US Città di Palermo look on course to reach the UEFA Cup group stage for the second year running after an impressive victory at West Ham United FC.
Palermo, who made the last 16 on their UEFA competition debut in 2005/06, were taking on a West Ham team high in confidence as for the first time they started with high-profile Argentinian signings Carlos Tévez and Javier Mascherano. But it was Palermo's Andrea Caracciolo who hit the target just before half-time against a club back in Europe after seven years away.
Tévez's arrival in east London had caused a particular stir, and the striker was lively from the off. However, the Sicilian defence was holding firm, and it was not until after the half-hour mark that West Ham really went close, Paul Konchesky having a free-kick deflected wide and Anton Ferdinand heading the resulting corner off target. Alberto Fontana in the Palermo goal then made a crucial save as Tévez looked to turn in Bobby Zamora's pass, and within a minute the visitors were ahead as Caracciolo broke free on his markers to turn a cross past Roy Carroll.
Caracciolo nearly had another in the 59th minute but this time Carroll rushed to smother a through-ball. Ferdinand then turned another West Ham corner over as he rose in the box, but Caracciolo had a shot deflected wide by Nigel Reo-Coker. Home substitute Marlon Harewood's shot then hit the post to the relief of the beaten Fontana, and the one-time UEFA Cup Winners' Cup winners were unable to force an equaliser, meaning they face a tough task in Sicily in two weeks' time.