Luca Antonelli and home-grown talent Stefano Sturaro allowed Genoa to see off plucky 10-man Catania.
Francesco Lodi returned to face the club where he never quite settled in, leaving Genoa in January for a move back to Sicily. Genoa were fresh from an impressive draw away to Napoli and comfortably mid-table, but the Elefantini were still rooted to the bottom after losing at Chievo. Last season the visitors won this fixture 2-0, ending a run of one point from the previous five visits.
Francelino Matuzalem and Gonzalo Bergessio sat out bans, while the injury lists included Alessandro Gamberini, Juraj Kucka, Sime Vrsaljko, Pablo Barrientos, Lucas Castro and Sergio Almiron.
Catania had a very aggressive start, but Jaroslav Plasil and Keko couldn’t get their shots on target in the opening three minutes.
Genoa broke the deadlock, as Luca Antonelli combined with Giuseppe Sculli down the left and wasted his first chance, but was alert to fire in the rebound from six yards.
Moussa Konate’s screamer skimmed the woodwork and Sculli horribly wasted a great chance with a fresh-air volley.
It was an increasingly tense game and Giuseppe Bellusci received his second yellow card for an obvious shirt-tug on Marco Motta.
Alberto Gilardino had a great chance to double Genoa’s lead when he was at full stretch to meet a Motta slide-rule pass, but lost his balance and prodded wide.
After the restart Andujar needed two touches to get a Gilardino effort under control, then the Catania goalkeeper flew for an acrobatic save on the Ivan Fetfatzidis curling free kick.
Gilardino went on the counter from a Cabral assist, but the flick was over the goalkeeper and just wide of the far post.
Konate turned defenders inside out with his mazy run only to drill inches past the near stick.
Genoa did eventually put the victory beyond doubt with local lad Stefano Sturaro’s debut Serie A goal, pouncing on a poor clearance on the edge of the box to smash the angled drive through Andujar’s less than secure fingers.
Sent off: Bellusci 39 (C)