Tripped Up

It can happen to anyone. The more things change, the more they stay the same. The overarching theme for Palermo this season has been costly, inexplicable mistakes. Nowhere is that more evident than at the goalkeeping position. On Sunday, Sorrentino joined Ujkani and Benussi in the Hall of Howlers and just like on previous occasions, Palermo was unable to recover.

Stefano Sorrentino has been incredible since his arrival in Sicily after a much drawn-out affair involving his transfer from Chievo. The veteran keeper has had some superb performances with saves that have contributed to Palermo earning points in situations where someone else between the sticks would never have done the same. Beyond the pitch, Sorrentino has become an idol to the Rosanero faithful with his earnest appreciation to the club and his dedication to giving his all. It is for these reasons that a man who made such a horrific mistake can still be applauded and uplifted by the supporters. Sorrentino did the unthinkable, but it should not be forgotten how much he has done and how much he will do to keep Palermo’s hopes alive for Serie A survival.

While the howler was the highlight/lowlight of Sunday, other performances should be made note of. Once again, Josip Iličič has continued his mercurial rise from the ashes with another goal and another excellent display. The rebirth of the Slovenian has been remarkable and one can only hope that the injury he suffered at the end of the match does not jeopardize his status for the weekend’s derby. Sannino has also gotten the most out of the much-scorned, much-maligned Santiago Garcia. The defender from Rosario played his second excellent game in a row completing 40 of 49 passes, 19 of which came in the attacking third. He appears to have gained some confidence after being down in the dumps only a short while ago.

It doesn’t need to be dwelled upon, but Palermo were robbed of an obvious penalty when Doveri decided to swallow his whistle as Kurtic got tripped in the box. Another claim could have been made as two Rosanero players were brought down in the box on a cross, but nevertheless nothing was called. It’s comical when the big teams in Serie A complain about a lack of penalties being called in their favor when you look at the numbers and realize Palermo have only been awarded ONE penalty all season long. The saying is that these things “often even out” at season’s end, but Palermo has been waiting for this “balance” for two seasons running now…

This weekend Palermo will face Catania at the Stadio Massimino in what will be the biggest Sicilian Derby in recent memory. After being tripped up by Bologna this weekend, Palermo cannot afford to fall farther behind Siena (who won this past weekend and hold a 2 point advantage over Palermo and Genoa). There are six games remaining and the path to safety means accumulating as many points possible. Zamparini says Palermo wants it more, in reference to the derby, but the saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words”. Forza Palermo!