Inter outgun brave Palermo
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Serie A leaders and reigning champions Inter Milan ruined Walter Zenga's homecoming by beating Palermo 5-3 in an eight-goal thriller at the San Siro on Thursday 29 October.

Zenga had threatened to upset his former employers, with his battling team fighting back from a 4-0 half-time deficit to make it 4-3 with a quarter of the game remaining only for Diego Milito to settle things late on.

Former Italy goalkeeper Zenga, who spent 12 years as an Inter player, was given a standing ovation when he arrived but his team were ripped apart in a painful first 45 minutes, seemingly making a mockery of his pre-match claims that his side would challenge for the title.

And while the first goal came from the penalty spot, thereafter Palermo simply could not handle Inter's bristling attacking play as Samuel Eto'o and Mario Balotelli each bagged a brace.

Balotelli it was who earned the seventh-minute spot-kick put away by Eto'o, but only after attempting to usurp the Cameroon star and being dragged away by captain Javier Zanetti. The teenager then threw what can only be described as a mini tantrum as Eto'o lashed home the penalty.

If that goal had been harsh on Palermo, the Sicilians could have no complaints about the rest of the half. After Palermo goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu had tipped a deflection by defender Dorin Goian onto the post, Esteban Cambiasso's driven centre came too quick for Balotelli who headed wide with his eyes closed.

Sirigu then denied Maicon and Eto'o before Julio Cesar pushed away a fierce Fabrizio Miccoli free-kick up the other end. Just past the half-hour mark Cambiasso lashed a close-range shot over the bar but on 34 minutes it was two as Balotelli rose above Australian Mark Bresciano to head home Maicon's corner.

Palermo collapsed just before the break as Sirigu and Simon Kjaer got in each other's way leaving Cambiasso free to head goalwards before Balotelli got the last touch on the line. And two minutes before the break the 19-year-old teed up Eto'o to beat Sirigu at his near post.

At 4-0 at the break the game seemed over but Palermo came out after the restart in determined mood and showed just why Zenga has so much faith in them.

Miccoli started the comeback on 49min as he latched onto a long Simplicio through ball, held off Ivan Cordoba and chipped Julio Cesar. That seemed to be little more than a consolation but just past the hour mark teenage Uruguayan substitute Abel Hernandez tapped home a Mattia Cassani cross at the back post.

And midway through the half a stunning reverse ball from Cassani with the outside of his boot and without looking - much like Ronaldinho's party trick during his Barcelona days - released Miccoli between Cordoba and Davide Santon to again dink the ball over Julio Cesar.

But seven minutes from time a tired-looking Palermo defence wilted and Maicon teed up substitute Milito to tap home the eighth goal of the night from close range.