Catania played almost the entire game with 10 men after Francesco Lodi’s dismissal and missed a penalty, but still held Torino 0-0.
The first game of 2013 kicked off at the Stadio Massimino with Giuseppe Bellusci stepping in to the home defence for the injured Pablo Alvarez. Toro picked Salvatore Masiello rather than Danilo D’Ambrosio at the back.
It was the worst possible start for Catania, as Francesco Lodi was shown a straight red card for a reaction foul, slapping Riccardo Meggiorini in the back of the head after a late tackle. It’s possible the tension of transfer links with Inter got to the creative midfielder.
Toro almost took the lead soon after, but Mariano Andujar readjusted while he was falling backwards to flap a deflected shot off the line as it was looping over him.
Meggiorini’s looping header landed on the roof of the net from an Alessio Cerci cross, but the referee awarded a penalty for 10-man Catania when Giuseppe Vives clattered into the back of Mariano Izco.
With Lodi off the field, Gonzalo Bergessio stepped up and fired the spot-kick on to the underside of the crossbar to leave the score at 0-0.
The Sicilians threatened again with Jean-Francois Gillet flying to fingertip a long-range Papu Gomez screamer out from under the bar.
Catania should’ve scored before the break, but Bergessio’s first touch let him down when clear on goal and Gillet was able to sprint out to block.
After the restart Bergessio again tested the Torino goalkeeper low at the near post, as it was difficult to tell Catania were a man down. Rolando Bianchi ran into space, but aimed a weak angled drive straight at Andujar.
A wonderful Cerci curler skimmed the far top corner of the net and Gillet caught a Sergio Almiron strike from distance.
Gomez opted to pull back for Lucas Castro’s weak finish rather than go for goal himself following a defensive error.
Torino almost went down to 10 men, as Mattia Darmian had already been booked when he accidentally kicked an opponent in the head with a high foot, but was only given a warning. Catania Coach Rolando Maran was sent off from the bench for dissent.
In the final minute Toro had their best chance of the game, as a long cross found Simone Verdi at the back post for a low volley that flashed across the face of goal to skim the other upright.
Sent off: Lodi 13 (C)
Missed penalty: Bergessio 21 (C)