Home comfort counts for Palermo

Palermo claimed their sixth home victory in a row to move up to

fifth in Serie A after a 2-0 victory against Fiorentina.

It was a return to the Stadio Renzo Barbera to forget for former

Palermo coach Delio Rossi as he lost for the first time since

taking charge of the Viola.

Fabrizio Miccoli and Josip Ilicic were on target for the home

side while Fiorentina ended the game with 10 men after Cesare

Natali was given his marching orders with a minute left.

It could have been a different afternoon altogether for Natali

and Fiorentina had the defender taken his good early chance to

score, but Francesco Benussi made a great save to deny him in the

sixth minute.

That was almost the last time Benussi was involved in the first

half, though, as the Rosaneri took control.

And they deservedly took the lead in the 21st minute with Ilicic

sending Miccoli through on goal and he made no mistake to beat

Artur Boruc.

Miccoli’s involvement ended in the 42nd minute when he was

carried off after picking up an injury in a challenge with

Alessandro Gamberini.

Palermo suffered without their captain and risked conceding

several times early in the second half with Riccardo Montolivo

testing Benussi.

Natali again went close in the 70th minute, but his volley

struck the bar.

Ilicic eased the home side’s nerves in the 73rd minute when he

curled in a direct free-kick over the wall and past Boruc’s late

attempt to make a save.

Fiorentina did not lose belief, or at least Montolivo didn’t as

he continued to search for a goal with shots from distance.

But their hopes of getting back into the game were dashed a

minute from the end when Natali was shown a second yellow card for

dissent.