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Palermo stun sluggish Milan

05-12-2011 15:05 BJT

Palermo kept their dream of a first ever piece of silverware and a place in Europe next season alive by beating newly-crowned champions AC Milan Wednesday to reach the Italian Cup final.

Palermo kept their dream of a first ever piece of silverware and a place
in Europe next season alive by beating newly-crowned champions AC Milan
Wednesday to reach the Italian Cup final.

Giulio Migliaccio and a Cesare Bovo penalty gave the Sicilians a 2-1 win in the semifinal, second leg and 4-3 aggregate success following a 2-2 draw in Milan three weeks ago.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic pulled a goal back for Milan in stoppage time.

Palermo will face either holders Inter Milan or Roma in the final on May 29. Inter hold the upper hand as they notched a 1-0 away win over Rome in their first leg.

It was a remarkable turnaround for Palermo coach Delio Rossi, who was sacked in late February only to be reinstated five weeks later.

"I told the president (Maurizio Zamparini) that I would come back but first I had to talk to the team," explained Rossi.

"I told the lads that we had to roll up our sleeves and take Palermo to the heights.

"It's a great group built on good values, a historic group. Over the 180 minutes we deserved to go through."

Due to their league position, Palermo need to win the final to reach next season's Europa League.

Both sides finished the game with 10 men after the game exploded into life in a combustible second period.

Milan for their part looked jaded, as if they had spent too long celebrating their Serie A title success on Saturday night.

Coach Massimilano Allegri said he had nothing to reproach his players about.

"Palermo played very well but we did well in getting to the last third and then we didn't manage to finish things off."

Palermo took a deserved lead on 63 minutes when Migliaccio made a determined run into the box and evaded his marker to head home from a corner.

Allegri responded by bringing on star forward Ibrahimovic for midfield veteran Clarence Seedorf.

But their hopes of reaching the final suffered a fatal blow 17 minutes from time when Dutch midfielder Mark van Bommel was sent off for bringing down Josip Ilicic in the box.

Bovo made no mistake from the spot kick but TV replays suggested Ilicic needed no second invitation to go down as Van Bommel had barely tugged his shirt.

Palermo needed only to see out the remaining time but Bovo immediately wiped out their numerical advantage by getting himself sent off for a high boot that caught Pato in the face.

Ibrahimovic clipped home four minutes into injury time but it was too late for Allegri's side.

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Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: CRI

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