Palermo 0-4 Catania: Rossazzurri K.O. Rosanero, Mascara Scores a Wonder-Goal (Serie A Matchday 26)

Palermo 0-4 Catania: Rossazzurri K.O. Rosanero, Mascara Scores a Wonder-Goal (Serie A Matchday 26)

There comes a time when the soccer blogger, journalist, or newscaster is at a loss for words to comment the spectacle he/she sees on his/her TV scren. Palermo vs Catania is one such example, because “crazy” doesn’t even begin to describe what happened at Renzo Barbera stadium today.

Gazzetta defined the following “miracles of a derby”:

  • Believe or not (this had me floored when I read it), Catania had not won an away match for over one year and a half. How did they choose to break that negative trend? With a 4-0 victory, against Palermo of all teams.
  • This season and before this match, the Rossazzurri had only scored six on away games.
  • The last away victory of Catania in the Derby della Sicilia was 16 years ago, back when the two teams were still in Serie C1,
  • Giuseppe Mascara‘s last goal in the Serie A dated back to December (hat-trick to Torino). How did he break the ice? A smashing 50m half-volley right under the crossbar, a goal-of-the-year contender if there ever was one.
  • Ironically, Catania’s man-of-the-match wasn’t any of their scorers, but their keeper. With five fantastic saves on the 3-0, Albano Bizarri kept a clean sheet and concurrently provided the cherry on the cake on an already wonderful team performance.


Serie A 2008-09 - Palermo vs. Catania

Serie A 2008-09 - Day 26 - Palermo 0-4 Catania

Contrary to expectations, Catania manager Walter Zenga fielded a surprising 4-4-2 line-up instead of his usual 4-3-3 (Paolucci making way for Carboni & Baiocco) and while this may have looked like a move dictated by caution, therein lied the key to today’s match. Indeed, building a strong defensive block in front of their half the Rossazzurro were able to neutralize every single Palermo offensive, and this despite the (in vain) Rosanero initiatives to grab this game by the reins: Carboni & Baiocco followed Simplicio & Liverani like their own shadows, effectively turning off the playmaking light in the home team. Not only that, but as soon as Catania mounted an offensive of their own they capitalized: receiving from Capuano, Morimoto got rid of his marker and delivered an unmissable assist for Pablo Ledesma. Diving header with an open-net and 1-0 Catania.

Pablo Ledesma scores the 1-0 for Catania

This really didn’t sit well with Palermo, who progressively got nervous, angry (straight-red challenge by Bresciano onto the leg of Morimoto), and angrier. The latter mood swing was more due to refereeing errors than their own demerits, because in minute 33 Rosetti didn’t make one but two mistakes: first, he gave Palermo a penalty kick for a light Capuano push on Migliaccio (very dubious decision); then, upon being corrected by the linesman, he revoked his decision and gave a free-kick on the edge of the box (if that was a foul, it was inside the box).

After that scare however, Catania proceeded to make full use of their one-man advantage (also because Ballardini didn’t make any particular changes to his formation, thus allowing the visitors to pretty much do what they wanted in midfield): deep pass by Capuano for Takayuki Morimoto, and diagonal finish past Amelia. 2-0 Catania. A good goal, but mere peanuts compared to what was to come.

Circled player is Giuseppe Mascara.  Distance to goal: 55m.

With just minutes left in the half, Giuseppe Mascara received an aerial redirect from Morimoto and without waiting for the ball to settle, the Catania forward slammed a powerful half-volley straight over Amelia and below the bar. The distance? 55 meters. If that isn’t a candidate for “OMG-moment-of-the-year”, I don’t know what is. 3-0 Catania and Palermo’s morale in the gutter.

The second half, with the changes to a 3-3-3 formation and the entrance of Succi for Cassani, was the moment chosen by the Rosanero to signal their presence on the field; up until then, this match had been nothing short of a one-way affair. That is also the moment chosen by Albano Bizzarri to don the super-gloves, as the Catania keeper had no intention of letting his opponents get even an ounce of satisfaction today. Parrying the efforts of Migliaccio (2), Cavani (2), Miccoli, Balzaretti and Succi, Bizarri effectively cleared the way for the Rossazzurri’s fourth goal: run forward by Biagianti, pass towards Michele Paolucci at the 12-yard spot and 4-0 Catania. Total football at the Barbera today, but not from the team you would expect.



U.S. Città di Palermo
[Match Highlights]
 Calcio Catania
GOALSCORERS: 14’ Ledesma (C), 37’ Morimoto (C), 45’ Mascara (C), 66’ Paolucci (C).
PALERMO (4-3-1-2): Amelia – Cassani (46’ Succi), Kjaer (70’ Carrozzieri), Bovo, Balzaretti – Migliaccio (65’ Gio.Tedesco), Liverani, Bresciano – F.Simplicio – Miccoli, Cavani. (bench: Ujkani, Guana, Savini, Nocerino). Coach: Ballardini.
CATANIA: (4-1-3-2): Bizzarri – Potenza, Ma.Silvestre, Stovini, Capuano (46’ Silvestri) – Carboni – Ledesma, Biagianti (70’ Izco), Baiocco – Mascara, Morimoto (46’ Paolucci). (bench.: Kosicky, Gia.Tedesco, Spinesi, Martinez). Coach: Zenga.


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Posted in Catania, Palermo, Serie A |

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  • 2 Responses to “Palermo 0-4 Catania: Rossazzurri K.O. Rosanero, Mascara Scores a Wonder-Goal (Serie A Matchday 26)”

    1. Kevin says:

      you are quick off the mark today Marco, great game for Catania with the first win for them in topflight at the Stadio Barbera in style.

      4-0 wow that is huge derby news.

      (have you heard the news about Ribery and Barca :O)

    2. Great game indeed Kevin. Didn’t get the chance to see it live but I’m sure it must have been quite a delectable spectacle for Catania supporters.

      And that Mascara goal… :shock:

      Re Ribery: just rumours. Nothing more.