Lecce’s disastrous home form continues, as Catania snatched victory at the death with a swerving Pablo Barrientos strike.
This was a relegation dogfight between two Coaches who described themselves as “like brothers” thanks to their time together at Roma and beyond. On the one hand, the Salentini were without a single home win, while the Elefantini hadn’t got a victory on their travels.
Nicolas Spolli was suspended and Alvarez injured, but Lecce’s absentee list included Guillermo Giacomazzi, Moris Carrozzieri, David Di Michele, Djamel Mesbah and Souleymane Diamoutene.
Luis Muriel’s strike was deflected over the bar, but Gennaro Delvecchio wasted a golden opportunity on the counter-attack when he fired straight at Benassi’s legs in a one-on-one.
Lecce lost Ruben Olivera after just 23 minutes and Delvecchio hit another great chance at the goalkeeper from point-blank range and the rebound was just beyond Gomez.
Benassi beat away a Gonzalo Bergessio snapshot and Lecce finally had a great chance on 34 minutes, as Massimo Oddo’s free kick into the six-yard box got a toe-poke off Rodney Strasser, so Mariano Andujar just about batted it off the line.
Andre Bertolacci also threatened with a fierce half-volley wide of the target, but Benassi came tearing off his line to parry an unmarked Gomez’s effort from nine yards.
Muriel combined with Daniele Corvia only to have his shot beaten away by Andujar, but at full stretch Benassi parried a powerful Barrientos effort.
Benassi was finally beaten by a moment of magic at the 90th minute. Barrientos was outside the box and unleashed a left-foot snapshot that seemed to swerve in the air, taking it past the helpless goalkeeper.