SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 16 - 14 Dec 2013 (19.45 UK)
Catania 0 - 0 Verona
Stadio Angelo Massimino

Catania dominated possession, but wasted numerous chances and were kept out by Verona goalkeeper Rafael in a 0-0 draw.

The Elefantini were rock bottom of the table after losing five of their last six games, while Hellas were eager to improve their dismal away record. Giuseppe Bellusci, Cristian Biraghi, Sergio Almiron and Maxi Lopez were out, though Gonzalo Bergessio was back on the bench over a month after fracturing his shin. The visitors had Bosko Jankovic banned and Jorginho sidelined with flu symptoms, so Massimo Donati stepped in.

Before the third minute Catania already had a sensational chance, as Mariano Izco’s dipping strike from distance was palmed out from under the bar.

Rafael was again called into action with a desperate save from point-blank range on Sebastian Leto, then the ball fell to Peruzzi who somehow blasted wide under pressure.

Leandro Castro drilled straight at Rafael and the Verona goalkeeper came to the rescue once more, batting away a glancing Pablo Alvarez header from the Pablo Barrientos free kick.

Verona were completely ineffective in the first half apart from at the 43rd minute. Juanito Gomez exchanged passes with a Luca Toni backheel and rolled across for Romulo, who somehow prodded wide of an open goal. The offside flag spared his blushes.

After the restart Emil Hallfredsson hit an absolute rocket that skimmed the crossbar. At the other end, Castro got to the by-line and pulled across the six-yard box where nobody was able to get the final touch.

Barrientos got into a scuffle with Toni during some very close marking, then had penalty appeals for a shove in the back from Alessandro Agostini.

Leto’s shot hit Domenico Maietta’s hand, but only after ricocheting off his leg as he charged it down, so this could not be considered voluntary handball.

Juan Iturbe’s angled drive flashed across the face of goal to whistle past the base of the far post, but he perhaps should’ve rolled it to Toni instead.

Castro had an attempt deflected over and Gonzalo Bergessio made his comeback over a month after suffering a micro-fracture.

Catania threatened again with Rafael’s palms stung at the near stick by Nicolas Spolli, but as Vangelis Moras tried to clear he accidentally injured himself and was stretchered off.

Rafael beat away another Castro cross-shot and took the sting out of a Keko screamer. Moments later, Iturbe took advantage of a lucky ricochet to get away from his marker, but the ball bobbled and Alberto Frison was able to smother at his feet.

Deep into stoppages, Romulo skipped past a defender only to be blocked off by a sliding Spolli tackle. From that corner, Toni's cushioned header was flicked on by Iturbe, but a clearance prevented it causing further damage.


Catania: Frison; Peruzzi (Monzon 90), Spolli, Legrottaglie, Alvarez; Plasil, Izco, Guarente; Castro, Leto (Bergessio 75), Barrientos (Keko 84)
Verona: Rafael; Cacciatore, Moras (Marques 78), Maietta, Agostini; Romulo, Donati (Laner 84), Halfredsson; Iturbe, Toni, Gomez (Donadel 69)
Ref: Damato