Josip Ilicic scored with the last kick of the game to give Palermo a potentially decisive point in the tense Derby di Sicilia.
The Sicilian Derby had a great deal at stake, as Catania still had a slim chance of Europe while the Rosanero were stuck in the relegation zone and their rivals had the opportunity to send them down.
Fabrizio Miccoli was a big injury loss for the visitors, though Josip Ilicic shook off his knock to start. The hosts missed Adrian Ricchiuti and Pablo Alvarez, welcoming back Sergio Almiron.
Palermo had lost their last five consecutive visits to the Massimino and the crowd welcomed them by waving hundreds of little placards with ‘B’ written on them. The tension was palpable, as Massimo Donati was booked in the opening minute.
Giovanni Marchese’s long-range effort turned into an assist for Papu Gomez, whose first touch let him down. Mariano Izco then failed to make the most of a Stefano Sorrentino flap, while the goalkeeper flew to palm away a trademark Francesco Lodi free kick.
Ilicic sprinted forward on the counter-attack and Mariano Andujar rushed off his line to block, as he hesitated in serving unmarked Mauro Boselli.
It was mainly the hosts coming forward and Almiron fired over from point-blank range and another Lodi free kick flashed across the face of goal to skim the upright.
Ilicic’s right-foot finish whistled inches wide and the Slovenian had penalty appeals for a push from Nicolas Spolli. Marco Biagianti had to replace the injured Izco before the break.
Gonzalo Bergessio came sliding on to a Marchese cross, but just failed to make contact, while Lucas Castro spun round to unleash a daisy-cutter that skimmed the upright.
Catania broke the deadlock with Pablo Barrientos, as he flicked on a cross that bounced over defenders and in off the inside of the far post before Sorrentino could get there.
Ilicic wasted the opportunity to draw level after the ball pin-balled around the penalty area. Paulo Dybala went down after going shoulder-to-shoulder with Biagianti, then Nicola Legrottaglie followed up a poor Andrea Dossena clearance.
Palermo were prepared for defeat, but with the last kick of the game Ilicic turned in from close range on an Abel Hernandez header down to draw them level and pick up a potentially decisive point. A brawl broke out during the celebrations and Andujar was sent off for his part in it.
Sent off: Andujar 95 (C)