Parma caused a massive upset and continued to break away from the relegation zone by conquering unlucky Palermo.
The Ducali had improved lately with two consecutive victories, although were still not entirely safe from the threat of relegation. Both engaged in squad rotation, resting Fabrizio Miccoli and Sergio Floccari, while MacDonald Mariga and Massimo Gobbi missed out on this trip. Palermo had Nicolas Bertolo suspended with Federico Balzaretti and Giulio Migliaccio injured. The club was shaken this week by technical director Christian Panucci’s resignation just 34 days after taking the job.
Abel Hernandez opened the scoring with a free header at the back post from a well-worked free kick, knocked down for him by Andrea Mantovani.
It was almost 2-0 moments later, as Hernandez steered another header just wide of the upright when getting away from Fabiano Santacroce.
Parma’s day got worse, as Cristian Zaccardo limped off to make way for Alessandro Lucarelli. Sebastian Giovinco’s free kick was plucked out of the air, while Igor Budan forced Antonio Mirante into a tough save at the near post from point-blank range after leaving Santacroce behind.
Palermo were also forced into a substitution, as Francesco Della Rocca picked up a muscular problem. The Sicilians threatened a second goal before the break, as Budan’s shot was deflected off Gabriel Paletta to skim the woodwork.
Matias Silvestre got his header to a Vazquez corner straight after the restart, but was denied by the frame of the goal.
Parma responded as Jonathan Biabiany burst past Labrin and his cross was well intercepted by Emiliano Viviano.
The Ducali equalised when Giovinco skipped past one defender and squirmed between two others to sting the goalkeeper’s palms at the near post, but Viviano could do nothing on Stefano Okaka’s headed follow-up from point-blank range.
Okaka’s low cross for Giovinco saw the Atomic Ant hit it straight at the goalkeeper, but he was offside anyway to spare his blushes. Igor Budan was furious at his substitution and hurled a water bottle on the bench.
Parma turned the game around completely with Biabiany, as Giovinco sensationally trapped a long Daniele Galloppa ball and flicked it back from the by-line for the French winger to pass into the net from six yards.
Jonathan failed to finish off a smart team move for Parma, his shot whistling wide of the target with Viviano beaten. Biabiany went on the counter and passed to Giovinco unmarked, but the assist was a little behind him and forced a hesitation.
Mirante rushed off his line to close down Hernandez and accidentally got a shin to the head, leaving the goalkeeper rather dazed, but he was able to continue.
Fabrizio Miccoli was very unlucky on 85 minutes, as his fierce shot from the edge of the box beat Mirante only to come off the inside of the upright and ricochet back all the way across the goalline to go out again.