Serie A - Palermo edge out Genoa
Palermo moved into the top half of the Serie A table after a 1-0 victory over Genoa at the Stadio Renzo Barbera.
Mauricio Pinilla's first half goal proved to be the difference between the two sides who started the day separated only by goal difference.
The gulf in quality over the 90 minutes was significantly wider than their league positions suggested however as Palermo wasted a host of chances on their way to securing three deserved points.
Former Italy international Luca Toni immediately introduced himself as a genuine attacking threat with two early attempts at goal that brought Palermo goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu into the game.
But it was the home side who carved out the first gilt-edged chance of the game. The effervescent Javier Pastore arriving in the penalty area to meet the cutback with a well struck shot that cannoned off the post.
That near miss appeared to be the attacking catalyst that sparked Palermo into life and the increase in urgency was apparent for much of the half.
Pastore was left ruing another missed opportunity soon after his first after successfully breaching the Genoa offside line to set up a one on one with Eduardo.
The Argentine jinked left but the goalkeeper was wise to it and timed his dive to perfection to emerge triumphant from the duel.
Genoa provided a reminder that they were capable of threatening in this game with a swift counter attack that released Toni who rustled the side netting.
But it was Palermo who always looked the more likely to break the deadlock but the home fans were left gasping in disbelief as chance after chance went begging.
Genoa had a display of attacking ineptitude and their 12th man, the post, to thank for the continued maintenance of parity as Pinilla somehow hit the woodwork from inside the six yard box with the goal gaping.
The Sicilians must have thought that they had upset the footballing gods when two further chances were squandered leaving Pinilla taking his frustrations out on the post.
But just moments later, the curse was lifted and Pinilla had something to smile about after a moment of magic from Pastore.
The midfielder's delicate flick set Pinilla on his way and had the advancing Eduardo beaten with a composed finish.
Palermo started the second half very much as they finished the first with Antonio Nocerino trying his luck from a tight angle only to find the side netting.
Pastore continued to cause problems with his crafty elusiveness and went close to doubling his side's advantage when put through on goal but was denied the privilege by a well placed Eduardo.
As the half wore on, Genoa resorted to hopeful long balls aimed at the head of Toni that the Palermo defence proved they were more than capable of dealing with.
The two most influential players, Pinilla and Pastore were withdrawn from the action to standing ovations as Palermo Coach Delio Rossi opted for maintenance over extension and he was rewarded for his defensive tactics as the Sicilians held on comfortably.