Serie A: Palermo 1 Inter 0
By Football News
Palermo moved out of the Serie A relegation zone with a 1-0 win over Inter at the Stadio Renzo Barbera on Sunday.
Josep Ilicic scored the only goal of the game when a mistake from Matias Silvestre allowed Fabrizio Miccoli to steal the ball and set the Slovenian up for a shot which found the bottom left-hand corner of the goal.
A fine Miccoli volley almost yielded a second goal for Palermo and two excellent pieces of skill from Ricky Alvarez almost brought an equaliser for Inter.
Miccoli replaced Mauro Boselli in the only change for Palermo while Tommaso Rocchi kept his place in an injury-ravaged Inter side.
Palermo made the brighter start, and could have taken the lead in the seventh minute when Santiago Garcia ghosted past two Inter defenders and laid the ball into Miccoli, only for the the forward to hit his effort straight at Samir Handanovic.
But the hosts did not have to wait long for the opener as, after Silvestre made a hash of his attempted clearance, Miccoli stole the ball and played a pass into Ilicic who side-footed into the bottom corner from 18 yards.
The home side continued to press, with Ilicic and Miccoli particularly impressive, but Inter had a great chance to level when Alvarez controlled an Alvaro Pereira cross with his chest and hit his half-volley just wide.
Inter were then almost left to rue that miss when a counter-attack led to a chance for Miccoli, but the forward failed to get good contact on his effort.
On the stroke of half-time, Rocchi missed a glorious opportunity to equalise for the visitors. The defender met a cross from the right-hand side but put his header wide when he should have at least tested the goalkeeper.
Jonathan almost gave Inter the perfect start to the second half, but his rising effort from 20 yards was parried by Palermo keeper Stefano Sorrentino.
Palermo then had three opportunities to double their lead. A quick free-kick led to a Miccoli cross but Andrea Ranocchia just got a touch on the ball to prevent Salvatore Aronica from getting a header at goal.
Soon after, Massimo Donati hit a low drive from the edge of the area just wide of the post, and the hosts continued to push for a second, as a sublime piece of skill almost brought a deserved goal for Miccoli.
The forward teed the ball up for himself on the edge of the area and smashed a left-footed volley towards the top corner but a brilliant diving save from Handanovic prevented a goal.
Inter, buoyed by those let offs, pushed forward searching for an equaliser and twice went close thanks to fantastic pieces of play by Alvarez.
The 25-year-old hit a delightful 35-yard strike that dipped in the air but landed on the roof of the net before gliding through the Palermo defence and blasting a shot over the bar.
Handovic made another fine save in the closing moments when he tipped substitute Abel Hernadez's half-volley around the post.
The forward was booked for protesting to the referee when he subsequently failed to award a corner but Palermo managed to hang on for a priceless victory in their fight against relegation.