10-MAN CHIEVO LEAP TOWARDS SAFETY
Chievo beat 10-man 3-2 Catania on Saturday afternoon in Verona to take a giant step towards Serie A safety.
Michael Bradley put the hosts on their way in the sixth minute but Catania suffered a huge blow in the 18th minute when defender Nicola Spolli was shown a straight red for bringing down Chievo striker Sergio Pellissier in the area and he converted the resulting penalty to make it 2-0.
Catania pulled one back when Marco Andreolli was unfortunate to score an own goal after the half-hour mark. However, Chievo regained their two-goal lead after the restart through Alberto Paloschi.
Substitute Sergio Almiron handed Catania a lifeline four minutes from time but Chievo held on for a vital win.
The result has lifted the Flying Donkeys 11 points clear of the drop zone with seven games remaining. For Catania, defeat spelt the end of an eight-match unbeaten run and left the Sicilians one point clear of Chievo in the standings.
The home side went in front when Bradley got behind Paloschi's cross and his right-foot shot from the heart of the area beat Catania goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo.
Chievo were then awarded a penalty after Spolli's late tackle on Pellissier in the area and he struck the ball towards the right corner of goal where Carrizo could not reach it.
The visitors pushed forward and were given a helping hand in the 32nd minute when Andreolli deflected Alejandro Gomez's cross into his own net, with Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino unable to make the save.
The hosts dominated possession early in the second half and made it 3-1 in the 52nd minute.
Pellissier fed an unmarked Paloschi in the area and his six-yard shot beat Carrizo.
At the other end, Sorrentino kept out Mariano Izco's goal-bound attempt.
Catania pushed forward in the last stages of the game and were rewarded as Chievo failed to clear substitute Davide Lanzafame's cross towards the far post and an unmarked Almiron got the easy tap-in, but they were unable to draw level.
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