New Delhi: Catania comprehensively ended Roma's good run of form, with a 3-2 win at the Stadio Massimino. The Giallorossi attempted a late comeback, but it was not enough.
Coach Walter Zenga gave Takayuki Moromito a chance to start, leaving Michelle Paolucci on the bench.
Meanwhile, The big news for Luciano Spalletti and Roma fans was that captain Francesco Totti had recovered from the flu and was able to play from the first whistle.
The match began at a slow pace with both squads trying to feel one another out. The first opportunity fell to Morimito, but the Japanese player failed to redirect the ball on target from six yards.
A through ball found an intelligent run from Moromito again, the ball nearly squirmed through Doni's legs but the Brazilian pounced on the ball before it could cross the line.
The match was extremely bogged down in the opening 25 minutes, both sides finding it difficult to break the other down.
Mirko Vucinic received a yellow for knocking the ball out of the Catania goalkeeper's hands. Just after, Moromito again tried to prod the ball in, but sent it into the side netting after beating a non-chalant Doni to the ball.
Unfortunately for the Giallorossi, Francesco Totti could not last after picking up a thigh injury and was replaced after 31 minutes by Jeremy Menez.
More bad news came for Roma as Catania deservedly took the lead on the counter! Simone Perrotta lost the ball and a 3-on-2 ended with Baiocco controlling Giuseppe Mascara's pass and lofting the ball over Doni in the Roma goal.
They tried to hit-back and Matteo Brighi's rebound was almost tapped in by Perrotta, but Bizarri cleared just in time with the ball nearly rolling over the line.
However, Morimoto's efforts finally paid off with his first goal of the season. A longball over the top found the pacey Japanese player, who slotted past Doni for Catania to take a 2-0 lead.
Just before half, Julio Baptista missed a glorious chance. The first attempt was blocked, but on the turn he missed from close range.
Spalletti's half-time speech did not seem to do much good as the second half started much like the first one ended, with Roma being unable to carve out any clear cut opportunities.
Cicinho came on 10 minutes into the second half to try to add some offence, but as soon as he did things got worse for his side. A flicked on header found Morimoto alone in the box, who tapped in his second goal of the night and put Catania out of Roma's reach.
Catania were now happy to play solely on the counter, but Roma had not given up and Bizarri had to clear a long ball off the feet of Menez on 70 minutes.
Morimoto tried to complete his hat-trick, but his header was just over the bar.
A long ball then found him again, but Doni was just quick enough to get their first when his defense fell asleep.
Roma finally managed to pull one back. Vucinic has been very quiet on the evening, but managed to get in behind the defense and place the in the net with a defender on his back to make it 3-1.
Perhaps complacency had set in for Zenga's men as it was soon 3-2! After a long ball from Mexes, Vucinic cut the ball back, before Baptista played through for Menez who put the ball in the net to make it just a one goal game with ten mintues remaining.
Zenga brought on defender Cristian Silvestri in an attempt to hold onto the lead, but Roma were pressing for an equalizer. Menez broke through, but his hard cut-back was crowded out by the Catania defenders.
Morimoto was being substituted to applausea nd he and Mexes got into a minor pushing match as the French international wanted him to rush off the field. Meanwhile, Brighi was taken off for young striker Stefano Okaka.
With all the goals and bookings, another four minutes were added at the end leaving the Etnei fan very anxious and giving hope to Roma tifosi.
A lobbed ball in the net resulted in a corner for Roma and Okaka had the chance to be a hero, but his header was just wide and Roma were resigned to a defeat.
Catania 3-2 Roma
Goals: 33' Baiocco (C), 39' and 55' Morimito (C), 74' Vucinic (R), 77' Menez (R)
Bookings: 27' Vucinic (R), 30' Stovini (C), 55' Perrotta (R), 58' Cassetti (R), 70' Terlizzi (C), 78' DeRossi (R), 78' Biagianti (C), 90' Baiocco (C)
Catania: Bizzarri - Silvestre, Terlizzi, Stovini - Izco (84' Silvestri), Tedesco, Carboni, Biagianti, Baiocco - Mascara (89' Sardo), Moromito (87' Paolucci)
Roma: Doni - Cassetti, Mexes, Juan, Riise (55' Cicinho) - Brighi (87' Okaka), DeRossi, Perrotta, Baptista - Totti (31' Menez), Vucinic
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