Palermo saw Salvatore Aronica sent off and had more of the ball, but a Sebastien Frey wondersave earned Genoa a point.
These sides had hoped to challenge for Europe by this stage of the season rather than making it a relegation dogfight. The Rosanero were without a win in 11, but welcomed back Fabrizio Miccoli and Josip Ilicic. Genoa aimed to maintain their unbeaten run under Davide Ballardini, but missed Bosko Jankovic, Antonio Floro Flores, Mattia Cassani and Ruben Olivera. Thomas Manfredini picked up a muscular problem in the warm-up and made way for Emiliano Moretti.
It was a special game for the two Coaches, who were facing their former clubs. In Alberto Malesani’s case, he was sacked by Genoa twice last season.
Miccoli burst down the left and his pull-back was deflected into Sebastien Frey’s arms from point-blank range. Moments later a Miccoli free kick was nodded inches wide of his own upright by Juan Manuel Vargas in what was so nearly a costly own goal.
Frey smothered an Edgar Barreto snapshot, but Genoa nearly scored with their first real chance on 31 minutes. A lovely team saw Vargas send Marco Borriello clear, but Stefano Sorrentino got down well to parry from eight yards.
Ilicic wasted a counter-attack by drilling wide from outside the area, had another effort charged down by Moretti, while Diego Fabbrini couldn’t quite get on the end of a Miccoli cross.
Sorrentino smothered an Andrea Bertolacci half-volley and in stoppages Marco Rossi went to flick a floated pass just past the far post, but he was tripped at the crucial moment by Santiago Garcia. The referee whistled for half-time amid Genoa penalty appeals.
After the restart Borriello pounced on a Salvatore Aronica header back in the six-yard box, but Sorrentino was quick to block at his feet.
Miccoli blasted a free kick just wide of the near top corner with the outside of his boot. Palermo introduced ex-Genoa striker Mauro Boselli for Fabbrini and he almost scored against his old teammates.
Ilicic burst down the left and crossed low for Boselli at the back post, but Frey incredibly managed to parry with his foot from point-blank range.
Barreto knocked down a cross for Miccoli’s scorcher, but Daniele Portanova was decisive in deflecting it past the far post.
However, moments later Palermo went down to 10 men as Salvatore Aronica – who was already on a yellow card – went into a futile sliding tackle at the touchline on Borriello. It was the eighth red card of the season for the Sicilians.
Sorrentino hit a long kick from a Genoa corner to send Miccoli clear, but Frey came tearing well out of his box to hoof it away.
Sorrentino got down well to take the sting out of a powerful Borriello snapshot, then the striker chested down an Eros Pisano assist and spun round, the finish too close to the goalkeeper to go in.
It was 10-man Palermo who pushed forward more in stoppages, but Arevalo Rios had his run cut off in the penalty area. They couldn't end that winless streak and the Stadio Barbera crowd jeered at the final whistle.
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Sent off: Aronica 76 (P)