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Palermo President Maurizio Zamparini is a superstitious old soul. Before Wednesday night’s game at the Stadio Renzo Barbera against Juventus, he did what he always does when his nerves get the better of him - jumped straight in his car and drove around the city unable to face watching his team in action. He should have stuck around, as his players bounced straight back from their heartbreak of last weekend against Inter to get their push for a European spot next season back on track.

In a wonderful opening salvo, the Rosanero were two up in 20 minutes thanks to goals from Fabrizio Miccoli, who latched on to a wonderful defence splitting pass from Javier Pastore,  and Giulio Migliaccio, who bulldozed his way through the visitors rearguard to head home a bullet like header. La Vecchia Signora pulled a goal back 16 minutes later through Claudio Marchisio, which was preceded by the games big talking point when referee Emidio Morganti failed to spot a hand ball in the penalty area from Palermo defender Cesare Bovo.

In a tense second 45 minutes, Palermo coach Delio Rossi began orchestrating the home crowd in an attempt to drive his team across the finishing line. It succeeded, and after the match, the recriminations could begin as Juventus cried foul over an alleged conspiracy against them by Italian match officials especially Morganti, who earlier in the season had denied Luca Toni a goal against Napoli deciding that the big striker had interfered with goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis. Palermo on the other hand, could celebrate a hard earned win that will keep Zamparini driving around the city for the foreseeable future.

This was the worst we have played since I became coach” was the frank assessment from Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri after his side had capitulated in Verona against an underrated Chievo who have now done the double over the Partenopei this season. The Azzurri were never in the match, Uruguayan superstar striker Edinson Cavani had an off night, possibly pining for his partner in crime Ezrquiel Lavezzi who was suspended for this contest. From the moment the visitors fell behind after 20 minutes courtesy of a brilliant goal from Davide Moscardelli, bringing to an end 415 minutes without conceding , they never looked like taking anything from the game.

Five minutes after the re-start, the Flying Donkeys had doubled their money thanks to a marauding run and finish from defender Gennaro Sardo. The visitors rallied briefly in the closing stages but it was too little too late and on an evening which gave them an opportunity to close the gap on the leaders Milan to just two points, they returned home five points adrift of the Serie A summit.

Lecce coach Luigi De Canio made possibly the second best decision of his managerial career prior to the club’s trip to play Parma on Wednesday evening -  he kissed and made up with Uruguayan striker Javier Chevantón and gave the jack in a box goalscorer a place on the bench at the Stadio Ennio Tardini. 14 minutes from the end of the game, he made probably his best decision as a manager -  introducing the striker to a game that looked to be heading for stalemate. Two minutes into added time, Chevantón sneaked round to the back post post to head home a goal which may just be the moment that convinces the Puglian’s that they have a future at Italy’s top table. Scenes of wild abandon graced the away sides dugout at the final whistle as the great escape continues. The roadshow now heads to Sicily for a Sunday showdown with Palermo.

Diego Simeone has his first point in charge of Catania after a battling 1-1 draw in Cesena on Wednesday evening. The islanders went ahead after only eight minutes thanks to the return to form of their talismanic striker Maxi Lopez, but could not hold on to their advantage as Chilean midfielder Luis Jiminez levelled for the home side 14 minutes from the interval. Cagliari meanwhile, continue to impress after a 1-0 away win in Genoa against Sampdoria thanks to a first-half goal from outstanding Belgian midfielder Rajda Nainggolan. The 22-year-old international has been getting some rave reviews this season and has been one of the stand-out players in Serie A . Coach Roberto Donadoni has given the Sardinian’s real hope of qualifying for a place in Europe next season with crisis hit Juventus next up at the Stadio Sant’Elia on Saturday night.

Bari President Vincenzo Matarrese had his house attacked by disgruntled supporters ahead of Thursday evening’s big match at home to Inter. The patron admitted that he was saddened by how the fans have turned against him after investing nearly 50 million euros into the club. Without a win since September, no-one gave the league’s basement club a hope against Leonardo’s improving side but a 0-3 final scoreline to the visitors hardly did justice to how bravely I Galletti had played. That two of the visitors goals came in second-half injury time as the home side threw caution to the wind and the fact that the Inter defender Cristian Chivu should have been dismissed for an off the ball assault on Marco Rossi, just compounded the misery for coach GianPiero Ventura and his players who gave their all and who, with more diligent play in front of goal, may have taken a share of the spoils.

New signing Simone Bentivoglio looked busy in midfield and defenders Salvatore Masiello and Alessandro Parisi were immense in nullifying any threat from the expensively assembled Inter front line. The fans to their credit this time, stuck by their team throughout and at the end of the match gave their players a standing ovation but it now seems inevitable that at least one side from Puglia will play second tier football next season.

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