Francesco Lodi marked his return to Catania with a match-winning display against Bologna on Monday afternoon.
The Italian midfielder set up Gonzalo Bergessio for Catania's opener in the 23rd minute and then converted his team's second from the penalty spot after the hour mark.
The 2-0 outcome in Sicily handed Serie A's bottom club a perfect start to 2014 and their first win since November 9.
Bologna, who struggled without suspended playmaker Alessandro Diamanti, slipped to their third defeat in four games and have dropped to 17th place, one point clear of the drop zone.
Catania coach Luigi De Canio handed Lodi a place in his starting XI and the playmaker, who only returned to the Sicilian club last week after a six-month spell at Genoa, stole the limelight.
Midway through the first half, Bergessio headed Lodi's free-kick past Bologna goalkeeper Gianluca Curci to put the hosts in front.
The visitors first tested Alberto Frison on the stroke of half-time with Davide Moscardelli's bullet strike from 30 yards saved by the Catania goalkeeper.
The hosts threatened after the re-start and almost doubled their lead in the 62nd minute but Lodi's curled free-kick struck the far post with Curci already beaten.
Bologna shot themselves in the foot four minutes later when Archimede Morleo cleared the ball with his arm in his own area, leaving the referee no choice but to point to the penalty spot.
Lodi stepped up to take the spot-kick and struck the ball out of Curci's reach.
Pablo Barrientos was unlucky not to make it 3-0 in the 70th minute when he connected with Lodi's pass only to see his 14-yard effort hit the far post.
With three minutes remaining, Frison kept out substitute Rolando Bianchi's goal-bound attempt from the left side of the box in what was the last chance of the game.