Fabrizio Miccoli replied to Nicola Legrottaglie as Palermo and Catania share the spoils in a passionate Derby di Sicilia.
The Sicilian derby had both teams comfortably mid-table and eager to prove they were top dogs on the island. Federico Balzaretti and Francesco Della Rocca missed out for the home side, while the Elefantini were without Ciro Capuano, Ebagua and Alessandro Potenza.
In the opening 45 seconds Marco Motta sent a diving free header wide from Francesco Lodi’s free kick.
Emiliano Viviano almost made a total hash of his save when Alejandro Gomez sprung the offside trap and the shot bounced off his chest, but the goalkeeper scrambled back to stop it dribbling into the net.
A fierce Fabrizio Miccoli free kick stung the palms of returning goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo, then a low angled drive was blocked by one hand. Gomez got between two defenders and fell under an Ezequiel Munoz shoulder charge, but the referee did not consider it enough to award a penalty.
Catania broke the deadlock after 25 minutes with Nicola Legrottaglie. It was a well-worked move, as Pablo Barrientos nodded a Gomez cross to the far post back along the goal face for Legrottaglie to head in unmarked.
Josip Ilicic had penalty appeals for a tussle with Legrottaglie, but again the referee did not consider it worthy of a spot-kick. Fabrizio Miccoli went on a solo run, but Carrizo smothered the curling finish. Viviano again used his chest to control a Sergio Almiron snapshot.
Lodi drilled wide after the restart, but Palermo equalised 90 seconds into the second half. It was a classic counter-attack when Nicolas Bertolo won back possession in midfield and sent Miccoli running, but his fierce shot surprisingly beat Carrizo at the near post, as the goalkeeper had moved towards the middle.
Abel Hernandez went on a marvellous solo run, but ballooned wide rather than provide an assist for Ilicic.
Viviano got down well to turn a Barrientos daisy-cutter round the base of the near post, then Miccoli’s free kick skimmed the upright.
Bad news for Catania, who lost Sergio Almiron and Barrientos to injury, then replacement Cristian Llama immediately pulled up with a suspected thigh strain, so he too had to be substituted.
Abel Hernandez attempted an audacious overhead kick from Miccoli’s chipped pass, but it clipped the outside of the post in what would’ve been an amazing goal with the ‘keeper well beaten.
Catellani stung Viviano’s gloves and Eran Zahavi was furious when he felt his counter-attack was halted by a Giovanni Marchese foul. In stoppages Matias Silvestre came sliding in to put off Bergessio, who ballooned over from six yards.