Parma flattened Novara in this relegation dogfight and thanked Antonio Mirante for saving a penalty.
This was a head-to-head relegation tussle, even though a whopping 10 points separated them going into this game. The Ducali were not safe yet and Novara gambled their last desperate hopes of avoiding the drop. Gabriel Paletta was suspended for Parma, while the visitors missed Carlalberto Ludi, Massimo Paci, Francesco Marianini, Samir Ujkani and the banned Andrea Caracciolo.
An early Sebastian Giovinco free kick was palmed off the line and from that corner MacDonald Mariga just failed to get the final touch. Giovinco attempted an audacious lob from the tightest of angles and almost achieved it, as his shot clipped the crossbar.
Parma hit the woodwork again moments later, as Alberto Fontana acrobatically palmed a Cristian Zaccardo header on to the base of the far post, then did enough to force Alessandro Lucarelli’s follow-up wide.
The Ducali’s pressure finally paid off on the counter, as Novara had finally tried to push forward and left themselves open. Giovinco tried to dribble through everyone, then Mariga and Jonathan combined to set up the Atomic Ant for a tap-in from eight yards.
Jonathan doubled Parma’s lead before the break when Sergio Floccari ran on to a Giovinco through ball, drew out the goalkeeper and his wayward chip was redirected from point-blank range by the Inter-owned Brazilian.
Fabiano Santacroce went through the back of Taka Morimoto on the hour mark for a Novara penalty, but Marco Rigoni’s spot-kick was well saved by Antonio Mirante’s legs.
Novara tried to get back into the game, but Morimoto had a late effort cleared off the line.
Missed penalty: Rigoni 60 (N)