PARMA, May 17 (Serie A) - Adrian Mutu scored a priceless late winner for Parma whose 3-2 victory on Saturday condemned Piacenza to Serie B football and kept their own campaign for European football on track.
It completed a remarkable comeback against Piacenza who had raised their survival hopes by rushing into a 2-0 lead.
Enzo Maresca scored the first goal after 33 minutes and six minutes later prolific veteran Dario Hubner made it 2-0 for the visitors.
However, in the second half Alberto Gilardino pulled one back for Parma and then prolific Brazilian Adriano levelled it at 2-2 for the hosts.
And then Romanian Mutu struck with two minutes remaining to banish any lingering hopes of an escape for the visitors.
Given their desperate situation, it was not surprising that Piacenza made the early running and from an Aurelian Patrascu free-kick Marco Marchionni headed just over the bar.
Then after 22 minutes Parma hit back when Emanuele Filippini found Adriano alone in the box.
But the Brazilian`s shot struck the feet of Matteo Guardalben, the former Parma goalkeeper who was long-time understudy to Gianluigi Buffon at the Stadio Ennio Tardini.
But that was the prelude to Piacenza`s first goal as the visitors did everything they could to avoid the inevitable.
Claudio Ferrarese was the instigator for Piacenza when he found tigerish midfielder Maresca.
Maresca, who contributed to Juventus` Scudetto-winning season last term, showed he is also to be reckoned with in a relegation dogfight as he lobbed Parma goalkeeper Sebastien Frey to open the scoring for the strugglers.
Minutes later Parma also levelled the scoring when their Japanese midfielder Hidetoshi Nakata found Adriano who shot but Guardalben pushed the ball onto the post.
However, then it was Piacenza who hit back to make it 2-0. Davide Baiocco this time took on the role of creator as he fed Hubner who finished superbly.
It was another fine effort from the 35-year-old whose tally of 24 goals last season made him the division`s joint top goalscorer with David Trezeguet of Juventus.
It proved to be a game of two halves and Parma signalled their intent straight from the second-half kick-off.
Mutu even took the ball around Guardalben but Patrascu prevented him from getting a shot in within a minute of the restart.
After 63 minutes it was another fine save from Guardalben as he saved an Adriano shot at the expense of a corner.
But two minutes later the Parma comeback got underway when Mutu crossed from the right and his former Hellas Verona team-mate Gilardino headed a simple goal.
Five minutes later it was 2-2 with a goal made in Brazil.
Junior did the spade work as he crossed from the left wing and Adriano`s header forced another fine save from Guardalben but the striker latched onto the rebound.
Piacenza already knew that results elsewhere were likely to condemn them even if they managed to pull out another goal.
However, any thoughts they had of defying the odds were finally finished when Parma came up with what proved the winner.
Emanuele Filippini crossed the ball from the left wing and the impressive Mutu headed the goal that could still earn Parma their European passport for next season.