Chievo caused a major upset by conquering Catania’s Stadio Massimino, but Francesco Lodi’s penalty was saved.
The Sicilians have done admirably in recent fixtures against big clubs, but hadn’t beaten Chievo home or away in Serie A since September 2008 and were without the suspended Davide Lanzafame. The Flying Donkeys had just one point on their travels all season and missed Gennaro Sardo, Santiago Morero and Rinaldo Cruzado.
Luciano was booked in the opening 60 seconds for a foul on Adrian Ricchiuti, while Sergio Almiron’s header was just off target.
Cyril Thereau twice wasted good opportunities created by Catania errors. The first he failed to control when clear on goal after Giuseppe Bellusci slipped, the second he mistimed his run to be slightly offside.
The Elefantini finally created some real danger at the 32nd minute with Ricchiuti’s left-foot screamer skimming the top of the near post.
Soon after they threatened again, as a header was charged down by Michael Bradley and Gonzalo Bergessio was first to the loose ball, hitting it at the upright from point-blank range.
On the stroke of half-time the referee pointed to the spot, as Nicolas Spolli foolishly lost possession and tripped Sergio Pellissier in a bid to get it back. Pellissier converted coolly for his 99th goal in a Chievo jersey, rolling calmly to Mariano Andujar’s left.
Maxi Lopez came off the bench to drill wide, but Catania struggled to create scoring opportunities. The Sicilians were instead handed a chance to equalise, as Davide Mandelli pushed Maxi Lopez for a penalty. Francesco Lodi took the spot-kick duties, but Stefano Sorrentino guessed the right angle and performed a splendid save.
From the resulting corner, Sorrentino again flew to fingertip Spolli’s header on to the bar. Moments later Spolli again went close, skimming the near post.
Just as Catania were laying siege, they left gaps at the back and Chievo took full advantage. It was an absolute howler. The cross was allowed through because Bellusci and Spolli comically collided in their own penalty area, so it was child’s play for Pellissier to roll across for an unmarked Paolo Sammarco tap-in.
Catania did get back into the game when a fierce Almiron snapshot from distance took a decisive deflection to rise above Sorrentino into the top corner.
Marco Biagianti tried to equalise straight after, his shot smothered by Sorrentino after squirming through the defence. At the other end, Davide Moscardelli burst between two defenders at the by-line only to blast over.
Missed penalty: Lodi 68 (Ca)