This one was actually set up to be pretty dramatic: Fiorentina needed a positive result to assure themselves European competition next season. Palermo needed points to climb out of the drop zone. Josip Iličić, Alberto Gilardino, and Enzo Maresca were all facing their former clubs. Manuel Pasqual got what we all thought might be his final start with the Viola after 11 years in Florence, and he was wearing the armband again. Everything was set up for a tense and entertaining match.
As has been their recent pattern, Fiorentina started brightly enough, keeping the ball and looking to press high up the pitch. Federico Bernardeschi and Mauro Zárate looked lively up front, and Milan Badelj was his typically solid self in the middle, but nobody was able to provide the breakthrough. Indeed, the biggest event of the first half may have been a yellow card for Manuel Pasqual, who's now suspended for the Lazio match next week, meaning that he may well have played his last match for Fiorentina.
The second period opened just about like the first had ended. Nikola Kalinić hit the woodwork with probably the best chance of the game just before the hour mark, and Marcos Alonso missed a pretty good chance late with a header from a corner, but Palermo held firm as Fiorentina began to panic a bit, pulling the trigger whenever they got near the goal and generally not discomfiting Stefano Sorrentino too much. Borja Valero also got himself booked late, which brings his season to a premature end as he'll be suspended against Lazio next week.
Fiorentina had 21 total shots, but only put 4 on target, and none that seemed especially dangerous. The defense was superb, limiting Palermo to just 4 attempts, and none at goal. The problem, as usual, was around the box, where Bernardeschi and Zárate looked like the only real chances for a breakthrough. As nice as having 71% possession is, putting more pressure on the opponent at transitions would be an awfully useful thing. Pasqual also got a wonderful ovation from the stands, particularly the Fiesole. On the plus side, the draw does guarantee the Viola 5th place and a spot in next year's Europa League, which will surely leave the club's deeply frustrated fans completely satisfied and not at all angry about their team's recent form.