Paulinho bagged a brace in six minutes to give Livorno their second straight win, but Catania were unlucky.
The Amaranto had a bright start to the season and were fresh from crushing Sassuolo 4-1. Ruben Botta and Borja were out of action, but the new strike pairing of Paulinho and Innocent Emeghara is warming up nicely. Catania badly needed a boost, as they were still without a single point after two rounds. Mariano Izco was on the treatment table and Jaroslav Plasil made his debut in midfield.
Catania should’ve taken the lead after 80 seconds when Plasil’s cross-shot found Nicolas Spolli at the back post, but the defender hit a fresh-air shot from a couple of yards!
Lucas Castro’s header sailed over, Francesco Bardi fingertipped a long-range Pablo Alvarez effort out from under the bar and Marco Biagianti drilled just wide from distance.
Gonzalo Bergessio’s angled drive flashed across the face of goal, but Livorno had a fantastic scoring opportunity in first half stoppages.
Only a Spolli goalline clearance managed to deny Innocent Emeghara, who had chipped the on-rushing Mariano Andujar.
Paulinho’s free kick took numerous deflections until the Brazilian got back on to it and volleyed against the upright from close range.
Bardi did very well in the Livorno goal to readjust his position when a Plasil shot took a deflection off Bergessio and was about to squeeze in at the near post.
Livorno eventually took the lead with a well-worked move. Schiattarella immediately put a first-time pass back into the middle where Paulinho was ready to side-foot home.
Paulinho completed his brace soon after, though much of the credit goes to Emeghara. The Swiss-Nigerian sprung the offside trap and Andujar flapped the ball off his chest, but Emeghara was smart to pull it back for Paulinho to finish it off.
A desperate goalline clearance denied Catania, as Bergessio ran on to a deflected Sergio Almiron effort to test a defender, then Italy Under-21 international goalkeeper Bardi scrambled across to prevent Barrientos tapping in from a yard.
Bergessio was incredibly unlucky, as his wonderful overhead kick deserved a goal, but it cracked against the crossbar with Bardi beaten.
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