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By ESPN Staff

Serie A: Torino haul themselves out of drop zone

Torino hauled themselves out of the Serie A relegation zone on Saturday thanks to a late goal by Jurgen Saumel against the 10 men of Palermo.

Toro looked to be heading for a frustrating draw until a red card for Antonio Nocerino seven minutes from time changed the face of the game, and Saumel was able to produce the winner with 89 minutes played.

It seemed a fair reward for the home side, who had looked the sharpest in front of goal throughout and who were still coming to terms with their 1-0 defeat to Sampdoria last week when they had a legitimate goal chalked out for offside.

Palermo meanwhile remain in ninth after their third defeat in six games, but they could slide a further two places depending on Sunday's results.

Despite being on the defensive for large parts of the game, the visitors still caused some concern for Torino in the opening moments of the match.

Fabio Simplicio went close with a right-footed effort from 25 yards out after 14 minutes, before Fabrizio Miccoli went even closer two minutes after with a shot that cannoned off the crossbar from around the same range.

But immediately after Torino began to stamp their authority on the game, with the lively Blerim Dzemaili causing problems for the Palermo defenders.

He shot just wide after 18 minutes from Aimo Diana's cross, then five minutes later he shaved the bar from a free-kick.

The hosts were well on top now, and they should have taken the lead when Nicola Amoruso cut the ball back to Simone Barone in the box and the Italian midfielder sent his shot onto the bar.

Dzemaili hit the post with a shot 10 minutes after the restart as Torino continued their domination in the second half. Amoruso fired home the rebound but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Their thoughts at this point could have turned to last week's events, but Torino continued to push for an opener as Alessandro Rosina winded Palermo keeper Alberto Fontana with a fierce shot after 70 minutes.

He then laid on crosses for Amoruso, Angelo Ogbonna and Roberto Stellone as the game entered the final 10 minutes, but all three missed their chance.

Then just as it looked like it would not be Toro's day, the referee decided Nocerino had directed his elbow at Dzemaili's head as the pair jumped for the ball and produced a straight red card, leaving Palermo to play the last seven minutes with 10 men.

They lasted six without conceding the decisive goal but as the game entered the 90th minute, Ogbonna's cross from the right was headed clear only as far as Saumel, who struck an unstoppable volley from 22 yards out past Fontana.

A stoppage-time own goal from Cicinho gave third-from-bottom Bologna a 1-1 home draw against AS Roma in Sinisa Mihajlovic's first game in charge on Saturday.

The Brazilian defender's diving header cancelled out Francesco Totti's 68th-minute strike when the Roma captain made light of a nagging knee problem to smash in the ball at the near post after cleverly controlling a deflected cross.

Roma, runners-up last term, had lost six of their previous nine Serie A games and remain a point above the drop zone despite looking a more confident side following the 3-1 win over Chelsea in the Champions League in midweek.

Former firebrand defender Mihajlovic, who won the scudetto with Roma's city rivals Lazio in 2000, was given the Bologna job on Monday after Daniele Arrigoni was sacked following last weekend's 5-1 defeat at Cagliari.

The two sides failed to create many clearcut chances. Visiting keeper Doni was carried off with a head injury after bravely denying Marco Di Vaio.

Leaders AC Milan visit Lecce in Sunday's late game (1930 GMT) with Inter Milan and Udinese, both a point behind, meeting at the San Siro in the main programme of matches (1400).


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