Inter made amends for some terrible defending as they came from two goals down to win 3-2 at Catania in Serie A on Sunday, while Gian Piero Gasperini’s second debut of the season as US Citta di Palermo coach ended in a goalless draw at Torino.
Francesco Totti became Serie A’s joint second-highest overall scorer when he converted a penalty in AS Roma’s 3-1 win over Genoa, while Delfino Pescara 1936’s Cristiano Bergodi became the 12th coaching victim of the season after a home defeat by Udinese.
Inter, without striker Antonio Cassano following a dressing-room row, trailed 2-0 after 20 minutes, but, in one of the season’s most dramatic fight backs, halftime substitute Rodrigo Palacio scored twice, including a stoppage-time winner.
Struggling Palermo managed a fortuitous 0-0 draw at Torino as Gasperini bizarrely began his second stint as their coach almost exactly a month after being fired.
The Sicilians, who began the weekend bottom of the table, moved level on 21 points at the bottom of the table with AC Siena and Pescara, who both lost.
ACF Fiorentina beat AC Chievo Verona 2-1 and Argentine 20-year-old Mauro Icardi gave UC Sampdoria a 1-0 win over Parma.
Inter’s win took them level on 47 points with SS Lazio in fourth place, one behind archrivals AC Milan, who are in the UEFA Champions League qualifying round spot.
One-club man Totti, 36, opened the scoring with a 16th-minute penalty, drawing him level on 225 goals with Sweden’s Gunnar Nordahl, who played for AC Milan and AS Roma in the 1940s and 1950s. He is still way behind Silvio Piola’s mark of 274.
Although Marco Boriello replied with another penalty three minutes before halftime for Genoa, second-half goals from Alessio Romagnoli and Simone Perrotta sealed Roma’s win.
Catania and Inter started their match with 15 South Americans between them and the Sicilians, whose campaign has surpassed expectations, got off to a flying start with help from the disorganized visitors.
Inter defender Juan Jesus made a hash of a clearance and Argentine forward Gonzalo Bergessio took advantage to drill the ball home after seven minutes.
There was more poor defending from the visitors when Giovanni Marchese, the game’s only non-Argentine scorer, headed the second 12 minutes later when he was picked out by Francesco Lodi’s floated free-kick.
The game changed dramatically after Palacio entered the fray at halftime.
Seven minutes after coming on, he sent a cross over from the right and Ricky Alvarez stooped to head Inter’s first, then Palacio scored himself in the 70th minute, also from a header following Alvaro Pereira’s cross.
Esteban Cambiasso missed a chance to win the game for Inter when his volley flashed wide in the dying minutes, but Palacio made no mistake in the second minute of stoppage-time, scoring from close range after Cambiasso crossed from the byline.
Palermo lived dangerously throughout the match at Torino as Rolando Bianchi hit the post for the hosts in the first half and Giuseppe Vives fired over the bar from close range. The hosts missed a host of other chances.
Palermo coach Gasperini was sacked at the start of last month following a 2-1 defeat by Atalanta BC and replaced by Alberto Toresani, who was dismissed a week ago after three matches, all of them draws.
Gasperini was then given another chance by Palermo’s eccentric president Maurizio Zamparini.
Palermo remain winless in 13 outings, but they caught up with Pescara, beaten by an Antonio di Natale goal at home to Udinese, and Siena, who lost 2-0 at home to Atalanta, with Giacomo Bonaventura scoring both.
Pescara coach Bergodi was fired hours after the match, having been in charge for only 15 games.
Inconsistent Fiorentina, two points behind Inter in sixth, dominated their game against Chievo, but missed a glut of chances and needed a 78th-minute header from Marcelo Larrondo to win 2-1.
Also on Sunday, Bologna beat Cagliari 3-0.