Catania were sorely missing Francesco Lodi and Sergio Almiron in their uninspired goalless draw with Cagliari.
These sides have punched above their weight this season and the Elefantini were still in the running for Europe. The home side had to do without Francesco Lodi, Sergio Almiron and the suspended Pablo Barrientos, though Nicolas Spolli and Alessandro Potenza returned. Cagliari had Andrea Cossu and Murru on one-match bans and had lost just one of their previous 11 games.
Michael Agazzi flapped at a cross and was fortunate Gonzalo Bergessio couldn’t make the most of it from six yards.
Bad news for Cagliari, as Francesco Pisano was stretchered off with what looks to be a serious knee injury, as his studs caught in the turf and turned.
Agazzi flew to beat away a fierce Mariano Izco strike from distance, then substitute Cabrera horribly blasted high and wide from an excellent scoring position set up by Victor Ibarbo.
Giovanni Marchese hit a powerful effort with the outside of the boot, Agazzi trapping it under the bar. Radja Nainggolan’s attempt took a huge deflection off teammate Marco Sau to wrong-foot the goalkeeper, but it whistled wide. Crucial midfield figure Nainggolan was booked and will be suspended for next week’s game against Inter.
Cabrera again blasted well over from a good position and Giuseppe Bellusci had a wonderful half-volley in the back of the net, but only after the flag had already been raised for an offside position.
Mauricio Pinilla went on the counter and his daisy-cutter skimmed the base of the upright. Thiago Ribeiro had the chance to win it for Cagliari in stoppages, but when one-on-one he hesitated and allowed Marchese to intercept.