Rodrigo Palacio completed an amazing comeback as Genoa fought from 2-0 down to hold Parma 2-2 despite seeing a penalty saved.
Neither side had scored a goal since February 5, but the pressure was really on Genoa boss Pasquale Marino after three consecutive defeats. Giuseppe Sculli and Davide Biondini were suspended, while Luca Antonelli, Cesare Bovo and Alberto Gilardino were injured. Parma missed Gabriel Paletta, Raffaele Palladino and Brandao.
The home side had a strong start and Belluschi nutmegged Stefano Ferrario before drilling just wide.
However, it was Parma who went in front with their first scoring opportunity. Sebastian Giovinco’s free kick was not converted by Alessandro Lucarelli, but the clearance to the edge of the box only found Massimo Gobbi’s left-foot strike.
Rodrigo Palacio set up Bosko Jankovic, whose tap-in from point-blank range was somehow wayward, then Palacio had complaints about a slight Lucarelli tug. Goalscorer Gobbi was stretchered off with a knee problem.
Antonio Mirante punched a dangerous in-swinging corner off the head of Kakha Kaladze to spark a Parma counter, where Jonathan Biabiany was closed down by two defenders.
Genoa threatened from another corner, but this time Mirante used his trailing foot to beat away Palacio’s attempt at the base of the near post.
Parma thought they had doubled their lead five minutes from time. An initial McDonald Mariga strike was parried into the path of Giovinco, who hit a sensational volley from a tight angle across the ‘keeper, but it was controversially flagged offside.
A delightful flick off the outside of Giovinco’s boot set up Daniele Galloppa, but his shot was charged down in the penalty area.
Parma doubled their lead after the restart. Once again, Genoa pushed slowly and sluggishly, allowing the visitors to break away on the counter with Biabiany. He spread the play for Giovinco, whose strike was palmed on to the upright by Sebastien Frey and into the path of Sergio Floccari for the tap-in. It was a special goal for Floccari against his former club.
The Ducali also lost Floccari to a wrist injury soon after his goal, moving Biabiany into attack. Genoa had the chance to pull one back, but Palacio’s solo effort was denied by a desperate Mirante save.
Moments later Emiliano Moretti went down the left and set up Jankovic, but again the ball ricocheted around the box until Lucarelli eventually cleared.
Mirante fumbled a free kick only for Jankovic to drill wide from a promising position. Parma should’ve made it 3-0 from a counter when Biabiany burst past Kevin Constant and Marco Rossi, but Giovinco hesitated at the back post and his pass to Modesto was intercepted.
Genoa were unlucky from a Belluschi free kick when a glancing Giandomenico Mesto header was fingertipped on to the far post.
A few seconds later, Genoa were awarded a penalty for Modesto’s handling offence as he went to anticipate Rossi on a Constant cross. However, replays suggest it came off his head and ricocheted on to the arm, which would make it an involuntary gesture. Palacio stepped up and saw Mirante parry the spot-kick, but the Argentine was able to get the follow-up into the net.
Parma wasted a chance to restore their two-goal advantage with a tired Biabiany and immediately Genoa went on the counter, but Belluschi blasted off target.
The Grifone appealed for another penalty when Modesto clattered into Ze Eduardo, but the referee waved play on. It was a strange decision, as the extremely clumsy challenge looked more like a spot-kick than the incident Genoa were awarded.
The home side continued to pour forward through seven minutes of stoppages and when hope was beginning to wane, they got their equaliser.
Palacio sprung the offside trap from a Cristobal Jorquera through ball and faced Mirante one-on-one, side-footing it past the goalkeeper and in off the inside of the upright.
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Saved penalty: Palacio 78 (G)