Bologna pushed past Catania to end their run of two straight defeats thanks to Nicolo’ Cherubin and Marco Di Vaio.
The Elefantini were doing remarkably well towards the end of 2011 and hoped to pick up where they left off, especially as Bologna finished the year losing two on the trot. Daniele Portanova sat out a ban for the home side, joining the injured Panagiotis Kone in the stands. Catania missed David Suazo, Cristian Llama and the frozen out Mariano Andujar, who is on the market following a row.
There was a minute’s silence before kick-off for former Bologna goalkeeper and Coach Sergio Buso, who died from leukaemia in December.
Marco Di Vaio threaded through for Nico Pulzetti, but Andrea Campagnolo rushed off his line and fingertipped away the angled drive in the opening minutes.
It was all Bologna to begin with, but Robert Acquafresca nodded an inspired Alessandro Diamanti cross off target.
Catania finally created their first chance after 19 minutes when Pablo Barrientos ballooning over from a very promising position, while Francesco Lodi’s dangerous free kick was well saved.
Diamanti’s cross-shot skimmed the far post with the Catania goalkeeper rooted to the spot, but Bologna lost Simone Loria to a thigh strain.
Bologna finally broke the deadlock in the second half when Nicolo’ Cherubin peeled away from his markers for a glancing free header from seven yards on the Diamanti free kick.
Catania went down to 10 men, as Marco Biagianti picked up a second yellow card for his cynical tackle on Gaston Ramirez following an error from Alvarez.
Di Vaio finished off the match in stoppages when he sprung the offside trap. The first effort was parried by Campagnolo, but there was no denying the veteran striker’s follow-up.
Sent off: Biagianti 78 (C)