Palermo debuted a host of new players, but were still beaten 2-1 on home turf by Atalanta despite a late comeback.
Gian Piero Gasperini had a completely revamped squad after a very busy January transfer window. However, Fabrizio Miccoli, Steve Von Bergen and Salvatore Aronica were suspended with Abel Hernandez and Andrea Mantovani injured. Atalanta had a stuttering 2013 and had to do without Giampaolo Bellini, Stefano Lucchini, Guido Marilungo and the banned Davide Brivio. German Denis was only fit for the bench.
The Rosanero gave Diego Fabbrini, Alejandro Faurlin, Nelson and Mauro Boselli their debuts just days after joining the team.
Massimo Donati threatened against his former club with a screamer that whistled just wide from outside the box, while Fabbrini wasted a good opportunity by firing wide.
Ex-Udinese man Fabbrini went close again, as the cross was knocked down by Boselli for the Under-21 international’s half-volley at an angle that Andrea Consigli palmed away.
Luigi Giorgi tested Stefano Sorrentino from distance, then Facundo Parra was clear on goal only to fire straight at the goalkeeper.
Parra horribly wasted a great opportunity at the dawn of the second half, wasting Giacomo Bonaventura’s fine work by ballooning over an open goal from eight yards.
Atalanta took the lead with a remarkable double opportunity on 54 minutes. Radovanovic’s long-range screamer bounced off the crossbar and into the path of Carlos Carmona for a diving header to follow-up, giving Sorrentino no chance.
Mauro Formica also made his Serie A debut for Palermo, whie Boselli fired a couple of good chances over the bar.
However, it was another Argentine – German Denis – who doubled Atalanta’s lead. Guglielmo Stendardo won back possession with a tackle in midfield and immediately sparked the counter, which Denis buried at the base of the near post.
Palermo pulled one back in the final stages with debutant Nelson, who seemed to get the last touch ahead of Paulo Dybala on an angled cross.
The Sicilians almost completed their comeback from 2-0 down to 2-2 in stoppages, but Consigli flew for a desperate save on Boselli’s header.
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