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by guest writer Liam Apicella - Champions League hunting Palermo will be hoping that they have no more early kick offs for the remainder of the season.

For the fourth time in four consecutive 12:30pm starts, the Rosanero have slipped to defeat, on this occasion it was visiting Fiorentina who were the beneficiaries.

What will have been even more disappointing for Palermo coach Delio Rossi is the fact that his side led on two separate occasions, only to see his defensive unit ship four goals.

After a cautious start to proceedings at the Stadio Renzo Barbera it was the hosts who made the breakthrough after seven minutes. Two of Palermo’s hottest prospects caused the damage, with Josip Ilicic and Javier Pastore linking for the latter to fire past Artur Boruc from 12 yards.

In reply, Alberto Gilardino spurned two chances to draw the away side level, but in the 36th minute it was a case of third time lucky for the former AC Milan striker.

Swiss international Valon Behrami was the architect, delicately chipping into the penalty area for Gilardino to guide his header into the bottom corner of the net.

And the hosts were agonizingly close to taking the lead into the break. Mario Santana sent over a cross which was met by the head of Behrami, but the midfielder was unable to keep his effort on target.

The home side began the second half as they had started the first, with a goal. Veteran striker Fabrizio Miccoli wriggled free of his marker allowing him the space to pick out Antonio Nocerino with a cross. The midfielder ghosted in at the back post to head home from close range.

Boruc denied Nocerino his second of the afternoon soon after, and the goalkeeper’s reflexes were rewarded with an equalizer on 70 minutes. Young central defender Michele Camporese found himself with time and space inside the area, and the 18-year-old blasted in from close range.

At this stage there was only going to be one winner and after Ricardo Montolivo’s long ranger effort struck the post, Fiorentina were finally in front with 12 minutes remaining.

Substitute Adem Ljajic produced a near post cross which the Palermo defence failed to clear, with central defender Cesare Bovo eventually turning the ball into his own net.

And the comeback was complete two minutes from time, Montolivo getting his name on the score sheet after more good work from Ljajic.

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