Serie A - Palermo heap more misery on Juve

Wed, 02 Feb 21:45:00 2011

Palermo put a huge dent in Juventus' Champions League qualification hopes after beating the Turin giants 2-1 at Stadio Renzo Barbera in Serie A.

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In doing so Palermo leap-frog Juventus in the table and look a good bet for European football next season.

Second-placed Napoli froze in the Serie A spotlight when they lost 2-0 at mid-table Chievo, and AS Roma suffered a disappointing 1-1 home draw with second-bottom Brescia.

Palermo opened the scoring after just six minutes thanks to a blistering counter-attack.

After a Juventus attack was broken up Javier Pastore broke at speed. He beat two challenges in midfield before clipping a lofted pass to Fabrizio Miccoli in the inside-left channel.

The former Juventus striker took a touch before firing left-footed through the legs of Gianluigi Buffon into the bottom far corner.

Halfway through the first half Palermo doubled their advantage with a move straight from the training ground.

Miccoli orchestrated the short-corner and sent a delicious cross in the goal area.

Giulio Migliaccio rose over a static Giorgio Chiellini to power his header into the net past a helpless Buffon.

Just minutes later Palermo should have made the game safe and scored a third goal.

Pastore ghosted down the left wing and drilled a cross that skipped across the goal area when only a touch was needed to divert it into a gaping net.

The chance appeared to bring Juventus to life.

On-loan Alessandro Matri was the first to threaten when he forced a good low save from Salvatore Sirigu eight yards out after being set up by Claudio Marchisio.

With ten minutes to go in the half Juventus had hauled themselves into the game by halving the deficit.

Alessandro Del Piero's was flapped at by Sirigu and the goalkeeper's clearance fell to the feet of Marchisio who lashed home the loose ball from six yards out.

Pastore could have restored Palermo's two-goal advantage but his shot from the angle from 12 yards missed at the near post when he should have done much better.

Juventus almost claimed an equaliser two minutes into the second half.

Milos Krasic beat the Palermo offside trap and raced into the penalty area.

He crossed for Matri who, with the goal at his mercy, could only find Cesare Bovo's incredible goal-line clearance.

Krasic almost scored himself moments later but his shot from the narrowest of angles was saved one-handed by Sirigu.

Just after the hour Pastore glanced a header just wide from 15 yards of Buffon's right-hand post from Miccoli's flighted free-kick from the right.

Miccoli could have wrapped up the three points with just eight minutes remaining but after going around Buffon substitute Pajtim Kasami contrived to get in his way and the chance was gone.

Jorge Martinez nearly grabbed a late leveller but his stabbed effort from six yards was kept out by a smart stop from Sirigu.

Juventus tried to force a late equaliser but it was Palermo who clung on to record another famous win over the Old Lady.

Juventus next game is away to Cagliari while Palermo also travel and go to Lecce.

Mark Applin / Eurosport

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