RC Celta de Vigo made sure of their place in the last 32 of the UEFA Cup by breaking the hearts of Serie A high-flyers US Città di Palermo.
Celta hang on
Although Giovanni Tedesco cancelled out Baiano's 59th-minute opener for the visitors with 20 minutes remaining, Celta managed to hang on for a point at the Stadio Renzo Barbera in Sicily and in so doing opened the trap door on Palermo. The result left Celta second in Group H with five points and Palermo fourth, level on four points with Fenerbahçe SK but behind the Turkish side on goal difference.
Both teams had their chances to score in an open first period. David Di Michele and Andrea Caracciolo had good openings for Palermo inside the first ten minutes but neither tested Celta goalkeeper Esteban Suárez. Celta then pushed forward in search of a breakthrough and Nené went close on 34 minutes with a spectacular overhead kick that sailed just off target. Palermo came back at the Spanish side before the break, however, Fabio Simplicio threatening with a volley from the right of the box that drew a save from Suárez and next with a deft lob that brought the best out of the goalkeeper once again.
It was Celta who broke the deadlock just before the hour as Matías Lequi's cross fell perfectly for Baiano and he made no mistake as he bundled the ball in. Gustavo López might have doubled the advantage on 65 minutes but fired wide, while Baiano sought a second goal with a well-struck free-kick that was kept out by Federico Agliardi. The visitors' profligacy was punished moments later when Tedesco slotted home after nice approach play by substitute Franco Brienza, but it proved to no avail for battling Palermo.