Gasperini return ends in draw
Gian Piero Gasperini made an emotional return to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris as his Palermo picked up a 1-1 draw with Genoa.
Last Updated: 06/10/12 11:03pm
Gian Piero Gasperini made an emotional return to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris as his Palermo side picked up a 1-1 draw against Genoa.
Gasperini, who was the last man to lead Genoa into Europe, took his seat on the visitors' bench and saw Luigi Giorgi give his side the lead in the 15th minute.
However, Marco Borriello, whose best season in the past five years came under Gasperini, replied in the 52nd minute to earn Genoa a point.
Gasperini was the man who led Genoa into Serie A in 2007 and also guided them into the Europa League in 2009, spending over four years at the club.
He is still held in high esteem by the Rossoblu fans and was given a warm reception when he walked on to the pitch behind his team.
However, his professional allegiances do not allow for any more nostalgia than the wave he gave to the home fans as, from the whistle, he was focused on beating them.
One of the men he signed for Genoa, Bosko Jankovic, showed little nostalgia either when he almost put the home side in front in the fifth minute but his shot from long range flew inches wide.
Palermo then took the lead with their first big opening of the game in the 15th minute.
Josip Ilicic sent in an inviting cross from the left, which Giorgi met at the near post to beat Sebastien Frey with his head.
Samir Ujkani had to save from his own man as Ezequiel Munoz almost gifted Genoa an equaliser with a headed pass back to his goalkeeper.
Borriello and Ciro Immobile then both tested Ujkani, with the latter sending a lob over the crossbar before he lost out in a one on one with the goalkeeper just before half-time.
At the other end, Ilicic sent another shot just wide before the half concluded with Ujkani pushing another Immobile effort over the crossbar.
Genoa levelled seven minutes into the second half when Borriello headed in past Ujkani, who this time could not do anything to keep it out.
The chances continued to arrive as both sides looked for a winner, but their efforts in the first 75 minutes soon caught up on them with tired legs taking their toll.
The final quarter of an hour was as friendly as Gasperini's welcome with nobody appearing to want to do any damage, and the draw was the only logical outcome with Genoa's fans perhaps not too displeased to have done their former coach a small favour without seeing their own team lose.