Catania conquered the Sicilian derby, giving Francesco Guidolin an unhappy Rosanero return.
This match had so many layers to it, from being the debut of Palermo boss Guidolin following Stefano Colantuono's sacking to the fact this was the first derby at the Stadio Massimino since the rioting that killed Chief Inspector Filippo Raciti in February. As a precautionary measure, the Rosanero fans were banned from travelling for the encounter.
Catania welcomed back Juan Vargas and Christian Terlizzi from suspension, but the visitors were without the injured Fabrizio Miccoli and Edison Cavani. The Elefanti had never won this fixture in Serie A, managing just two draws and last term's 2-1 defeat.
Neither Franco Brienza nor Amauri could get on the end of a taut Aimo Diana cross from the right, then goalkeeper Ciro Polito rushed out to clear from the on-rushing Diana.
Alberto 'Jimmy' Fontana managed to smother a dangerous Gionatha Spinesi effort from point-blank range. Palermo were extremely unlucky not to take the lead, as Franco Brienza flicked on the ball for Amauri, whose lob clipped the crossbar of an open goal.
Catania broke the deadlock in controversial fashion, as the ball seemed to have gone out of play when Spinesi turned at the byeline. The move continued and Giuseppe Mascara got his header to a fine Vargas cross.
Andrea Barzagli was punished for pushing Spinesi in the back as they both went for a seemingly harmless ball from seven yards. Spinesi took the penalty himself and sent Fontana the wrong way with a low drive.
In first half stoppages Amauri threaded through for Fabio Simplicio, but the Brazilian's shot was parried at the near post.
Fontana flew to parry a dangerous Colucci free kick and Palermo got back into it with substitute Caserta's precise left-foot angled drive. However, moments later Caserta was shown a straight red card for his studs-up challenge on Colucci's ankle.
A splendid Jorge Martinez header was fingertipped round the base of the upright and the South American got on the scoresheet in the final minute. It was a glorious goal from the Uruguayan, who curled into the far top corner with his right foot.