Our next Europa League opponents, Juventus, were beaten 2-0 tonight at home by Palermo, one of the intriguing sides in Serie A of late. The result ruined Alberto Zaccheroni’s decent start in charge of Juve, who had put together a better run of form under their new coach.
There will have been plenty to encourage both Roy Hodgson and any Fulham fans who tuned into ESPN to conduct some early scouting. Juventus dominated the first period but couldn’t find a breakthrough and it was hardly surprising when their former midfielder put Palermo ahead on the hour with a quite brilliant strike from the edge of the area.
Fulham’s forward will have drawn plenty of encouragement from the comical defending that gifted the visitors a decisive second. A hopeless backpass from Zdenek Grygera allowed substitute Igor Budan to score with his first touch, rounding the ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Alex Manninger easily, and rolling home a simple second. Juve fans responded by lighting several flares in disgust.