Palermo beat Catania in Sicily derby


Milan : Palermo edged Catania 1-0 to clinch a second straight win that helped them forget their previous four consecutive defeats.

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The diminutive Fabrizio Miccoli came in the second half and on 84th minute drilled a swerving free kick to the left of a stunned Ciro Polito, who had managed a couple of good saves for Catania earlier in the game Saturday.

Palermo last weekend snatched a last-gasp 3-2 win over Juventus and are now almost certain to remain in the top flight.

Catania also did well a week ago, crushing Napoli 3-0, but the defeat in the regional derby held them dangerously close to the three-team relegation zone.

With five games remaining, Catania have three points more than Livorno, Empoli and Cagliari, all lying jointly in second-from-last position before their Sunday games.

The game at Palermo’s Renzo Barbera flared up after a dull first half as Catania striker Gionatha Spinesi saw his great header deflected on 49 minutes by Federico Agliardi.

Palermo had a good chance five minutes later when Miccoli fired promptly but narrowly wide from inside the area after a good ball control.

Brazilian Amauri, who tried a header in the first half, came again close nodding a Bosko Jankovic cross on 67th minute as Palermo stepped up their pressure bringing on Uruguay’s Edison Cavani.

Giulio Migliaccio on 75th minute headed wide a well-curled free kick from Miccoli, who then scored his seventh goal in his injury-plagued season.

Milan lie fifth and badly need to improve their standing to secure one of four available Champions League berths.

The title race is an affair reserved for leaders Inter Milan and Roma, who trail four points adrift with six games left.