Clearly Genoa’s defensive issues of last season were greatly nullified in this match. Roughly sixty per-cent of the match was in the Catania end but Walter Zenga’s defensive line held strong with physical, tough marking and reducing sight-lines. Catania ‘keeper Albano Bizzarri kept a cool head, was only challenged on three shots and maintained his angles perfectly. Genoa’s closest opportunity to level the match was Davide Di Gennaro set-play from twenty meters out near the seventy minute mark, which sailed high. The toll of the Sicilian summer sun and physical play with over fifty fouls and eight yellow cards clearly had an impact upon the squads as pace and work-rate deflated as the match wore on. Tactically, from the Rossazzurri vantage, it was textbook Football, controlling play with a defensive set, very good at breaking down the lines of attack and taking advantage of the counter. Their marking was perfect and truthfully Genoa never had a good sight line in the attack. They will need to address the tempo of play as they seemed to slow the attack down and lacked in creativity. If there was a surprise it was that Raffaele Palladino started the match on the bench, however I expect that to change very shortly.
83 Rubinho, 25 Biava,13 Ferrari, 4 Criscito,7 Rossi, 68 Vanden Borre (20 Mesto ‘76), 28 Juric, 23 Modesto, 14 Sculli (21 Di Gennaro ‘66), 11 Olivera, 18 Gasbarroni (10 Palladino 60′)
Unused substitutes:15 Papastathopoulos, 73 Scarpi, 9 Figueroa, 26 Bocchetti
1 Bizarri,21 Silvestri,6 Stovini,4 Silvestre,14 Alvarez,10 Dică (Tedesco 60′),27 Biagianti,8 Ledesma,9 Paolucci,25 Martinez (Antenucci 85′),7 Mascara (Terlizzi 89′)
Unused substitutes: Sardo, Plasmati, Morimoto, Kosicky