Catania vs. Torino, final score 0-0: Visitors hold ten-man Catania to dull draw

Maurizio Lagana

As predicted, the match between Catania and Torino was rendered hopeless by the visitors, who, despite having a man advantage for over 75 minutes, showed little desire to grab all three points.

The match started off poorly for the hosts when playmaker and set-piece specialist Francesco Lodi was sent off in the 13th minute. Riccardo Meggiorini put in a late challenge, and the midfielder responded with a slap to the back of Meggiorini's head. That's not exactly acceptable, and Mauro Bergonzi was right to show a straight red.

But even down a man, it was Catania that showed the initiative, refusing to stop their constant attack. It very nearly paid off in the 21st minute. Pablo Barrientos sent through a lovely ball to Mariano Izco, lurking inside the area. Giuseppe Vives got very nervous and put in a poor challenge, putting Izco flat on his back. But Catania's only dead ball specialist was busy raging somewhere inside the depths of the Massimino, so it was Gonzalo Bergessio that stepped up to take the resulting penalty. The Argentine smashed it off the bar, allowing Torino to breathe just a bit easier.

In the 33rd minute, Torino looked to finally have a decent chance, as Alessio Cerci surged up the right-hand side. Giovanni Marchese dealt with the danger by sending the ball out for a corner. However, the visitors could make nothing come of it as Catania quickly turned the corner into an opportunity for a counter.

Catania should have had the lead just before the halftime break. Bergassio was clear on goal, but apparently a vision of his penalty whiff loomed large in front of his eyes. Nerves got the better of him, and Gillet was able to easily clear.

It seemed Giampiero Ventura spent all of the break reminding Toro that they did, in fact, have a man advantage, because they actually looked threatening when they returned to the pitch. In the 60th minute, Mariano Andújar exerted himself for the first time, stretching across the face of goal to save a sharp shot from Rolando Bianchi.

Andújar was forced into another fantastic save in the 65th minute, when Cerci sent in a sharp shot from distance. But the keeper was able to keep the ball out, and again the visitors' attack petered out.

And by the 72nd minute, it seemed the granata spirit was well and truly buried. Lucas Castro, in for Bergessio, set up Sergio Almirón, but Gillet managed to stop the shot from landing in the top corner. A moment later, Alejandro Gómez allowed Castro a shot, but again Gillet was there to save.

In the 86th minute, substitute Amidu Salifu sent in an impressive shot from about 25 yards out, forcing Gillet into a diving save. On the other end, substitute Simone Verdi was also keen to make his presence known. He got on the end of a cross from Vives, turned, and tried from a difficult angle, just missing the far post.

Catania: Mariano Andújar; Giuseppe Bellusci, Nicola Legrottaglie, Nicolás Spolli, Giovanni Marchese; Mariano Izco, Francesco Lodi, Sergio Almirón (Amidu Salifu '81); Pablo Barrientos (Ciro Capuano '90), Gonzalo Bergessio (Lucas Castro '67), Alejandro Gómez

Torino: Jean-François Gillet; Matteo Darmian, Kamil Glik, Guillermo Rodríguez, Salvatore Masiello; Migjen Basha, Alessandro Gazzi (Valter Birsa '58); Giuseppe Vives, Alessio Cerci (Simone Verdi '81), Rolando Bianchi, Riccardo Meggiorini (Gianluca Sansone '74)

Goals: None. I want my money back.

Red Cards: Lodi (13)



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