Late winner in vain for Catania
Last Updated: 11/05/14 5:42pm
Gonzalo Bergessio: Scored a late winner for Catania
Gonzalo Bergessio's late winner was not enough to keep Catania in Serie A as results elsewhere relegated both the Sicilians and Bologna on Sunday afternoon.
Catania arrived at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara knowing victory over their hosts would steer them towards safety - as long as Chievo and Sassuolo both failed to win.
Luciano Monzon's first-half opener was cancelled out by Bologna's Archimede Morleo with 10 minutes remaining, but Catania thought they had finally done enough to survive when Bergessio scored at the death to settle a 2-1 win.
And they would have taken their fight to the last day had Chievo not triumphed 1-0 at Cagliari while Sassuolo were clinching a thrilling 4-2 success against Genoa to secure their own future in the top flight.
Last week's shock 4-1 win over Roma had brought Catania to within two points of safety, and their focus turned to dragging 17th-placed Bologna into the soup with victory at the Dall'Ara.
Yet it was the Rossoblu who started the game in more determined fashion, with Lazaros Christodoulopoulos and Rolando Bianchi both going dangerously close to scoring in the first 10 minutes.
Panagiotis Kone then set an unmarked Bianchi up for an easy finish, which the former Manchester City man could not tuck away.
In the 22nd minute, Catania took the lead.
Monzon lined up a free-kick and, although he looked ready to pick out the top corner, his daisy-cutter fooled Gianluca Curci and nestled in the bottom of the net.
So far so good for Catania, but Gino Peruzzi contrived to diluted their prospects of clinging onto the advantage by earning two yellow cards in quick succession just before the half-hour mark.
Bologna pushed back and Alberto Frison did well to smother Rene Krhin's bullet header from a free-kick.
Jonathan Cristaldo tried his luck with a firm drive before, in the 43rd minute, Christodoulopoulos fell over his own feet when all alone in front of the Catania goal.
Both sides went close to notching when play resumed, Bergessio whipping the ball just wide of the Bologna goal before Frison looked alive to repel Bianchi's attempt from close range.
Then, on the hour mark, Bianchi spurned a golden opportunity to level by shooting straight down Frison's throat from two yards out.
Catania had been fired enough warnings to realise they needed a second goal and they should have scored in the 73rd minute when Lucas Castro blasted wide of an unguarded goalmouth.
They were punished for wasting the chance as Morleo soon rifled home a late leveller.
But Catania could feel top-flight football slipping out of their hands and refused to lie down and accept their fate.
Six minutes from time, Bergessio drifted inside before shaping his body to beat Curci with a curling finish off his left boot.
Catania celebrated wildly, believing their victory had kept them alive in the top flight at Bologna's expense.
But news soon filtered through to both sets of supporters that Chievo and Sassuolo had both won their respective games to consign all those assembled in Bologna to relegation.
Italy Serie A