Catania win at Genoa
Last Updated: 20/01/13 4:27pm
Giuseppe Bellusci and Marco Borriello in aerial battle
Catania's bid to take European football to the Stadio Angelo Massimino next season continued apace thanks to victory at relegation-threatened Genoa.
The Sicilian club closed to within two points of a Europa League berth as Genoa failed to respond to goals in either half from Gonzalo Bergessio and Pablo Barrientos.
The pressure continues to build on Genoa head coach Luigi Del Neri, whose side remain in 18th place and three points from safety.
Genoa's defence were caught unawares in the fourth minute as Bergessio slotted home from Alejandro Gomez's through-ball on the end of quick break.
Marco Borriello did Genoa no favours two minutes later as he flicked the easiest of tap-ins wide of Mariano Andujar's exposed goalmouth.
A Ciro Immobile effort prompted medical treatment for Giuseppe Bellusci, who was hit flush in the face, but Genoa were still struggling to make an impact in front of goal.
The half-hour mark approached and still the hosts floundered in the final third. Immobile and Matuzalem exchanged short passes to burst into the box but a lack of communication saw the chance slip away.
Pablo Alvarez then anticipated Matuzalem's ball inside for Borriello, forcing the ball to bounce away from danger, but Genoa were looking brighter.
Juraj Kucka cut the Catania backline in two to find debutant Ruben Olivera, whose wayward pass forward to Borriello left the ex-Juventus man without time and space to finish the move.
The Sicilians broke back quickly, Gomez misjudging the offside trap to void Bergessio's pinpoint through-ball, and Genoa would enjoy the last chance of the half.
Immobile whipped the ball into the melee from a corner and Nicolas Spolli kept his wits about him to make the vital clearance.
Spolli then had his defensive partner Ciro Capuano to thank for breaking up a swift raid from Immobile and Borriello following the restart.
Genoa mounted another assault in the 65th minute, with Kucka raising his arms in celebration as Marco Rossi tucked home his through-ball, only for the offside flag to ensure his joy was shortlived.
The hosts were in the ascendancy but it was Catania's Bergessio who spurned a gilt-edged chance to make it 2-0 in the 73rd minute.
Sebastian Frey lost his balance in a bid to sweep the ball off the Argentinian's feet, but Bergessio fell over his own feet and the chance went begging.
A second, decisive goal would arrive at the Marassi and once again Genoa fell foul of a lightning speed counter-attack from their opponents.
Mariano Izco was at the heart of a move that saw Barrientos sweep the ball beyond Frey in the 86th minute, thanks in part to the lightest of deflections off Andreas Granqvist.
Italian Serie A