Palermo 0-4 Catania
Both coaches, Davide Ballardini and Walter Zenga, had early full squads available for this highly-anticipated match in the Italian Serie A calendar. Meanwhile, Ciro Capuano lined up against his former employers.
The affair got off to an aggressive start as one might expect, with Fabio Simplicio being booked in the second minute of play!
After ten minutes there were no clear cut chances, but Catania shocked the Stadio Renzo Barbera soon after! Takayuki Morimoto was played into the box and he cut the ball back for Pablo Ledesma, whose diving header found the back of the net for the first goal in the Sicilian derby, despite Marco Amelia getting a hand to the effort.
Palermo were dealt another huge blow only a minute later. Marco Bresciano flew in late for a challenge in midfielder and he was given a straight red card by referee Roberto Rosetti, as the Rosanero were now a man and a goal behind in a fiery start to the match.
The deficit seemed to motivate the home side even more as Catania were being pinned back, Fabio Liverani's long ball found Frederico Balzaretti, who beat his man on the left before putting in a low cross for Fabrizio Miccoli, but the shot was blocked.
The Rosanero had success down the left once again, Miccoli was in plenty of space and went past Potenza with ease before the ex-Benfica player's hard cross was cleared with some difficulty. Palermo continued to press and received a dangerous free-kick just outside the box, but the foul looked to have been committed just inside the area.
Despite the intense pressure from Palermo, Catania doubled their advantage. Moromito controlled a difficult ball over the top from Carboni and tapped past Amelia to make it 2-0 for the visitors on 37 minutes.
The match appeared to be truly out of reach before half-time as Mascara made it a three goal advantage just before half-time with one of the goals of the season! Mascara attempted an ambitious volley from the half-way line and it flew into the back of the net with Amelia left stranded!
It was quite a finish to an exciting half of football.
Ballardini went for broke in an effort to try and save this match, throwing on a third striker in Davide Succi.
The player did nothing to endear himself to the crowd as he missed an open net after a rebound from Amelia on Migliaccio's header. On 59' Migliaccio was denied again, his header looked destined for the top corner, but was palmed away with a great save by Bizarri.
The route was on after an hour as Michele Paolucci found Catania's fourth. Biagianti turned away from his marker on the edge of the box to play in the young striker, whose one-time found the bottom corner from close range.
The Rosanero still searched for a goal. Bizarri stopped Miccoli's low shot from the edge of the area before blocking Succi on the follow-up as the shot-stopper refused to be beaten.
Both of the teams looked resigned to their respective fates as the match settled down. Tame efforts from Edinson Cavani and Miccoli from outside the box were easily gathered and cleared by the Catania back-line.
Former Palermo left-back Ciro Capuano, who panned the club after his transfer to Catania this winter, was booed off the pitch when substituted with ten minutes remaining by the dejected home crowd. There was a last ditch acrobatic scissor-kick from Succi straight at the impenetrable Bizarri.
The suffering continued when they referee inexplicable added five minutes of injury time, but the match ended with Catania worthy winners and Palermo the disappointed and embaressed side in a surprising, but spectacularly one-sided, Sicilian fixture.
Palermo 0-4 Catania
Goals: 15' Ledesma (C), 37' Morimoto (C), 44' Mascara (C), 64' Paolucci (C)
Booked: 2' Simplico (P), 33' Migliaccio (P), 56' Capuano (C)
Sent off: 17' Bresciano (P)
Palermo: Amelia - Cassani (46' Succi), Bovo, Kjaer (69' Carrozzieri), Balzaretti - Migliaccio (65' Tedesco), Simplicio, Liverani, Bresciano - Miccoli, Cavani
Catania: Bizarri - Potenza, Silvestre, Stovini, Capuano (78' Silvestri) - Baiocco, Ledesma (69' Izco), Biagianti, Carboni - Moromito (46' Paolucci) , Mascara
Adam Scime, Goal.com