Friday, 2 February 2007

Serie A Wk 22: Review

Friday 2 February
Catania 1-2 Palermo
Palermo won this Sicilian derby against Catania at the Stadio Angelo Massimino with two controversial goals but the match was marred by crowd trouble.

Controversial goals from Andrea Caracciolo and David di Michele gave Palermo the spoils, but the game was suspended for 30 minutes after trouble in the stands with tear gas and fireworks thrown onto the pitch.

The derby was brought forward to Friday evening due to concerns over public safety in a clash with the local Sant'Agata celebrations at the weekend and these proved entirely founded as there was trouble before, during and after the game.

After a quiet first half the game burst into life on 55 minutes when Palermo broke the deadlock against the run of play. Mark Bresciano created the goal when he fed Caracciolo inside the box and the big striker slotted home even though he appeared to be in an offside position.

The trouble erupted two minutes after the goal when tear gas, used by police to break up the fighting outside the stadium, drifted onto the field.

A small number of Palermo supporters weren't allowed into the stadium until the second half and when the did finally enter, fireworks were thrown into the area where they were sitting. They fought back and the smoke made it impossible for play to continue, forcing the referee to take both sets of players back into the dressing rooms.

After a lengthy delay the game restarted and within a minute of the restart Catania drew level with a superb volley from Fabio Caserta.

Palermo grabbed the winner seven minutes from time in even more controversial circumstances. Di Michele appeared to handle the ball inside the box when collecting a pass, but the referee allowed the forward to play on and he netted from close-range.

The win helps Palermo close the gap on the top two, but the game is sure to be investigated by the Italian Football Federation as a result of the crowd trouble.

The Palermo fans and the entire squad were kept inside the stadium for several hours after the final whistle, as Catania supporters continued to clash with the police outside.

Week 22: Review (April 18) >>>

EDIT: After tonight's game, Italy's Football Federation (FIGC) suspended all international and domestic football matches indefinitely after the death of a policeman outside the stadium. Read More >>>

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