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Genoa's bid for Champions League spot falters in 1-1 draw at home to Palermo in Serie A

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GENOA, Italy — Genoa's bid for a Champions League spot was hindered as it was held to a 1-1 draw against Palermo in Serie A on Monday.

Paulo Dybala scored a stunning opener, skipping down the right flank before cutting inside the box and evading Nicolas Burdisso to curl a shot into the top far corner and get Palermo off to the perfect start in the seventh minute.

Alessandro Matri had an equalizer ruled out as the ball was judged to have gone out of play in the build-up, but Genoa did level on the half hour when a defensive header came out to Andrea Bertolacci, who drilled the ball into the bottom left corner.

Palermo almost restored its advantage shortly before the hour mark as Franco Vazquez's fierce strike crashed off the left post, with Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin beaten.

Genoa also wasted a good opportunity when Luca Antonelli drew goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino before crossing to an unmarked Mauricio Pinilla, who headed over the bar from three yards out.

Pinilla appealed for a penalty deep in stoppage time as he felt he had been brought down by Ezequiel Munoz in the box as a cross was floated in.

Genoa — which is emerging as a surprise potential contender for a top-three finish — stretched its unbeaten run to seven but remained fifth, two points behind third-placed Napoli.

Palermo was level with 12th placed Hellas Verona.

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