Gonzalo Bergessio and Francesco Modesto scored in Catania for a 1-1 draw, although Parma debutant Stefano Okaka threatened a late winner.
The Ducali were still unbeaten under Roberto Donadoni. Brandao replaced the suspended Cristian Zaccardo, while new signings Stefano Okaka and Jonathan were on the bench, but they had never conquered the Massimino in Serie A. Catania were coming off two consecutive defeats and had Nicola Legrottaglie and Sergio Almiron out on bans. There was a minute’s silence before kick-off for 1960s Catania President Ignazio Marcocchio, who died this morning aged 98 and was still an Honorary President of the club.
After 120 seconds Pablo Barrientos volleyed just over the bar from a smart Alejandro Gomez cross. A Catania corner was nodded on to Sergio Floccari’s arm, but it could not be considered a voluntary gesture.
Andrea Campagnolo just about plucked a looping Francesco Valiani effort out from under the bar, as he was back-pedalling and risked taking it with him into the net.
Gomez failed to complete a promising Catania counter-attack, as his first touch let him down and he stumbled when clear on goal.
Gonzalo Bergessio did not make the same mistake, as he sprung the offside trap in midfield, dribbled round Nicola Pavarini and managed to squeeze it into the net from the tightest of angles, avoiding the two Parma defenders who had scrambled back.
Sebastian Giovinco tried to fight back and his screamer whistled past the post, but Sergio Floccari went much closer when his towering header cracked against the upright.
Moments later, Parma snatched an equaliser. Francesco Modesto ran on to a poor clearance on the edge of the box and unleashed a bouncing strike that flew into the far bottom corner of the net.
Parma gave Jonathan and Stefano Okaka their debuts in the second half, having joined on loan from Inter and Roma respectively. Francesco Lodi’s free kick was fingertipped just past the post by Pavarini and the goalkeeper was ready for a Bergessio header.
Daniele Galloppa and Bergessio had long-range shots, while only Stefano Morrone’s last-ditch tackle prevented Andrea Catellani from sprinting all the way from his own half into the Parma box.
Pavarini smothered a Barrientos angled drive, but in the final minute debutant Okaka burst away between defenders on a smart Galloppa through ball and fired with the outside of his right foot, shaving a coat of paint off the far post.