Palermo stunned Inter Milan 4-3 on Sunday evening to bring the curtain down on a thrilling opening weekend of the new Serie A season.
Inter twice had the lead through Diego Milito while Diego Forlan scored a late consolation but Fabrizio Milito scored twice and Abel Hernandez and Maurizio Pinilla gave interim Palermo boss Devis Mangia a dream start since stepping up from youth team duties.
“What pleased me the most was that we never gave up, we never got stretched even though we were tired at end, which is normal, we were struggling,” said Mangia.
All the talk before the game was about new Inter coach Gian Piero Gasperini’s back three and they were far from convincing. But he denied that was their problem.
“It’s not about once defensive system or another, it was due to lack of attention and also tiredness,” he said. “It seemed at end that we were doing well and could win the game, I’m disappointed we conceded those goals.”
Inter took the lead in fortuitous circumstances as Dejan Stankovic’s scuffed shot hit Milito and wrong-footed goalkeeper Alexandros Tzorvas on 33 minutes.
Despite the goal, Gasperini was far from happy with his side and immediately replaced Mauro Zarate, who was making his debut, with Wesley Sneijder, who had been surprisingly left out.
The start of the second half saw a glut of goals with three inside nine minutes. First Miccoli equalised after latching onto a dinked ball over the top before finishing crisply. But then Mattia Silvestre dragged Walter Samuel down in the box and Milito scored from the spot.
Then Urguyuan hitman Hernandez, who has been monitored closely by Arsenal over the past 12 months, finished off a slick passing move between Miccoli and Josip Ilicic to restore parity again.
In a crazy finish, Miccoli curled home a stunning free-kick four minutes from time and then substitute Pinilla scored an even better screamer from distance a minute later. In injury time Forlan, on his debut, collected Sneijder’s chip and volleyed home but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation.