Fiorentina trailed Palermo twice but fought back to take all the points in a thrilling game....Fiorentina secured a rare away victory against Palermo coming from behind twice to win 4-2 in a thrilling encounter. Palermo's early kick-off bad luck continued with their fourth loss in four games at 12.30pm.
Javier Pastore and Antonio Nocerino put the Rosanero in the lead twice but goals from Alberto Gilardino, a first in Serie A for Michele Camporese, an own goal and Riccardo Montolivo slapped a bow on a morale boosting for the Viola.
Both sides made a slightly cautious start at the Stadio Renzo Barbera but with five minutes gone the game opened up with some flowing football it was Palermo who made the early breakthrough, despite Fiorentina creating the better openings. With seven minutes gone, the returning Josip Ilicic cut inside from the right and rolled a pass into the path of Javier Pastore and the Argentine swept the ball past Artur Boruc at his near post.
Fiorentina were continuing to create chances and it was twice Alberto Gilardino in the space of one minute who came so close to drawing the match level. Adrian Mutu's return to the starting XI was an inspired choice, as the Romanian backheeled a clever pass for Gilardino to latch on to, but the striker's early shot just bobbled wide of the post.
Thirty seconds later it was Gilardino again striding through the middle but this time the Italian international was denied by a smart reflex save from highly rated Salvatore Sirigu.
In the 36th minute it was third time lucky for Alberto Gilardino, finally beating Sirigu with a placed header. Captain Riccardo Montolivo couldn't get control a nice one-two on the edge of the box, but the ball popped back to Valon Behrami who floated a delicate pass over the top for Gilardino to cushion home to make it 1-1. It was a deserved equaliser in what had been a great contest.
Antonio Nocerino and the Rosanero set out to restore their lead, but the usually composed midfielder, rushed two opportunities. The first was under pressure from Manuel Pasqual blocking his cross, and then Nocerino blasted high on the rebound from the corner.
The Viola came mighty close to turning the game on it's head after going behind so early, a cross swung in from Mario Alberto Santana was met on the run by Behrami, but the Swiss midfielder missed the target with his header.
Palermo made the better start in the second-half and much like the first period they had found the net early. Nice work from Fabrizio Miccoli allowed the forward to spin his defender and supply a perfect far post cross for Nocerino to notch his third of the season from a close range.
Things were starting to boil over in Palermo as Alessandro Gamberini reacted to Nocerino asking the referee to book the Viola defender, and Miccoli got unnecessarily involved with the centre-back.
The Aquile pushed for a third to seal the points, Nocerino bringing a good save from Boruc just after an hour played. That was quickly followed by a bad decision calling Miccoli offside, as the striker dinked a ball back to Afriyie Acquah to volley home, but the whistle had long gone. Boruc was kept busy having to rush off his line to knick the ball away from Ilicic after nice work from Pastore and his work was rewarded.
Pastore fast became the culprit and Fiorentina equalised for the second time in the game. A corner drifted in to the far post was allowed to bounce and young centre-back Michele Camporese had time to control and finish in almost slow motion, with the Argentine playmaker watching on. Why Pastore was left to mark the defender was another question but it was 2-2 nonetheless.
Again the visitors were a fraction away from stealing the lead for the first time in the match. Captain Montolivo unleashing a swerving shot from 30-yards which beat Sirigu but smashed off the inside of the post and out.
Sinisa Mihajlovic's men finally had the lead with a little over ten minutes remaining. Substitute Adem Ljajic struck a near post cross into a mass of bodies arriving and it was Palermo's Cesare Bovo who helplessly turned the ball into his own net.
A second own goal in a matter of minutes almost brought the game level for the third time in the game. Federico Balzaretti burst inside the box and his low cross was cleared out by Camporese, just avoiding his own net.
Riccardo Montolivo capped Fiorentina's comeback in the 88th minute after a magnificent run from Ljajic. The little midfielder turned back inside from the right on the counter-attack and fed the ball into Montolivo to powerfully hit the bottom corner.
Palermo almost gave themselves hope a minute later when Abel Hernandez smashed a shot off the post, but it just wouldn't happen for the hosts.
The result means Palermo remain in 5th place in the league just outside the Champions League places, while Fiorentina moved up into 10th level with Cagliari on 32 points.
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