Genoa fought back to hold Palermo in an entertaining 1-1 draw on Gian Piero Gasperini’s return to Marassi.
This was a very emotional moment for Gasperini, who returned to his old stomping ground for the first time since he was sacked in 2010. The Palermo Coach had Franco Brienza suspended, Andrea Mantovani, Eran Zahavi and Milan Milanovic injured, but Massimo Donati was again used as centre-back. Genoa missed Marco Rossi and Damiano Ferronetti, but Juan Manuel Vargas was only fit for the bench.
Bosko Jankovic hit a screamer that whistled inches past the upright after just five minutes against his former club.
However, Palermo stepped up the pressure and took a deserved lead on 14 minutes. Santiago Garcia robbed Juraj Kucka at the by-line, so Josip Ilicic crossed for a Luigi Giorgi glancing header across Sebastien Frey, the ex-Siena man getting in front of Andreas Granqvist.
However, the Sicilians almost scored a comical own goal when Ezequiel Munoz aimed a pretty powerful backheader with Samir Ujkani well off his line. The goalkeeper scrambled back desperately to flap it off the line and save Munoz’s blushes!
Marco Borriello’s angled drive was beaten away by Ujkani at the base of the near post, then a volley from the corner was well smothered. Ciro Immobile went so close to an equaliser, as he combined with Borriello to burst into the box and his chest and half-volley was just over as Ujkani came tearing out.
There was an unusual injury, as Arevalo Rios accidentally clattered into Donati and left his teammate with a very nasty cut under his eye. He was able to continue with a large bandage and hoped to get stitches at half-time.
Luca Antonelli got to the by-line, but misplaced his pull-back with Immobile waiting in the six-yard box. Immobile was also wasteful, going for goal himself and firing straight at Ujkani after springing the offside trap when he should’ve passed to Borriello.
Cristobal Jorquera replaced Daniel Tozser in what appeared to be a tactical switch before half-time. However, Ilicic went close to a second with his daisy-cutter just wide.
In first half stoppages a brilliant diving Immobile header from Antonelli’s cross had to be palmed out from under the bar by the busy Ujkani. From that corner, Kucka was blocked off as he pulled the trigger, but penalty appeals from the crowd were waved away.
Miccoli attempted a lob after the restart, but it was too weak to surprise Sebastien Frey.
Genoa drew level from a corner which Jorquera volleyed back into the box, as Borriello got his glancing header from six yards into the far bottom corner.
Palermo threatened to restore their advantage when Munoz’s diving header was deflected just wide from a corner. Abel Hernandez also curled inches past the upright.
Vargas came off the bench for his comeback and within minutes he volleyed way over from five yards as he ran on to a long Jankovic cross.
Genoa had penalty appeals for a Donati handling offence, but the referee waved play on as it ricocheted off his foot first and under Italian rules this season that makes it unintentional. On the counter Frey denied Garcia, while Jorquera blasted over as Palermo ran out of steam.
Genoa pushed, but could not find a way through and Jorquera was booked for a terrible dive in stoppages.
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