With their victory over Udinese on Saturday, Catania move into seventh place in Serie A, keeping their faint hope of European competition alive. What's more remarkable is the show they put on in Sicily.
Whatever Rolando Maran said to his side during the interval must have brought out the performers hidden deep inside Catania. For the next 45 minutes, they put on a marvelous song and dance routine, very nearly eclipsing the dreadfully boring show put on during the first act. The rossazzurri did allow Udinese to sing a little song of their own, but for the most part, the home side hogged the spotlight.
Don't want a kiss, don't want a touch, just want a goal in for us
"Ale-Alejandro, Ale-Alejandro," you could almost hear Lucas Castro singing as he received the ball from Pablo Barrientos. Castro executed a lovely little hip shimmy, attracting the attention of Zeljko Brkic. The Udinese keeper, distracted by Castro's moves, didn't notice Alejandro Gomez appearing to his right. Castro slid the ball over, Gomez pounced and Catania had the lead in the 48th minute.
You know that I love you boy, hot like Argentines rejoice
The same trio took center stage again twenty minutes later, once again allowing Gomez his chance in the spotlight. Breaking forward, Castro slid the ball on to Barrientos, who continued racing up the right. It looked as though Pitu would have a go himself, but he pulled back to send to send the cross in to Gomez, who deftly headed it on.
The Argentine choreography was simply exquisite, with the three attackers perfectly in step. Barely a hair moved out of place during either routine.
Things got bad, and things got worse, I guess you know the tune
(performed by Udinese goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic)
Udinese had barely recovered from Gomez's second goal when Catania struck again. Gabriele Angella, apparently terrified of Castro by this point, hauled down the attacker, giving the elefanti a free kick. Brkic sized up his opposition, took up his position between the sticks, and pulled out his guitar. Slowly he began to strum, "Oh lord, stuck with old Lodi again."
Francesco Lodi took aim, causing Brkic to fling aside his guitar and lunge to his left. But the ball took a deflection off the Udinese wall, veering to the left. The keeper was unable to get back in time, and Catania were up 3-0.
All by myself ... don't wanna be ... ALL BY MYSELF ... anymore ...
With ten minutes left to play and Catania assured of victory, the home side elected to exit stage right, feeling their time would be better spent plotting next week's performance. This allowed Luis Muriel the opportunity to go on a great solo run, slipping by to rossazzurri defenders, nutmegging Nicola Legrottaglie, and scoring the only goal for Udinese.
Muriel, again left all on his own, tried to find a second just a minute later, but this time the Catania defense managed to remember what they were meant to be doing and blocked the shot.
Catania: Mariano Andújar; Pablo Álvarez, Giuseppe Bellusci, Nicola Legrottaglie, Giovanni Marchese; Francesco Lodi, Sergio Almirón (Marco Biagianti 79); Mariano Izco, Lucas Castro (Keko 92), Pablo Barrientos; Alejandro Gómez (Souleymane Doukara Doukara 89)
Udinese: Zeljko Brkic; Mehdi Benatia (Piotr Zielinski 87), Danilo, Gabriele Angella; Marco Faraoni (Matías Campos 59), Emmanuel Badu, Allan, Alexsander Merkel (Mathias Ranégie 79), Gabriel Silva; Roberto Pereyra; Luis Muriel
Goals: Gómez 48 (C), Gómez 67 (C), Lodi 71 (C), Muriel 81 (U)
Extra dramatic flair: Alessandro Potenza ejected from the bench (57)