Posts Tagged ‘Catania’

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

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

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.



Catania 1-2 Juventus: Last-Gasp Goal by Poulsen and the Bianconeri Hang On (Serie A Matchday 23)

Monday, February 9th, 2009

In circumstances like these it might be easy to repeat the Bianconeri adage, “Juventus never give up“. It’s one that fits. “Character” is one of the single most marking characteristics of this team, and the way Juve achieved their victory over Catania today can only reinforce that image (just like their Coppa Italia match did earlier this week).

Good fortune however (commonly known as “luck”) was a strong contributor today as well. Playing with 10 men for almost 80 minutes of play the Bianconeri managed to steal away the three points right into stoppage time, a close-range redirect that ended a streak of two consecutive home league losses and keeps the evil Inter rivals within reasonable reach.

Also of all people, the unlikely match-winner was last Summer’s most criticized Bianconeri recruit. In a period where everyone eagerly awaited the arrival of Xabi Alonso, the black & white fans had to settle for a rugged Danish defensive mid, a player whose fame in Italy was exclusively limited to a close encounter with Totti’s DNA during Euro 2004. And today him of all people, was Juve’s saviour.


10-Men Inter Reclaim Their +6 Serie A Lead as Juve & Milan Stumble (Serie A Matchday 21)

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

As a Bianconero, big disappointment lingers in my mind after Wednesday’s Serie A action. Not only did an unrecognizable (and Del Piero-less) Juve lose away to Udinese, but Inter Milan‘s concurrent win over Catania (and AC Milan‘s draw to Genoa) restores the Nerazzurri’s +6/+8 lead, leaving us to wonder if the current order of the top three Serie A teams will ever change again.

Maybe I’m being overly pessimistic, but I’ve been following the soccer scene for quite some time now and I’ve got this hunch: usually during a title race, when the top team loses some ground only to regain it the following week, they are keeping their lead till the end. I’ve got no scientific or tactical evidence to support this theory, it is what it is: a hunch. But based on my previous years of Serie-A watching experience, it is somewhat reminiscent of the Juve vs. Parma and Juve vs. Inter title races of the late 90′s.

Secretly of course, I want to believe otherwise…


Inter Milan 2-1 Catania: Ten-Men Nerazzurri Thanking the O.G.’s… (Serie A Matchday 2)

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

I’ll surprise a few by saying this, but this Inter team reminds me a lot of the late 90′s Juventus. Not so much with regards to playing style, but with respect to a few other factors. For instance even when their match performance is far from extraordinary, the Nerazzurri manage to rake in 3 points, exploiting every fortunate opportunity as it comes (such as the two own goals gifted by Catania on Saturday).

The Etnei might have well taken lead in the first half (Gianvito Plasmati header), Inter didn’t take very long to respond. And this despite Sulley Muntari (some things never change do they?) being sent off shortly before the half. Ricardo Quaresma made a positive debut (combining especially well with Maicon), and there was plenty more for Jose Mourinho to be pleased about in what was the manager’s 99th consecutive home game without a loss.

(From Gazzetta dello Sport): Compared to pre-match expectations, Mourinho decided to have a big “line-up makeover” for this one: Ibrahimovic was the lone man up front, Figo, Balotelli and Quaresma provided support, while Muntari and Vieira occupied the defensive midfield zone (J.Zanetti and Cambiasso left to watch on the bench). In defense, Burdisso took center-back position alongside Materazzi. On the other end, Catania’s coach Walter Zenga (whose return to San Siro was greeted with great cheers & applause), chose Plasmati isntead of Paolucci as his centre of attack.

Inter controlled the game from the outset through an inspired Quaresma, who set the pace for the wing-back overlaps on the flanks. Blocking the Nerazzurri’s way however, was a very determined Albano Bizzari: the Catania goalkeeper intercepted almost all the crosses coming in from the sidelines. The biggest fear for Zenga’s team however came around minute 30, when Muntari somehow got a touch on a Quaresma left-wing cross, only to have his poke miraculously saved by Bizzarri.

At the 42 minute mark Catania mounted its first real attack on the Inter goal, and it was a good one. From the left, Giacomo Tedesco put the ball in the center for Plasmati, and the Catania striker headed the ball past Julio Cesar to put the visitors in the lead. 1-0 Catania.

However, the Sicilians didn’t even have enough time to celebrate: through on the right wing, Quaresma applied his nth trivela magic and Bizzarri (fooled by a Mascara deflection) was caught by surprise. The keeper could do little more than collect the ball from the back of the net, as Inter equalized the score. 1-1.

Inter didn’t have much time for celebrations either however: before the half-time break José found himself down one player, as Muntari was red-carded for landing a slap on Tedesco’s face. Tempers started to flare and remained heated even when referee Antonio Damato stepped in and sent the players to the locker rooms. At that point, both coaches intervened to restore calm.

The Nerazzurri started the second half with great pace, putting themselves in the lead just after 3 minutes. A Maicon long-throw from the right found the header of Christian Terlizzi, only it was in the wrong dirrection: out of Bizzarri’s reach, the ball hit the inside of the vertical post and this was enough for the linesman to raise his flag and award the goal. Highly dubious, as instant replay images contributed very little to clarify any doubts. 2-1 Inter nonetheless.

For Catania this was a big slap in the face, and the visitors risked even more trouble when Burdisso incredibly ballooned from point-blank range in the 58th minute. It was then that Mourinho realized being a goal up and one player down was a good time to take defensive measures: exit Balotelli and enter Cambiasso. The Nerazzurri became more cautious and conservative in their play, dropping back their line of attack. Catania was unable to take advantage, even when Zenga discarded his 4-3-3 formation for a more attacking 4-2-3-1 line-up.

At the 78 minute mark, Mourinho took off off Quaresma (a positive debut for the ex-Porto winer) to give a bit of a run to Amantino Mancini. The ex-Roma player set the field alight with his versatile and energetic play, showing great understanding with Ibrahimovic: a perfect through-on-goal opportunity put the Swede one-one-one with Bizzarri, but the Catania keeper saved off the line what seemed a certain goal. The Catania nº1 outdid himself again a little later, when the Mancini-Zlatan duo produced yet another well-worked shot on goal.

It was the last highlight moment of the match, which saw Inter walk away with its first win of the season. And with plenty more to come probably. Without the own goals…


F.C. Internazionale Milano
[Match Highlights]
 Calcio Catania
GOALSCORERS: 42′ Plasmati (C), 43′ Mascara o.g. (C), 58’ Terlizzi o.g. (C)
INTER (4-2-3-1): Julio Cesar – Maicon, Burdisso, Materazzi, Maxwell – Vieira, Muntari – Figo (46’ J.Zanetti), Balotelli (67’ Cambiasso), Quaresma (78’ Mançini) – Ibrahimovic. (bench: Toldo, Córdoba, Cruz, Adriano). Coach: Mourinho.
CATANIA (4-3-3): Bizzarri – Ma.Silvestre, Stovini, Terlizzi, Silvestri – P.Ledesma, Biagianti, Gia.Tedesco (74’ Antenucci) – Mascara, Plasmati (61’ Paolucci), J.A.Martinez (61’ Dica). (bench: Kosicky, Sardo, Sabato, Baiocco). Coach: Zenga.


Catania 1-1 Roma: Mission Accomplished for the Giallorossi, Cue Another Italian Cup Final with Inter (Coppa Italia Semi-Finals, Leg 2)

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Coppa Italia Tim Cup 2007-08(From Gazzetta): For the 4th consecutive season Roma will once again face Inter in the Coppa Italia final. The only difference this time around will be that the umpteenth encounter between Spalletti’s men and those of Mancini will be decided by a single match (no more double legs in finals) to be played at the Stadio Olimpico of Rome on May 24. But before they got there Roma had to first dispose of Catania, something that the Giallorossi achieved without too much heartache, as they scored first at Stadio Angelo Massimino and kept their cool after the Elefanti drew level.

CHOICES AND AIMS – When a team reaches the Coppa semi-final after never having been so far in the competition, one would expect the team in question to field their best possible line-up, especially if the prize (besides pride, glory and all that crap) is a place in next season’s UEFA Cup. Catania however were in no way tempted by European dreams and rested numerous first team players, their Serie A match away to Juventus firmly in mind: The main aim of the Sicilian club is in fact to avoid relegation and retain their Serie A status for next season, but it was certainly a real pity not to be able to assist to a game played by the best possible Catania side, especially when Roma’s 1-0 first leg win (thanks to a goal by Francesco Totti) had left their chances of reaching the final very much intact. Every manager however, obviously has the right to make the choices he retains wisest…

THE LINE UPS – Speaking of that manager, for tonight’s match Walter Zenga put his faith in Inácio Piá in attack, supported by the two Giuseppe’s (Mascara and Colucci). In defence Lorenzo Stovini was given a round of rest, while in midfield there were places for Mariano Julio Izco and Marco Biagianti. Not that Roma fielded their strongest team either: forced to play Christian Panucci and Marco Cassetti as his central defensive pairing (due to the injury of Juan and Philippe Mexes’s suspension), Luciano Spalletti chose to field Cicinho and Vitorino Antunes at right and left back. In midfield, Matteo Brighi partnered Daniele De Rossi, while Alberto Aquilani playing second striker behind Mirko Vucinic. Completing the line up were Simone Perrotta and Ludovic Giuly on the left and right wings respectively, while Pizarro and Mancini were left on the bench.

A GOAL A PIECE – The initial exchanges were played at a rather slow tempo, with Roma looking to retain possession and create changes and Catania cautious and not too willing to attack. The game continued in this manner until the 26th minute, when Izco showed more than just a little inexperience by (unnecessarily) tripping Vucinic inside the penalty box. Alberto Aquilani then made no mistake from the penalty spot, and put the Giallorossi in the lead. 1-0 Roma (and 2-0 aggregate).

Catania fans did not have to wait long for their team’s reply however, as Cristian Silvestri was at hand just a couple of minutes later to score with a perfect header and level the score. 1-1. At this point Catania really had nothing to lose (they needed two more goals to go through), and the team began to push forward with much more conviction. Without troubling Roma too much before the break however, as the first 45 minutes ended in a draw.

DULL SECOND HALF- After the break however it was all Roma as the Giallorossi came very close to scoring on a number of occasions, first through Aquilani assisted by Giuly, then through Perrotta smartly getting behind Vucinic’s pass. On both occasions Catania’s nº1 Albano Bizzarri managed to keep his side in the game. The woodwork then came to the Argentine goalkeeper’s aid in minute 57, when Perrotta‘s header connected with a cross and sent the ball on the upper right corner.

The remainder of the half did not offer much excitement: there were a number of changes but very little in terms of scoring chances (a few for Roma and zero for Catania). In addition, neither team seemed willing to put more energy into changing the course of the game, and eventually the referee called full time. In the end, it will be the same old story all over again: Roma in the cup final against Inter. Let’s just hope that on May 24 at the Olimpico, the Coppa Italia will be able to provide just a little bit more entertainment than this. No doubt that Roma will have added motivation after Inter’s (almost certain now) Scudetto celebrations.


 Calcio Catania CATANIA-ROMA
[Match Highlights]
A.S. Roma
GOALSCORERS: 27’ pen. Aquilani (R), 29’ Silvestri (C)
CATANIA (4-3-1-2): Bizzarri – Silvestre, Silvestri, Sottil, Alvarez – Izco, Edusei, Biagianti (56’ Baiocco) – Colucci (60’ Gazzola) – Pià (84’ Iannelli), Mascara. (bench: Rossi, Sardo, Sabato, Terlizzi). Coach: Zenga.
ROMA (4-2-3-1): Curci – Cicinho, Cassetti, Panucci, Antunes – Brighi, De Rossi (80’ Mancini) – Giuly (64’ M.Esposito), Aquilani, Perrotta (76’ Tonetto) – Vucinic. (bench: Julio Sergio, Brosco, Pizarro, Unal). Coach: Spalletti.