Fans were treated to a real spectacle in an an exciting game that offered three goals and two red cardsPalermo are through to the final of Coppa Italia as Delio Rossi's men overcame AC Milan 2-1 in a fiery clash at the Renzo Barbera, which saw both teams end the match with ten men. After an intense first half, the hosts took the lead through Guilio Migliaccio shortly after the hour-mark.
Cesare Bovo put the tie out of AC Milan's reach with a penalty for a foul by Mark Van Bommel, for which the ex-Bayern Munich man saw red, but shortly after was sent off himself for horrible kick on Alexandre Pato. Substitute Zlatan Ibrahimovic clawed one back just before the final whistle, but it was too little, too late as Palermo held on to their lead to advance to the Coppa Italia final.
The match got off to a thrilling start as Robinho was presented with a clear chance only three minutes into the game. Andrea Pirlo, who made his return to the starting line-up after long absence, was the provider as his brilliant 30-yard pass from midfield found the Brazilian completely unmarked near the penalty spot, but the ex-Real Madrid striker blasted his finish way over the bar.
The newly crowned Serie A champions continued to press and went close once again five minutes later when Mathieu Flamini rattled the bar with a powerful shot from outside the box. Clarence Seedorf was next in line to miss a great chance for AC Milan as in the 13th minute the ex-Real Madrid sent a volley over the bar from 12 yards out.
Palermo came to life after the period of domination for the visitors with Javier Pastore at the centre of every good move by Delio Rossi's men. The Argentinian first had a long-range drive saved by Christian Abbiati in the centre of goal, and then narrowly missed the top right corner with a stunning finish on the volley from outside the box.
AC Milan were enjoying the lion's share of possession, but were unable to creat clear cut chances. Palermo received some disturbing news in the 34th minutes as Afriyie Acquah was forced to leave the pitch after picking up an injury.
Luca Antonini blasted a shot wide of the left post in the 44th minute and shortly after got injured in a collision with team-mate Thiago Silva. He was replaced by Daniele Bonera shortly before the half-time whistle.
The second period started brightly for AC Milan as Alexandre Pato went close with a low finish from the right side of the box after a mesmerising run in the 51st minute. Palermo, however, looked the more agressive of the two teams, pressing Massimiliano Allegri's men high up the pitch.
Shortly after the hour mark Palermo put the tie out of Milan's reach when Migliaccio headed a Josep Illicic corner delivery into the right post and past the goal-line. Massimilliano Allegri threw injured striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic into the fray in a desperate attempt to turn the game around and the big Swede went close in the 65th minute with an audacious backheel.
Palermo, however, were not content to sit back and preserve the result and nearly doubled their lead through Abel Hernandez five minute later who blasted a volley just wide from inside the box under no pressure at all. Migliaccio should have made it two soon after, but he, too, failed to find the target.
All was decided in the 73rd minute when Illicic found himself in a one-on-one with Abbiati, leaving Van Bommel no choice but to foul the substitute, seeing red in the process. Bovo was on target from the spot and the tie seemed already decided.
In a moment of madness the goalscorer was sent off moments later as he kicked Pato in the face in an effort to clear the ball away. AC Milan pushed for the remaining minutes of the game, and Ibrahimovic clawed one back for the visitors,