Palermo climb with Fiorentina win
Palermo claimed their sixth successive victory at home to move up to fifth in Serie A after defeating Fiorentina 2-0.
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.
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.