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Genoa climb to fifth after Palermo draw

serie-a-logoGenoa missed the chance to move up to fourth in the Serie A standings when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Palermo.

Paulo Dybala put the Sicilians in front in the seventh minute and that goal was cancelled out by Andrea Bertolacci after half an hour. Both sides had excellent chances to win it with more coming for Palermo, but the best was wasted by the hosts, who nevertheless climbed to fifth, a point behind city rivals Sampdoria.

Genoa were on the back foot after seven minutes when Dybala cut into the penalty area from the right and curled his shot spectacularly beyond the reach of Mattia Perin into the far corner. It was the Argentinian’s fifth goal of the season and one he is bound to remember for a while to come. Alessandro Matri had the ball in the back of the net in the 20th minute, but the ball had already crossed the line for a corner before it was pulled back in for him.

Palermo went close to doubling their lead when Franco Vazquez tested Perin, who saved well before denying Dybala on the follow-up with his legs. A mistake by Enzo Maresca on the edge of the penalty area was punished on the half-hour mark with Bertolacci robbing him of possession and sending in a shot which took a telling deflection off the heal of Luca Antonelli to curl inside Stefano Sorrentino’s near post.

Antonelli nearly got his name on the scoresheet two minutes later when he got in around the back of the Genoa defence, but Sorrentino covered his near post well to block his shot. Iago Falque had the next shot blocked as Genoa threw men forward, almost paying the price when Dybala took a long ball down well to get past Nicolas Burdisso and bear down on Perin, but the Genoa goalkeeper made a fine one-armed save to deny him.

Vazquez rattled Perin’s left-hand post before Robin Quaison headed Michel Morganella’s cross straight at Perin from close range. Vazquez wasted another good chance with his effort going wide of the target, but Mauricio Pinilla wasted the best opportunity to win it at the other end when he headed over from a yard out when it seemed easier to score from Antonelli’s cross.