Fiorentina edge 10-man Palermo in Serie A

April 20th, 2008 - 3:12 pm ICT by admin  

Milan, April 20 (DPA) Fiorentina secured a 1-0 win in a pulsating home game with 10-man guests Palermo to improve their fourth place in the Italian Serie A. Palermo had an early chance Saturday through a wide drive from Fabio Caserta, which Fiorentina’s Giampaolo Pazzini quickly countered with another near miss.

Zdravko Kuzmanovic also came close for the hosts when Palermo goalkeeper Federico Agliardi blocked his low drive with a foot.

Two good headers went begging as Palermo’s Amauri had a downward effort saved, while Adrian Mutu sent the ball against the post.

The Romanian striker assisted Pazzini in a hammering attack that on 29 minutes led to Fiorentina’s only goal through a low firm shot that Marco Donadel drilled by the closest post to stun the diving Agliardi.

The Sicily guests brought on their fast striker Fabrizio Miccoli during the second half and came close when Serbian midfielder Bosko Jankovic forced a great save from Sebastien Frey on 61 minutes.

The 72nd minute dismissal of defender Leandro Rinaudo made things hard for Palermo, who however took control of the game and had their best chance four minutes later.

Frey managed to slap away a nasty shot from Miccoli and found help from the woodwork on the following effort from Mark Bresciano.

Fiorentina clinched a valuable win that keeps them in the upper tiers of the Serie A while being the only Italian side left in European competition. They are away to Rangers Thursday in Glasgow for the first leg of the UEFA Cup semi-finals.

In the home league, they have now a seven-point lead over AC Milan and Sampdoria, both lying fifth and struggling to secure one of four available Champions League berths.

Milan, who won the continental trophy last year, host bottom side Reggina Sunday, when Samp welcome sixth-placed Udinese.

The title race is reserved for Inter Milan and second-place Roma, who earlier Saturday were held to a disappointing 1-1 home draw against joint-last Livorno.

With five games left to play, Inter can stretch their lead to six points if they win a late Sunday game at lowly Torino.

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