Andreas Cornelius came off the bench for injured Roberto Inglese, but scored a hat-trick as Parma crushed sorry Genoa 5-1.
Bruno Alves was a late addition to the injury list with Vincent Laurini, so Parma gave Albania international Kastriot Dermaku his first start in defence. The Grifone missed Andrea Favilli, Domenico Criscito and suspended Riccardo Saponara, with Goran Pandev given the nod alongside Christian Kouame.
An early Antonino Barillà scorcher skimmed the crossbar, but Roberto Inglese limped off after just 10 minutes with a sprained ankle, making way for Andreas Cornelius.
The substitute had a good scoring opportunity at the back post, but only volleyed it on to the side-netting, while at the other end Luigi Sepe fumbled a cross and Juraj Kucka made a decisive block on the Goran Pandev follow-up.
There was a huge scare on 31 minutes for the hosts, as a free kick was knocked down for Edoardo Goldaniga, who twice tested Sepe from point-blank range.
Moments later, Parma missed a sitter, as Riccardo Gagliolo’s wayward effort turned into an accidental assist for Cornelius, only for the striker to somehow fire wide from eight yards.
The hosts did take the lead eventually with a long passing move that started within their own half. It concluded thanks to Kucka’s give and go with Kulusevski, sliding in from 12 yards.
It was 2-0 soon after, as Matteo Scozzarella’s free kick found Cornelius for a glancing header into the far top corner. The striker had been allowed to make the run from deep with nobody following him.
Genoa fought back with crosses raining into the box, but Marko Pajac was caught in possession to spark a Gervinho counter-attack and Cornelius was again unmarked to fire in the half-volley from 12 yards.
Andrea Pinamonti came on after the restart, though Parma continued to dominate with Scozzarella drilling wide and Cornelius completing his hat-trick.
The Genoa defenders again were drawn to Kulusevski and not Cornelius, leaving him space on the edge of the area to drill into the near bottom corner from the lay-off.
Moments later, Pinamonti got one back for Genoa, as he controlled just inside the box and fired on the turn to surprise Sepe.
Ankersen required a brave block to stop Barillà scoring a fifth when Gervinho pounced on a defensive error and rolled it across.
Paolo Ghiglione’s diving header was just over as he anticipated Kulusevski at the back post, but Parma made it 5-1 after a catalogue of errors.
Kulusevski did well to keep believing as he surged forward from midfield, pounced on a double defensive howler from Cristian Zapata and Ankersen, waltzed round Sepe to deposit into an empty net.
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