EMPOLI, April 13 (Serie A) - Relegation battlers Empoli and Parma shared the points after fighting out a 1-1 draw at the Castellani Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Cristiano Lucarelli put the visitors ahead in the eighth minute, before hitting the woodwork shortly after, with Empoli youngster Sebastian Giovinco rescuing the hosts with an excellent solo effort.
Empoli's Alessandro Budel had a great chance to give the hosts an early lead after Ignazio Abate's excellent run down the right forced a corner in the first minute.
But Budel fired a right-footed volley over the crossbar as he connected with Ighli Vannucchi's delivery.
However, it was the visitors who took the lead in the eighth minute after Igor Budan and Andrea Gasbarroni linked up well on the left side of the penalty area.
The latter floated in a lobbed pass which Lucarelli headed past Daniele Balli in the Empoli goal.
Lucarelli almost doubled the lead in style seven minutes later as he hit Empoli's left post. The veteran striker connected well with Luca Cigarini's cross from the right before unleashing a fine volley on the turn.
Empoli's immediate response was to play the ball out wide but a number of crosses from Vannucchi and Abate failed to pick out striker Luca Saudati in the area.
On the half-hour mark Giovinco was pulled down on the left wing in full flight by Massimo Paci. Giovinco's subsequent delivery was tipped over the bar for a corner.
After the ensuing corner Abate crossed to Andrea Raggi who tried his luck with an overhead kick but it was straight at Luca Bucci in the Gialloblu goal.
Less than a minute later Giovinco levelled the score with a brilliant piece of individual skill as he notched his sixth goal of the season. The lively forward passed two defenders as he weaved his way into the area before firing a right-footed effort past Bucci.
Five minutes before the break Vannucchi came close to putting the hosts ahead as he stole the ball 35 yards out before firing in a shot which flew just over the bar.
After the interval neither side really looked like making a breakthrough.
Giovinco curled a free-kick over the bar five minutes into the second half after he himself had been fouled.
In the 66th minute a Francesco Marianini cross from the right wing found its way to substitute Guillermo Giacomazzi who headed over under pressure from the Ducale defence.
With 15 minutes remaining, midfielder Giacomazzi, playing as a striker after he replaced Saudati, headed a Luca Antonini cross just over the bar in what was to be the last real chance either side had of taking all three vital points.
The result leaves the hosts in the relegation zone, one point from Parma and safety.