Serie A - Vintage Palermo destroy Roma

Sun, 28 Nov 21:37:00 2010

Palermo produced a vintage performance against Roma to win 3-1 and move up to sixth in the Serie A table.

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Goals from Fabrizio Miccoli, Josip Illicic and a stunning counter attack goal finished by Antonio Nocerino means that Roma's good run comes to an end, with the visitors lacking inspiration throughout.

An end-to-end first half ended 1-0 with Miccoli's well taken strike after 20 minutes separating the sides. But Roma didn't come out of the blocks in the second half and Palermo's incisive attacking play and clinical finishing was the difference.

The lively Illicic was rewarded for a commanding display with Palermo's second on the hour, before a beautiful counter-attack, instigated by centre-back Cesare Bovo, was tapped in by Nocerino.

Francesco Totti provided a consolation in injury time with an emphatic finish after just beating the Palermo offside trap. But, by then, the damage was done.

It was a bright start to the game by both sides but Palermo drew first blood.

Jeremy Menez slipped on the edge of the box just as Roma were looking threatening, allowing the home side to mount a counter attack with Giullio Migliaccio, who found Ilicic in space on the left.

His pinpoint reverse ball found Miccoli, whose classy touch and low left foot finish gave the scrambling Julio Sergio little chance. That was Miccoli's 46th Palermo goal in 98 games for the club.

Roma continued to pose a threat in attack, with Palermo goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu denying Totti in the 41st minute with a good save from the veteran's volley.

Palermo had chances to double their lead but a bad miss by Javier Pastore four minutes into the second half with just the keeper to beat cost them dear as he rolled the ball into the arms of Julio Sergio.

At the other end, Menez forced a crucial save from Sirigu who, at times, kept the home side in the contest.

But it was Menez who had an unfortunate hand in Palermo's second. His miscue handed Palermo a throw deep inside Roma territory. The ball was worked down the line to left-back Federico Balzaretti, who pulled it back to Ilicic, who fired into the roof of the net from close range.

With Roma still reeling, Palermo put the game beyond doubt four minutes later with a stunning goal on the counter attack, instigated by centre-back Bovo.

Bovo galloped over the half way line after a Roma attack had broken down. He found Pastore, who played it back to Bovo, who rolled the ball to Nocerino whose run into the box was perfectly timed to tap in. It was a breathtaking goal and was the final nail in the coffin for Roma, who were poor on the night.

Roma were run ragged in a vintage second half display by Palermo, who could easily have bagged five or six on the night.

Michael Da Silva / Eurosport

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