Catania, Torino play to scoreless tie
The Sicilians held on to a point, despite playing nearly the full game with only 10 men following an early red card for Francesco Lodi.
The home side missed a penalty too, but there was little else to write home about in a game which Catania coach Rolando Maran and president Antonino Pulvirenti had to follow from the mouth of the tunnel after being ejected from the technical area.
In view of the quality and excitement, it is safe to say that things can only get better in Serie A in 2013.
The first game of the new year was lacking significantly in both departments, even if it included a red card and a penalty.
The dismissal came first, in the 13th minute, with Lodi lashing out in retaliation towards Riccardo Meggiorini and receiving his marching orders from referee Mauro Bergonzi.
The home fans disapproved not only of that decision, but of several more to come, and perhaps their anger influenced Bergonzi to point to the penalty spot when Mariano Izco went to ground inside the penalty area as he cut across Giuseppe Vives.
Gonzalo Bergessio stepped up and hit the penalty against the bar.
Despite having a man less, Catania continued to pose the greater threat with Alejandro Gomez testing Jean-Francois Gillet with a curling shot from 20 yards which the Belgian goalkeeper tipped behind for a corner.
Bergessio then missed the best chance of the game from open play in the 40th minute when his control let him down inside the area with only Gillet to beat, and the Torino custodian was able to close him down.
A disappointing Torino failed to do anything with their one-man advantage, not even after a more promising start to the second half.
The nearest they came to breaking the deadlock came in the 66th minute when Alessio Cerci curled a shot towards the far corner with Mariano Andujar scampering across his goal and ultimately happy to see it miss the upright by a foot.
Maran was not so impressed and he was sent away from his bench late in a game which didn't leave anybody smiling in the end, not even Pulvirenti, who joined Maran down the tunnel in stoppage time.