Catania earned a shock 2-1 win away to Bologna despite playing an hour with 10 men, but both teams are relegated anyway.
This result proved fruitless the two contenders thanks to victories elsewhere for Chievo and Sassuolo.
This was a relegation six-pointer between two teams in the bottom three. The Elefantini would be automatically relegated with less than a victory and gave themselves slender hope of a miraculous comeback with their 4-1 win over Roma last week. Bologna were in crisis and had won five games all season, plus missed Francesco Della Rocca, Diego Perez and the suspended Niccolo Cherubin.
Bologna had a couple of early chances with Panagiotis Kone crosses from the right, but on both occasions Rolando Bianchi only managed to skim the ball rather than get firm contact.
The hosts threatened again on a corner, as Rene Krhin turned a totally free header over from seven yards.
However, it was Catania who took the lead at the Stadio Dall’Ara with a free kick. Fabian Monzon drilled it low to split the poor defensive wall and surprise unsighted goalkeeper Gianluca Curci.
Catania’s enthusiasm was short-lived, as they went down to 10 men after Gino Peruzzi foolishly received two yellow cards within 29 minutes. The second was a mistimed tackle to take down Lazaros Christodoulopoulos on the counter-attack.
Bologna had a great chance to equalise, as first Christodoulopoulos’ shot was deflected, then Bianchi scuffed it and eventually Jonathan Cristaldo poked it on to the post from point-blank range.
Erik Friberg was decisive to charge down Gonzalo Bergessio after the Bologna defence was caught napping, then Cristaldo nodded wide of the back stick.
Deep into first half stoppages, Cristaldo’s diving header was met with a fantastic Alberto Frison save.
Catania were a man down, but kept pushing for a second goal, as after the restart a free kick flashed across with Bergessio glancing it inches wide.
Cristaldo pulled back for Ibson, whose shot from 10 yards was deflected just past the far post.
Ibson went even closer soon after, as a corner was flicked on to the edge of the box where the Brazilian unleashed a screamer that smacked against the crossbar.
Robert Acquafresca came off the bench and immediately his half-volley was deflected over by Gyomber’s arm, but the referee waved away strong penalty appeals.
Bologna did eventually get an equaliser from a corner when it was flicked on for Archimede Morleo’s well-taken left-foot strike.
However, Catania went on the counter-attack after Morleo’s calls for a free kick were ignored and Gonzalo Bergessio blasted in at the back stick. Daniele Paponi was sent off from the bench for his protests.
Sent off: Peruzzi 29 (C)