A second road match and a second consecutive loss for Mangia’s boys, but after the San Siro rout against Milan, this match at least left some optimistic indication.
In particular, the strikers were more active and more dangerous, but still missed easy shots on target. Roma came from a derby loss against Lazio and, while still without Totti, tried to react against a team that showed a terrible lack of condition last match. Perhaps this isn’t the best situation for Palermo, now mired in the middle of the Serie A table, but the Rosanero will soon have the chance to get out of it, playing against Lecce on Thursday.
Against Roma, Mangia decided to change the lineup, playing with a diamond midfield. Acquah started in place of Bertòlo and Zahavi in place of Iličić. Balzaretti was back after missing the game against Milan and Miccoli stayed on the bench, leaving space for Abel Hernandez and Pinilla. As stated before, Roma had to get along without Totti, but for the first time showed off its young Argentinian talent, former River Plate starlet, Erik Lamela.
It would be the same Lamela that addressed the game in the right way for the Giallorossi after only 8 minutes, with a stunning left footed shot that left Tzorvas blameless and the whole defense speechless. The move began from a terrible mistake made by Migliaccio who lost the ball, giving Lamela the chance to change the result immediately. Palermo’s reaction was too soft, but Roma didn’t take advantage of the situation, and by the end of the first half Palermo was finally awake. Migliaccio had the first attempt on goal in a classic dead-ball situation, where Giulio, all alone, found the ball but his header ended off target. Then Zahavi and Hernandez challenged Stekelenburg’s reflexes, but the Dutch goalkeeper was fast to react.
In the second half, Palermo kept on attacking, trying to attack with Acquah, but his shots and crosses were terribly imprecise. Zahavi and Hernandez were protagonists again in the opponents’ area, but they didn’t succeed in scoring. Mangia tried to change something, at first deploying Cetto (making his season debut) in place of Della Rocca and putting Migliaccio back on the midfield. Then, he gave a chance to Iličić in place of a tired Zahavi. The Slovenian quickly had the chance to tie the game, but he missed an open goal, trying to pass the ball to Pinilla and giving to De Rossi the chance to save his team.
With the entry of Miccoli, in place of Acquah, the Rosanero were overbalanced in attack, but the goal still didn’t come. Miccoli tried to shoot from everywhere, maybe disappointing his fellow teammates on a few occasions and Iličić tried to organize some good plays, but at the end of the match Palermo didn’t score.
It was a disappointing loss for the Rosanero, who deserved at least a draw in the match, but Roma’s cynicism and Palermo’s lack of concentration in front of the net were the keys of this game. Mangia tried to turn the tables changing the lineup and obtaining some good results. Perhaps coming back home with at least one point would’ve been better, but now we all know that the real Palermo isn’t the horrible one seen against Milan; rather it is still a uneven team that needs only to play without pressure. Now, Palermo must turn to Lecce and get a win. It would keep away the ghost of an unneeded crisis, and put the club back on the European train.
Tzorvas – 6 – Ordinary routine for our Greek goalkeeper, who didn’t get involved in many occasions. Blameless on Lamela’s stunning goal, keeps on giving sense of security with some good exits.
Pisano – 5.5 – Playing with a 4-3-1-2 lineup, the Rosanero would need two defenders to come down to the bottom and cross. We know this is not Pisano’s job, but he could’ve tried. However, it was a nice defensive game, as always.
Silvestre – 6.5 – Welcome back! After being a “non-paying spectator” against Milan, Silvestre showed his real skills against Roma. Our defensive wall never missed a header and never missed a tackle. This is the Silvestre we need this year.
Migliaccio – 6 – He deserved at least 4 because of his gift to Lamela, then 8 for the whole game. What a pity! However, even though he’s played good as a CB, he does his best work as a midfielder. Why keep on employing Della Rocca?
Balzaretti – 6 – We missed you Federico, believe me. We missed him so much that we can forgive him for not being on defense when Lamela scored, even though he saved us when Osvaldo could have easily scored. His offensive push is still one of our strengths. It’s hard to imagine how we played last game without a cross from Mantovani.
Barreto – 5.5 – All the balls passed through him, and most of the time he has good vision, attempting some good chances for our team. Unfortunately, he’s almost a black hole on the defensive phase. Not a good sign from a player that should’ve been our defensive screen in the middle of the pitch.
Della Rocca – 5 – Is Migliaccio from another planet? Absolutely not, but when he played as a midfielder in place of Della Rocca things turned upside down, and Palermo became more aggressive.
Acquah – 6.5 – Run, run, run! We’ll never ask him to score, to organize the game or to make perfect crosses. Run Afryie, run and nobody will ever be disappointed. Definitely our best player on the pitch.
Zahavi – 6 – He was ready to celebrate his goal when Stekelenburg made an unbelievable miracle, he had at least another two chances, but he didn’t succeed in scoring. This match left him with a lot of regrets.
Hernandez – 5.5 – Ok, he’s our most dangerous striker, but he played with too much arrogance, trying some useless tricks and other annoying stuff. As with Zahavi, there are a lot of regrets.
Pinilla – 5.5 – Despite his grade, he played the opposite game of Hernandez. He’s not dangerous in front of the net, but he works a lot for the team, confirming again his positive attitude. He’s our lion, but he could’ve been more useful against Roma’s defenders.
Cetto – 6 – In his first official game as a Rosanero, the Argentinian defender showed good skills, quietly guiding the defense for almost all of the second half.
Iličić – 5.5 – Let’s forget for one second his missed open goal. He played a lot better than at the San Siro and he looked more like the Iličić we saw against Siena. As a trequartista he showed he can still play like he did last year. Ok, now we can think about that unbelievable miss and we can understand he was sufficient this week either. Try again, you’ll be more lucky.
Miccoli – S.V.