Palermo capitulate against Cesena
A dramatic late comeback from ten-man Cesena denied Delio Rossi a winning return to the Palermo bench at the Stadio Renzo Barbera today. Goals from Jasmin Kurtic and Mauricio Pinilla put the Rosaneri in command of the game, but they conceded two goals in a dramatic stoppage-time to throw away victory.
Marco Parolo and Emanuele Giaccherini struck for Massimo Ficcadenti's side, who lost Steve von Bergen to a red card and also saw substitutes Paolo Sammarco and Calderoni dismissed from the bench.
Rossi was recalled to the Palermo bench last week after his successor Serse Cosmi failed to turn around the club's fortunes in five games in charge, and the former Lazio coach's return seemed to give the team the spark they needed.
He was without arguably Palermo's most technically-gifted player Javier Pastore and he chose to replace him with Kurtic, and the move paid early dividends. Kurtic put the home side in front in the fourth minute when he converted a pass back from the goal line from Federico Balzaretti.
The home side doubled their lead ten minutes before the break with Balzaretti again involved. The Italy international's shot was heading wide of the far post until Pinilla stuck out a leg and diverted it in.
Sending off compounds misery
Palermo seemed to be cruising to victory, but Cesena refused to give up. It looked impossible for them when Von Bergen was shown a straight red card for a dangerous foul on Pinilla in the 75th minute while Sammarco was also shown the red card for leading the protests from the Cesena bench.
The tensions were high, but Cesena focused their aggression on getting back into the game and Parolo met Maurizio Lauro's cross at the far post to beat Salvatore Sirigu inside his post in the second minute of stoppage time to give them hope.
Giaccherini then grabbed a dramatic equaliser in the sixth minute of stoppage time. He coolly slotted a loose ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal with practically the last kick of the game. Cesena took their celebrations a bit too far, though, and Calderoni was sent off for his part in a brawl on the touchlines as the Cesena players raced to the Palermo bench.