Football news (Calcio news): Napoli 1-0 Catania
P Cannavaro 51 (N)
Stadio San Paolo
Paolo Cannavaro gave Napoli a victory that keeps them in the hunt for European places.
The Partenopei fought back for a sensational 3-1 victory over Juventus on Thursday night that put them in level sixth position, ending an eight-match winless streak. However, Catania were also boosted by the fact they were unbeaten in five, during which they had beaten the likes of Inter and Fiorentina.
Andrea Dossena’s injury lay-off drags on, while the Elefantini left behind Cristian Llama, Potenza, Alvarez, Carboni, Plasmati and Capuano.
It was Catania who had the first chance after 60 seconds! A Giuseppe Mascara corner found Nicolas Spolli unmarked for a volley that smacked against the underside of the crossbar to bounce back out.
Fabio Quagliarella spun just wide and Grava acrobatically cleared from Mascara, while there were penalty appeals for a tussle between Michele Pazienza and Adrian Ricchiuti.
Mariano Andujar got down to parry an Ezequiel Lavezzi strike at the near post from Marek Hamsik’s quickly-taken free kick.
Catania went very close with Martinez left far too much space for a free header on Mascara’s cross, but he nodded over the bar.
Quagliarella failed to make the most of Spolli’s error, as his first touch let him down when clear on goal.
Napoli finally broke the deadlock with captain Paolo Cannavaro. Lavezzi sprung the offside trap and got to the byline, nutmegging a defender for Quagliarella to touch it on for Cannavaro’s tap-in behind him.
Hamsik’s rising angled drive flashed inches over the far top corner, but soon after Cannavaro was denied his brace by an incredible save! Cannavaro’s deflected header from a Walter Gargano cross was going the opposite direction to Andujar, but the goalkeeper stuck out his trailing hand to bat it off the line.
A very strange opportunity fell to Napoli when Hamsik’s shot took a deflection to ricochet on to the goalkeeper’s chest, though Andujar didn’t seem to know much about it.
Catania went so close when Mascara’s slide-rule pass found Maxi Lopez at full stretch, unable to get enough power to beat Morgan De Sanctis from point-blank range.
The Sicilians had strong penalty appeals in the final minutes, as Maggio fell with his arm on top of the ball when trying to shrug off Gennaro Delvecchio, but the referee judged it to be involuntary. Catania Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic was sent off for taking his protests too far.