Serie A.”
The Sicilians were without Edgar Barreto, Abel Hernandez and Andrea Mantovani, while Nicola Pozzi and Simone Vergassola missed the trip.
Gianluca Pegolo had to be at full stretch to fingertip an Andrea Dossena curler round the upright in the opening four minutes, then Stefano Sorrentino needed a sensational save to deny Alessandro Rosina’s header from point-blank range.
Pegolo palmed away a Mauro Boselli header from a corner, while Rosina volleyed over at the back post from an Alessio Sestu cross.
Felipe charged down a Boselli shot, but the deadlock was broken in chaotic circumstances just before the break.
A Miccoli corner was headed on to the post by Siena defender Cristian Terlizzi in what was almost a comical own goal, but Anselmo pounced on the rebound to tap in and give Palermo the lead.
Siena equalised after the restart thanks to some dismal defending from the Sicilians. A cross was not dealt with at all by Ezequiel Munoz and Sorrentino, so Innocent Emeghara had plenty of time to turn into an empty net from seven yards. It was the Nigerian-Swiss striker’s fifth goal in six games.
Steve Von Bergen tripped Emeghara in the box for a penalty to Siena. Rosina stepped up and coolly converted at the near bottom corner, sending Sorrentino the wrong way.
The Stadio Barbera was stunned into silence and Munoz turned a powerful header on to the crossbar from Josip Ilicic’s free kick to further add to their pain.
The home crowd began to hurl abuse at their players a good 10 minutes before the end of the game, as a defeat here would almost certainly mean relegation.
Palermo hit the woodwork again in the final minute with a Nelson screamer from distance.