Inter completed an amazing comeback from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in stoppages with Rodrigo Palacio bagging a brace.
Antonio Cassano was left behind after a blazing row with Coach Andrea Stramaccioni, while Diego Milito, Walter Samuel, Matias Silvestre, Yuto Nagatomo, Gaby Mudingayi, Joel Obi and Luca Castellazzi were injured. With Rodrigo Palacio not 100 per cent fit either and Andrea Ranocchia suspended, Tommaso Rocchi got his first Inter start with Ezequiel Schelotto and Ricky Alvarez. Catania were only two points adrift of Inter and on fine form, but Nicola Legrottaglie and Giuseppe Bellusci sat out bans.
Catania took advantage of a defensive howler from Juan Jesus to take the lead. The Brazilian defender tried to protect the ball to let it out for a goal kick, but under pressure from Gonzalo Bergessio at the by-line he pushed it back into the middle, allowing the striker to smash in at the near post.
Zdravko Kuzmanovic tried to fight back with a long-range strike wide and Samir Handanovic comfortably smothered a Papu Gomez attempt.
Inter’s defence was again caught napping on a long Francesco Lodi free kick, as Giovanni Marchese was allowed a free header at the back post that looped over Handanovic.
Rocchi attempted a shot, but it was too weak to trouble Mariano Andujar, but Bergessio got away from defenders down the left and the pull-back was just too hard for Lucas Castro.
Rodrigo Palacio and Dejan Stankovic came on, but the restart was delayed by a few minutes so stewards could sellotape the goal support back together.
Inter tried to fight back, but left themselves wide open to the counter and Handanovic had to parry one-on-one with Bergessio.
Fredy Guarin had a chance when his angled drive flashed across the face of goal and moments later Inter did pull one back.
Rodrigo Palacio burst past Alexis Rolin and got to the by-line down the right, pulling across for Ricky Alvarez’s diving header from six yards.
Guarin’s header whistled over from an Alvaro Pereira cross and Catania again wasted on the counter, as Castro hesitated and Bergessio kicked the ball out of Handanovic’s hands, sparking a scuffle.
Inter completed the comeback with substitute Palacio, who rose above Rolin to nod in Alvaro Pereira’s cross from six yards.
Palacio had complaints in a tussle with Nicolas Spolli and Castro blasted past the far top corner. Alvarez dribbled into the area and hesitated, rolling across for Ezequiel Schelotto who had both shots charged down by Andujar from six yards.
Catania gave Edgar Cani his debut, but Esteban Cambiasso had a sensational chance to give Inter victory in the final minute, volleying across the face of goal to skim the back post.
Inter managed to turn it all around in stoppages, going from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in Sicily. Cambiasso pulled back from the by-line for Palacio to tap in from eight yards, as Andujar got a hand to it, but let the ball squirm under his body.