Parma vs. Catania, Final Score 1-2: Elefanti survive late barrage

Dino Panato

After a poor first half Parma rallied in the second, though thanks to some profligate finishing they couldn't cut the two goal half time deficit and take a point.

The defeat is Parma's fourth in their last five games, with their winless streak extending to six. They fall below Sampdoria to 11th in the table, while Catania's second consecutive victory means they keep their European dreams alive.

Catania took the lead after just five minutes, thanks to some poor goalkeeping by Antonio Mirante -- who returned from injury earlier than expected to play today. Francesco Lodi's free-kick from a tight angle curled in at the near post, getting the hosts off to a terrible start.

Parma struggled to get into the game at all, and Gonzalo Bergessio could've made it 2-0 after ten minutes. This time Mirante stopped the shot with an outstretched leg.

The crociati's problems deepened after top scorer Ishak Belfodil went off injured mid-way through the first half, and it wasn't until a couple of minutes later until they really tested Mariano Andújar for the first tie. A long range drive from Marco Parolo was well saved by the Argentine international.

The elefani could have made it 2-0 just past the half-hour, though Gonzalo Bergessio managed to scoop his shot over from inside the box. It didn't matter too much, as Catania were two up at half time anyway. Another mistake by Mirante saw him claw Lucas Castro's cross right into the path of Keko, who simply slotted into the open goal.

Roberto Donadoni's half time pleasantries saw his side look instantly better in the second half. Jonathan Biabiany poked wide in the box before an Amauri volley was tipped round the post by Andújar. He kept out another Parolo rocket with little over 20 minutes remaining, and, while comfortably on top, Parma couldn't find the breakthrough. Biabiany managed to head over with an open net gaping.

A rare Catania chance fell to Bergessio inside the final ten minutes, though somehow he managed to skew a shot right in front of goal way wide, after it was squared from the right.

Eventually Parma did break the deadlock, when Amauri shook off a defender and met a squared pass from Biabiany, stabbing the ball beyond Andújar. It was one which greatly upset Nicola Legrottaglie, who felt the Italo-Brazilian striker had committed a foul in the process of scoring.

Getting shirty with the referee, the experienced defender picked up two yellow cards in the space of a minute, giving Parma a glimmer of hope. Unfortunately for the frustrated home fans, they couldn't take advantage, and were left wishing the ground staff had left the Emilian snow on the pitch after all.

Parma (4-3-3): Antonio Mirante; Djamel Mesbah, Gabriel Paletta, Andrea Coda (Alessandro Lucarelli 46), Aleandro Rosi; Marco Parolo, Jaime Valdés (Sotiris Ninis 75), Marco Marchionni; Ishak Belfodil (Raffaele Palladino 25), Amauri, Jonathan Biabiany

Catania (4-2-3-1): Mariano Andújar; Giovanni Marchese, Nicolás Spolli, Nicola Legrottaglie, Giuseppe Bellusci (Pablo Álvarez 50); Francesco Lodi, Mariano Izco; Alejandro Gómez (Alexis Rolín 88), Lucas Castro, Keko (Amidu Salifu 75); Gonzalo Bergessio

Goals: Lodi 5 (C) Keko 44 (C) Amauri 87 (P)

Red cards: Legrottaglie 88 (C)

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