Palermo vs. Genoa, Final Score 0-0: Rosanero edge closer to Serie B with Grifone draw

Maurizio Lagana

An goalless draw at the Renzo Barbera on Saturday night means Palermo stay rock bottom of Serie A, in a result which does little for their survival hopes.

It was an uninspiring performance from Alberto Malesani's side, who struggled to penetrate the sturdy Genoese defence throughout. The point is a better result for the grifone, who will stay outside of the drop zone whatever happens in the rest of the round, though Siena and Pescara can cut the deficit to just a point.

Palermo got off to the brighter start of the two teams, with Fabrizio Miccoli's cross from the left almost deflecting into the path of Diego Fabbrini inside the opening ten minutes, before Genoa's Juan Manuel Vargas almost flicked one of the Palermo captain's free-kicks into his own goal.

Genoa looked content to sit deep, and their three man defence proved effective at limiting the rosanero's chances. While Palermo were putting crosses into the area, they simply weren't able to get on the end of them.

The grifone didn't force Stefano Sorrentino into a proper stop until after the half-hour mark, when Marco Borriello had the chance of the half after an excellent one-two with Andrea Bertolacci. In classic Borriello fashion, he hit the ball right at the Palermo keeper, and the scores stayed level.

Bertolacci drilled an effort from the edge of the area right at Sorrentino shortly before half time, and in stoppage time they were denied a stonewall penalty. With the Palermo defence always only a second away from a fatal mistake, a seemingly innocuous long ball from Emiliano Moretti bounced over Salvatore Aronica and in behind Santiago García, finding Genoa's rapidly advancing Marco Rossi inside the box.

With Rossi charging towards goal, García decided the best course of action was to blatantly trip Rossi in front of the official behind the goal, and hope he'd get away with it. Somehow, he did, and the game was goalless at half time.

Palermo started the second half as much of a defensive calamity as they'd ended the first, with Aronica attempting a diving header towards his own goalkeeper from the edge of the six-yard box. Getting it all wrong, Borriello almost jumped in to stab the ball in, though Sorrentino got down just in time.

Fabrizio Miccoli went close with a long range free-kick from distance a couple of minutes later, before the game seemed to grind to an uneventful halt.

That was until the last 20 minutes, when Palermo suddenly had the chance of the match, seemingly out of nothing. A Josip Iličić low cross from the right found the substitute Mauro Boselli at the far post. From point blank range, he hit it first time, only for it to be blocked remarkably by Frey.

Just as Palermo seemed to be taking the initiative, they were dealt a blow. Picking up a second yellow, Aronica was sent off with 15 minutes remaining, giving Genoa a chance. But, they didn't seem overly interested in chasing the three points, and barely took advantage of the greater numbers, save for a drilled Borriello shot from the edge of the box, which was parried away by Sorrentino.

If anything, the rosanero were the better side despite the sending off, though they still couldn't find a breakthrough, and the fans were sent home dissatisfied. At the end of the game Malesani was shown applauding on the dugout, though if he thinks that was an adequate display, the Serie B organisers may as well start arranging fixtures in Palermo already.

Palermo (4-3-2-1): Stefano Sorrentino; Santiago García, Salvatore Aronica, Ezequiel Muñoz, Steve von Bergen; Jasmin Kurtić, Edgar Barreto (Andrea Dossena 86), Egidio Arévalo; Josip Iličić (Mauro Fórmica 88), Diego Fabbrini (Mauro Boselli 65); Fabrizio Miccoli

Genoa (3-5-1-1): Sébastien Frey; Emiliano Moretti, Daniele Portanova, Andreas Granqvist; Luca Antonelli, Juan Manuel Vargas (Ciro Immobile 86), Matuzalém (Cesare Bovo 83), Juraj Kucka, Marco Rossi (Eros Pisano 80); Andrea Bertolacci; Marco Borriello

Red cards: Aronica 76 (P)

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