Fri, Sep 22, 2006 - Page 22 News List

Palermo steal Sicilian thriller

ACTION APLENTY It's been 43 years since Palermo last played Catania in Serie A, but it was worth waiting for as the derby served up no fewer than eight goals

DPA , MILAN

Palermo won a spectacular Sicily derby 5-3 against newcomers Catania on Wednesday, giving them a perfect nine points to lead in the Italian Serie A after a pulsating midweek round.

In another big match, Inter Milan edged hosts Roma 1-0 to leapfrog them in the standings, advancing to seven points from three games and remaining level with minnows Messina, who won 2-0 over troubled Reggina in a southern-Italy derby.

Palermo fell behind after 26 minutes at the brimming Renzo Barbera stadium in a derby that had last been played 43 years ago in the Serie A.

Giorgio Corona put Catania ahead, firing home from inside the area, but Giovanni Tedesco leveled two minutes later flicking home off a goal-mouth scramble.

The goals from the two Palermo-born players were followed immediately after the break by a long-range shot from Brazilian Simplicio, who reversed the score for Palermo by surprising the dithering goalkeeper Armando Pantanelli.

Another good effort from Corona was deflected wide before a blunder by keeper Federico Agliardi allowed Giuseppe Mascara to equalize for Catania on 64 minutes through a weak long-range shot.

A spot kick converted by captain Eugenio Corini on 66 minutes gave Palermo a lead then beefed up by goals from Brazilian Amauri and Andrea Barzagli, while Catania's Gionatha Spinesi closed the scoring with a free kick.

"This is something magical that we would like to freeze, but life goes on," Palermo coach Francesco Guidolin said. "This is a historic moment for Palermo. It is great to be alone at the top. It is right to compliment Catania, who played a great first half, them we played our game."

A goal from Hernan Crespo closed Inter's win at Rome's Stadio Olimpico, where Roma were the first to threaten in a fast-paced start through a seventh-minute free kick from captain Totti, which Brazil's keeper Julio Cesar somehow managed to save with his feet.

Marco Materazzi also saved Inter with a goal-line clearance on a dangerous lob from Brazilian Mancini, who quit with an injury on 25 minutes, while Max Tonetto came close on 31 minutes when his smashing volley off a corner kick was blocked by defenders.

Roma's good chances, however, were not worth Crespo's daring shot which put Inter one up on 44 minutes from an incredibly tight angle, though it also had an involuntary deflection from Brazilian keeper Alexander Doni to thank.

Two chances to secure the win went begging for Inter as Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a spot kick saved and Javier Zanetti hit the post before Patrick Vieira was dismissed for a second yellow card with two minutes left.

In other results, Siena won 2-1 at promoted Torino to tie Roma on six points, one more than promoted Atalanta and Empoli, who drew 0-0 in Bergamo. Sampdoria clawed back a 3-3 draw after falling three down to guests Udinese and Cagliari drew 2-2 at home to Livorno.

Fiorentina beat Parma 1-0 for a first win on the season, bringing to minus 16 points the deficit received in the match-fixing trial, while AC Milan overcame their eight-point penalization by winning 1-0 over lowly Ascoli, giving the club one point on the season.

Lazio, also penalized, lie on minus eight after winning 1-0 at Chievo Verona, while Reggina lie on minus 12.

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