Palermo fought back from a goal down to win a pulsating match 5-3 against Genoa.
These two clubs started the season with lofty ambitions, but were finding it difficult to bed in new Coaches. Bortolo Mutti was already on the brink after one point from his first three games in charge, while Pasquale Marino received a boost in last week’s unexpected victory over Udinese. Alberto Gilardino and Rodrigo Palacio were back from injury, though Kevin Constant, Luca Antonelli, Dario Dainelli, Miguel Veloso, Cesare Bovo, Kakha Kaladze and the suspended Marco Rossi missed out.
Palermo had Eran Zahavi, Eros Pisano and Abel Hernandez unavailable, but threw Emiliano Viviano straight into the starting XI just days after they bought out 50 per cent of his contract from Genoa. It was the goalkeeper’s first game of the season after a devastating injury over the summer.
Fabrizio Miccoli tested Sebastien Frey early on when he perhaps should’ve set up teammate Igor Budan.
The new boys combined straight away to create Genoa’s opening goal. Giuseppe Sculli sent Gilardino down the left to rush into the box and intelligently roll across for Palacio to tap in with his knee from close range.
Massimo Donati also made his Palermo debut and an inspired disguised pass released Miccoli only to fire across an open goal. Budan went much closer, his header cracking against the crossbar moments later from Miccoli’s corner. Giulio Migliaccio had penalty appeals when his shot was charged down in the box.
Budan did get the equaliser after a sustained period of pressure, breaking away from the defence for a towering header on the chipped Miccoli pass over the top.
Matias Silvestre turned the game around completely to put Palermo in front. It was again an aerial threat, as the corner was eventually crossed by Josip Ilicic for a soaring Silvestre header from seven yards.
It was an action-packed first half and the Rosanero went 3-1 ahead as Miccoli shrugged off a defender and rolled across for Andrea Mantovani to come sliding in at the back post for the easy tap-in.
Genoa were falling apart and switched to a 3-5-2 system, but Miccoli stung Frey’s gloves again from a seemingly impossible angle.
There was controversy when Federico Balzaretti blocked a Palacio cross with his outstretched arm after it had ricocheted off his foot, suggesting it was involuntary. Nonetheless, Palacio stepped up and beat Viviano with a central penalty.
Frey just about flapped a Miccoli free kick out of the near top corner and Budan nodded the follow-up on to the side-netting.
Palermo got their fourth with Miccoli 15 minutes from time, as he sprung the offside trap from Budan’s pass thanks to an Emiliano Moretti error and waltzed around Frey to deposit into an empty net.
Migliaccio made it 5-2 when allowed a completely free header from Miccoli’s free kick.
Viviano did have some work to do, palming a Cristobal Jorquera effort round the far post, then Bosko Jankovic was given acres of space and time to tap in a loose ball from a corner.