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Italy - Serie A
April 28, 2013
• Stadio Renzo Barbera, Palermo
Referee: D. Orsato
• Attendance: 17000
J. Iličić 10'
That's all from me for today guys and girls. Thanks for joining me! Have a pleasant afternoon.
FULL-TIME: PALERMO 1-0 INTER Sannino's side secured a brilliant three points at home to the Nerazzurri, thanks to a fine first-half goal from the impressive Ilicic. The win moves them out of the relegation zone, despite being level on points with 18th-placed Genoa. The pressure continues to mount on Inter coach Stramaccioni, with his side poorly placed to secure Champions League qualification for next season.
90' + 5'
And there is the final whistle! What a vital victory that could prove for the home side in their fight to avoid relegation!
90' + 4'
The Palermo bench are on their feet preparing to celebrate the victory here, with just seconds left to play.
90' + 2'
That looked like a Palermo free kick to me! Kurtic goes down under a challenge from Ranocchia 25 yards from Inter's goal but the referee waves play on!
90' + 1'
There will be five minutes of added time at the end of this game! Stramacci-time?
Donati wins the ball superbly for Palermo on the edge of his own box and regally makes his way forward with the ball before sending a pass towards Hernandez.
Yellow Card Abel Hernández
FINE SAVE FROM HANDANOVIC! The Inter shotstopper does well to tip Hernandez's half volley round the post. Palermo are furious as the referee fails to award a corner though, and Hernandez himself is booked for his protests.
Francesco Forte will remember this day for the rest of his life. The Inter youngster has been introduced to the game by Stramaccioni for his debut for the club.
Yellow Card E. Schelotto
Off goes Palermo's captain Miccoli to a standing ovation from the home side. The defender Ezequiel Munoz replaces him for the final five minutes or so.
Pereira hangs a cross towards Schelotto at the back post for Inter but he is mucled out of the way by Aronica as he tries to meet the pass. Schelotto then barges into Aronica after losing the aerial duel, which results in a yellow card being shown by the referee.
Jonathan feeds a pass into Kovacic, and the young midfielder does very well to evade a couple of challenges as he drives at goal. The move eventually breaks down as he tries to flick a pass through to Alvarez though, as Aronica intercepts the ball.
Donati fires an effort at goal from distance for Palermo but it is straight at Handanovic, who quickly launches a counterattack with a long throw out to Jonathan on the right.
RANOCCHIA HEADS WIDE! The Inter centre-back beats Von Bergen in the air but cannot divert the corner towards goal as his header cannons wide.
Jonathan attacks down the right and wins a corner off the legs of Morganella.
After picking up a knock Garcia is coming off for Palermo to be replaced by Tomar Nelson.
Sannino is trying to convey his thoughts to his team through some yellow bars in the strands after being sent off by the referee earlier in the half.
GREAT TACKLE FROM PEREIRA! The Uruguayan full-back dispossesses Miccoli with a finely-timed tackle on the Palermo attacker as he raced towards the Inter box.
With a quarter of an hour to go Inter have certainly shifted through a couple of gears. Twice Alvarez has gone close to equalising in this second half.
MORE FINE PLAY FROM ALVAREZ!! Inter's No. 11 has grabbed this game by the scruff of the neck in the last few minutes. After sending a long-range effort just over, he has just waltzed his way into the box past Aronica and fired over the crossbar for the second time.
SPECTACULAR STRIKE FROM ALVAREZ!! The Argentine schemer hits an outrageous effort towards goal from 35 yards that swings in the air and falls just onto the roof of Sorrentino's net, with the Palermo goalkeeper beaten.
Palermo decide to withdraw their goalscorer following that latest incident, and he is replaced by Abel Hernandez.
Ilicic is down receiving treatment and it is not for the first time today. The Slovenian was a doubt coming into this game and by the looks of it he is not fully fit, despite his brilliant showing in the first half.
DELIGHTFUL PLAY FROM MICCOLI! The Palermo captain juggled the ball on the edge of the Inter box before hammering a shot towards the top corner that Handanovic kept out superbly with a diving save to his right. Terrific skill from Miccoli!
Off goes the Palermo coach Sannino. He has been ushered down the tunnel by the fourth official after repeatedly remonstrating with the referee.
Von Bergen kicked the ball into the crown jewels of Schelotto a few minutes ago, but now he has got his just desserts as Alvarez's fizzing effort just caught him in the face. Karma, perhaps?
The referee has already sent off some of Inter's technical team and it looks like some of Palermo's staff may be heading towards a similar fate.
A FOUL THROW! That is something you don't see everyday. Pereira is penalised by the referee after throwing a limp pass towards Schelotto. What an absurd waste of possession. Stramaccioni looks furious!
The visitors win a corner on the left, but Silvestre's headed effort is wayward and Palermo breathe a sigh of relief.
That's a bit naughty from Von Bergen! The Palermo defender appeared to tread on Schelotto after the Inter midfielder fell to the floor while trying to shield the ball just now.
Yellow Card Edgar Barreto
Inter are struggling to deal with Palermo's fluid attacking play at the moment. They have barely been out of their half in the last five minutes.
Yellow Card Michel Morganella
Massimo Donati flashes a shot just wide from 20 yards for Palermo. Donati will always have a special place in my heart after being the cornerstone of my all-conquering Leeds side on Championship Manager 01-02.
The fresh-faced Paulo Dybala is warming up on the sidelines for Palermo. I'm sure Inter's defence would LOVE to see the pacy youngster introduced...
Reports are coming through saying Zanetti damaged his achilles tendon in the first half. That would be a huge blow to the Nerazzurri, as an injury of that kind could keep him out until 2014.
PALERMO HAVE A CHANCE TO MAKE IT 2-0! Kurtic and Miccoli combine well as the free kick is taken quickly. The latter sends a teasing cross towards Aronica at the back post, that Ranocchia is just able to flick behind for a corner before the Palermo defender could divert the ball goalwards.
Yellow Card Juan Jesus
That was a vicious challenge from Jesus! The Inter centre-back is unsurprisingly shown a yellow card after hurtling into the back of Ilicic.
Pereira seems to be upset about a challenge from Rios down in front of the two dugouts, but there didn't seem to be too much in that from the Palermo midfielder.
CRUCIAL BLOCK FROM JESUS!! The Inter defender throws his leg in front of Miccoli's driven shot from the right side of the penalty area to deflect it away, as Palermo threatened to score a second.
Sorrentino parries Jonathan's rising shot behind for a corner to Inter. Alvarez hangs a cross towards the head of Rocchi, but he fails to make contact with the ball and it is chipped up field by Aronica.
I suppose that has been emblematic of the game so far, Palermo have just looked like they have wanted it more. A win here would drag them out of the relegation zone, so they certainly have the incentive behind them.
Inter have possession deep in their own half, but they are being pressed quickly by Palermo, Ranocchia for one doesn't seem too happy about that.
And we are back underway...
Interesting that The Smiths are playing at the ground as Palermo and Inter make their way out for the second half. I didn't realise they were big in Italy. Joey Barton would approve.
HALF-TIME: PALERMO 1-0 INTER The Sicilian hosts have been the better side in the opening 45 minutes of this Serie A clash, and are good value for their one-goal lead. Miccoli and Ilicic have both impressed in attack for Sannino's side, with the latter opening the scoring with a well-taken finish from 18 yards in the 10th minute. Inter were hit by an injury to Zanetti midway through the half, while Rocchi and Alvarez have come closest to equalising for the Nerazzurri since going behind.
45' + 3'
And there is the half-time whistle!
45' + 2'
Miccoli hammers the free kick at goal and though it bounces in front of Handanovic, the Slovenia international is able to gather the ball in his arms after initially blocking it.
45' + 1'
Yellow Card Matías Silvestre
45' + 1'
Ilicic draws a foul from Silvestre 35 yards from goal after poking the ball one side of the Inter midfielder and trying to sprint round the other side of him to regain possession. The defender had other ideas though, and promptly sent the impressive Slovenian flying to the floor.
The fourth official signals for three minutes of added time at the end of this first half.
ROCCHI HEADS WIDE! Inter have a glorious chance to equalise moments before the break as Rocchi beats Barreto in the air only to head the ball wide of the left-hand post. The 35-year-old should really have done better there!
MICCOLI IS NEARLY IN FOR PALERMO! The striker tries to latch on to Garcia's prodded through ball into the Inter box, only for play to be stopped as the linesman deems the Italian to have been in an offside position.
WOW! THAT IS MILES OFF TARGET FROM SCHELOTTO! The 23-year-old is slightly obstructed by the referee as he shapes to shoot 25 yards from goal, but that still doesn't excuse how far he was from testing Sorrentino. His right-footed effort must have flown about five times as high as the Palermo goal.
Morganella looks to get in behind Pereira on the right, but the Palermo full-back's run is brought to an end as he is forced into passing the ball back by his opponent.
Inter are pushing men forward in search of an equaliser late in this half. They have worked the ball into promising positions on the edge of the Palermo box, but on the latest occasion Rocchi's dragged shot is easily dealt with by Sorrentino.
Ilicic appeared to pick up a knock during that attack. The home side will hope he will be okay to continue, having had such a positive influence on the game so far.
The visitors fail to make the most of it though, and Palermo launch a quick counterattack through Ilicic down the left. The Slovenian does superbly to dribble past Jonathan and drag a pass back to Miccoli, who sends a rolling shot towards the bottom right corner that Handanovic dives to keep out.
Inter win a corner on the right after Jonathan's cross deflects behind off the toe of Aronica.
GREAT CHANCE FOR ALVAREZ! The Argentine playmaker flashes a half volley just wide after controlling a pinpoint cross from Pereira on his chest. That was Inter's best opportunity of the game by some distance.
Ilicic's well-taken goal in the 10th minute remains the difference between the two sides here.
The Inter sub Schelotto plays a wayward pass towards Jonathan on the right, as the full-back tried to get to the byline to put a cross into the Palermo box. The visitors will need their young midfielder to produce better passes than that.
Palermo have been far the better side in this first half, with Inter as yet failing to really test Sorrentino. The hosts, meanwhile, have looked dangerous in attacking areas, particularly when either Miccoli or Ilicic get the ball.
The Italian's strike takes a number of deflections on its way through to the Inter goalkeeper though, and he is able to gather the ball easily. At least one Inter player was encroaching on the ball as Miccoli went to hit that free kick, and the referee just let them do it!
Miccoli will fancy this! Palermo have their third free kick in the space of about five minutes, but rather than being stuck out on the wing, their striker now has a chance to test Handanovic from 25 yards, just left of centre.
The hosts then get another free kick in an almost identical position on the opposite side of the pitch. Miccoli again takes it, but again Inter are able to comfortably clear the cross upfield.
Palermo win a free kick on the left after Ranocchia fouls Ilicic. Miccoli whips the set piece into the penalty area but it is hacked away by Juan Jesus after Garcia's attempt to connect with the cross is nullified by Silvestre.
Ilicic holds the ball up brilliantly for the home side inside the centre circle. The Slovenian twists and turns his way past Ranocchia before darting away from Kuzmanovic with a Cruyff turn.
The Inter coach is pacing in his technical area after that forced substitution. His team have started poorly here. They are already a goal down and have had to take off one of their best players. Not a good opening 19 minutes for the Nerazzurri.
Andrea Stramaccioni chooses to bring on Ezequiel Schelotto to replace the Argentine full-back.
Zanetti is now being carried off on a stretcher towards the changing rooms. That injury was a result of a fairly innocuous challenge from Aronica. Inter's injury lists claims one more...
Miccoli was booked in the aftermath of Ilicic's opening goal after protesting for a penalty in the build-up! What a ridiculous reason to be shown a yellow card. His team went on to score anyway!
There appears to be a problem with Zanetti down on the touchline. The experienced Argentine is receiving treatment. Inter could really do without another injury to a key player!
Miccoli and Jasmin Kurtic pester Inter on the left, and their dogged attempts to win the ball eventually result in a free kick for Palermo after the latter is caught by Jonathan.
Yellow Card Fabrizio Miccoli
STAT: That goal from Ilicic was his fifth in his last five games.
Assist Fabrizio Miccoli
Goal Josip Iličič
GOALLLL!!! ILICIC SCORES TO GIVE PALERMO THE LEAD!! The Slovenian attacker sidefoots a shot past Handanovic from the edge of the box to make it 1-0 after some atrocious Inter defending. Silvestre - playing against his old side - makes a complete mess of clearing a long pass forward, which allows Miccoli to steal the ball and set Ilicic up. It was a very composed finish from 18 yards by the in-form forward.
Inter win the first corner of the game after a coupe of saves from Stefano Sorrentino. The set piece is swung onto the head of Ranocchia by Alvarez, but the centre-back's header is off target and goes wide of the right-hand post.
STRONG STOP FROM HANDANOVIC! The Inter goalkeeper is forced into making a smart save from Miccoli after an impressive Palermo move down the left-hand side. Santiago Garcia was crucial in the build-up, as he ghosted past a challenge from Jonathan on the left before cutting inside Zanetti and teeing Miccoli up for a shot on the penalty spot.
A crossfield ball from Alvaro Pereira to Rocchi has far too much on it for the Inter forward to trouble Palermo's back line, as Salvatore Aronica is able to saunter across and steal the ball.
Inter captain Javier Zanetti is wearing a special armband today in honour of the Pope, after the pair met earlier this week. The veteran Argentine gave the Pope a replica of the armband he is wearing for this match. What a nice guy.
Michel Morganella races through on the right-hand side for Palermo, and has a great chance to set up a teammate for a shooting opportunity. Sadly though, his pull-back to Egidio Rios is behind the midfielder and his attempted flick to retain possession doesn't quite work out.
Both teams lining up with three-man defences has got me excited. Surely that means we're in for a goal-fest? Then again, this is Serie A...
The game is finally underway over in Sicily after a slight delay. Inter get the ball rolling...
Former Palermo defender Matias Silvestre returns for Inter to face his old side. He takes his place at centre-back alongside Juan Jesus and Andrea Ranocchia.
So, there is that change for Palermo up front. Miccoli comes back in to the starting XI at the expense of former Wigan star(?) Mauro Boselli. Inter name a fairly straightforward starting line-up, with Ricky Alvarez supporting their sole fit striker, Tommaso Rocchi.
INTER (3-5-1-1): Handanovic; Ranocchia, Silvestre, Juan Jesus; Jonathan, Zanetti, Kovacic, Kuzmanovic, Pereira; Alvarez; Rocchi
PALERMO (3-5-2): Sorrentino; Von Bergen, Donati, Aronica; Morganella, Barreto, Rios, Kurtic, Garcia; Ilicic, Miccoli
The starting XIs are in, so without further ado, here they are...
Palermo, meanwhile, sit in 18th place going into the game, but they are boosted by the return from injury of Fabrizio Miccoli. The experienced forward is expected to start alongside Josip Ilicic today.
The visitors are hoping to mount a late charge for a top-three finish to secure Champions League qualification next campaign, but they will have to do it without a host of key players. Antonio Cassano, Diego Milito, Rodrigo Palacio, Esteban Cambiasso, Freddy Guarin and Walter Gargano are all still out injured.
My name is Charlie Scott, and I'll be available throughout the match on Twitter @charliefscott or via the comments box to the right of this thread. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on the game as it unfolds.
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. May I wish you a warm welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of Serie A today. I'll be bringing you colourful updates from Sicily as relegation-threatened Palermo host a struggling Inter side riddled with injuries.
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