Sunday’s match marked the return of things not seen in Palermo for a long time. Most importantly, the Rosanero earned their first win since November 27th of last year – nearly a two month drought! Secondly – and perhaps just as important, the team played with the pride and passion that had been lacking during previous performances. It was vintage Palermo – entertaining, high-scoring and, of course, rift with defensive lapses. From Rossi to Mangia to Mutti, Palermo has never been a team that grinds out clean sheets and they may never be that way. But a win is a win and all that matters is scoring one more goal than your opponent.
Mutti finally earned his first three points since taking over. He did so by thrusting the two newest members of the club into action immediately. While Viviano is still shaking off the dust from a long injury layoff, it is apparent the talent is there. He also has a cannon for a leg – did anyone else notice the booming punts that travelled the full length of the pitch? As for Massimo Donati, the skeptics rightly wondered whether the ex-Bari player was the best fit to fill the void left by Armin Bačinović and any previous regista the team had been lacking. Well, Donati had what can only be described as a dream debut on Sunday. Inserted straightaway, Donati looked and performed like he had been playing with this team for months, not minutes. He injected further personality into the midfield while dictating the tempo and play. His passing was superb – there were countless passes he made on Sunday that had the crowd (and his teammates) applauding him. The question is whether or not he can maintain the performance he put on for successive matches, but Massimo did more in one game than any of those in the same role before him did combined.
The five goals scored on Sunday were the highest total in a game for Palermo since May of 2009 when the Rosanero beat Cagliari 5-1. Interestingly enough, that game also had a goal apiece for Miccoli and Migliaccio. Fabrizio proved, once again, that he is decisive for this team. He was inspirational on Sunday, registering a goal alongside three assists. Not only did he set up Migliaccio for the fifth goal, but he served up Budan for the Croatian’s first goal in Rosanero since February 2010 and provided Mantovani with his first goal in Rosanero. Yes, Miccoli must be on the pitch when he’s fit. There is no other player on the roster that can provide what he does.
As the team moves forward to face Novara, the Rosanero must put out the same type of effort and desire they displayed last Sunday. After such a terrible run of results, one win allowed Palermo to jump all the way to eighth place. There is still half a season to play and the table is short. For continued success, the players need to lay it all on the pitch in every game.