Catania demolished Genoa 4-0 with a Pablo Barrientos brace to earn their first victory of 2012.
Pasquale Marino returned to face his former club, but had to completely reshuffle his Genoa side. Alberto Gilardino, Emiliano Moretti, Cesare Bovo and Luca Antonelli were injured, while Kevin Constant and Juraj Kucka sat out bans. Giuseppe Sculli therefore moved up to partner Rodrigo Palacio.
Catania also had problems, as Giuseppe Bellusci was suspended with Andrea Campagnolo, Alessandro Potenza, Ciro Capuano and David Suazo sidelined, so Marco Motta was thrown into the starting XI after his loan move from Juventus.
In the opening 90 seconds Catania had two shots on target with a blistering start to the match. First Gonzalo Bergessio was charged down by Kakha Kaladze, then Sebastien Frey had his palms stung by a Pablo Barrientos half-volley.
The huge pressure paid off after six minutes when Valter Birsa tripped Alejandro Gomez as he sprinted into the box. Francesco Lodi stepped up and sent Frey the wrong way, giving Catania a thoroughly deserved lead.
Genoa were in shock, so changed from a 4-4-2 to a 4-2-3-1 after a disastrous opening 15 minutes. Their first chance saw Bosko Jankovic’s free kick find the head of Granqvist, forcing Thomas Kosicky into a save.
Rodrigo Palacio nodded a Jankovic free kick over the bar, then Kosicky had to fingertip a long-range Birsa strike round the post.
Barrientos really should’ve made it 2-0 to Catania on 35 minutes, but he somehow ballooned wide from seven yards with only the goalkeeper to beat in a chance set up for him by Gomez.
Nicola Legrottaglie’s volley was off target and Jankovic wasted a free kick from a promising position.
Catania again had a very strong start to the second half and took the lead within four minutes. A Lodi cross was poorly cleared into the path of Barrientos, who comfortably fired in to double the Elefantini’s lead.
Barrientos completed his brace to make it 3-0 soon after, as Catania players swarmed around the Genoa defence. Sergio Almiron’s dummy let a pass through for Barrientos to side-foot home from close range.
Bergessio made it 4-0 by springing the offside trap on a ball over the top, as Kaladze in particular was far too slow to react, so the Argentine was able to thump past a helpless Frey.
It would’ve been five had Frey not leapt to palm a Bergessio header out from under the bar at point-blank range.