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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

November 16, 1958: Lazio-Torino 2-0

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

Lazio dominate a not so Great Torino


Lazio take advantage of Torino's negative approach to beat former greats.




Source: Wikipedia

The season so far


Lazio were having a decent start after narrowly avoiding relegation the previous year. They had just lifted their first historic trophy, winning the Coppa Italia 1-0 against Fiorentina on the 24th of September. The tournament was played between June 8 and November 4 and was the first since the war.


There had however been a major change to the Lazio squad. It was more a trauma, as Swedish idol Arne Selmosson, (nicknamed “raggio di luna”, moonbeam, for the pallor of his skin) after 3 highly successful seasons and 31 goals in 101 games for Lazio, had done the unmentionable; he had swapped “sides of the Tiber” and signed for bitter rivals Roma. It was a major event in Rome and some people were even said to have changed teams siding with the “Giallorossi” just so they could continue following the Swede (such as former Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema, just to name one). Until 2018 he was the only player to have scored for both Lazio and Roma in derbies (since emulated by Aleksandar Kolarov and Pedro). So Lazio had started the season “Selmossonless”.


Torino meanwhile were struggling after a respectable 7th place finish the previous season. They were actually now called Talmone Torino after an agreement with the Talmone chocolate company. The deal and subsequent name combination would only last one year.


So far the "Chocolates" of Torino had won 2, drawn 2 and lost 4. The glory days of the Great Torino felt a lot further away in time than only 10 years before and manager Federico Allasio was already risking the sack.


The match: Sunday, November 16, 1958, Rome, Stadio Olimpico


Played on a warm, sunny day in front of a 30,000 crowd, the game was largely dominated by Lazio. The Biancocelesti soon took control of the midfield against a Granata opposition fielding a dubious defensive formation.


Lazio attacked for the best of the first half but it wasn't until the 55th minute that they got the breakthrough goal. A free kick from just outside the box by Franco Carradori took a slight deflection off Gianfranco Grazer and beat goalkeeper Lido Vieri.


At this point Torino finally threw some caution to the wind and pushed forward for an equaliser, favoured by Lazio forward Egidio Fumagalli having to move to a wing position due to injury.


Lazio did however have chances to double their lead especially with Humberto Tozzi, who then did actually finally close the match in the dying seconds. He went round the keeper not once but twice before slotting the ball into the back of the net.


It was by no means a classic but all in all a well-deserved victory for Lazio perhaps facilitated by Torino's defensive tactics.


Who played for Lazio


Lovati, Lo Buono, Del Gratta, Carradori, Janich, Pozzan, Bravi, Tagnin, Tozzi, Fumagalli, Prini

Manager: Bernardini


Who Played for Torino


Vieri, Tarabbia, Cancian, Bearzot, Ganzer, Bonifaci, Farina, Armano, Virgili, Marchi, Mazzero

Manager: Allasio


Referee: Lo Bello


Goals: 55' Carradori, 90' Tozzi


What happened next


The 1958-59 season for Lazio pretty much followed the same pattern as the previous campaign, with a lower mid-table finish but with the sweet memory of their first domestic triumph.


Torino went from bad to worse and their poor form continued over the season ending up in relegation to the "purgatory" of Serie B.


Lazio 1958-59

Competition

Games

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals Scored

Serie A

34

10

10

14

37

Coppa Italia 1958 (final phase)

3

3

0

0

5

Coppa Italia 1958-59

2

1

0

1

3

Total

39

14

10

15

45

Top Five Appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia 1958 (final phase)

Coppa Italia 1958-59

Tozzi

37

33

3

1

Carradori

36

32

3

1

Janich

36

32

3

1

Lo Buono

34

30

3

1

Tagnin

33

29

3

1

Top Five Goal Scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia 1958 (final phase)

Coppa Italia 1958-59

Tozzi

18

14

2

2

Prini

4

3

1

-

Fumagalli

4

2

2

-

Bizzari

3

3

-

-

Carradori

3

3

-

-


Let's talk about Enzo Bearzot


Source: Wikipedia

In midfield for Torino we find 31 year-old Enzo Bearzot. Originally from the North-East region of Friuli, he had a decent playing career as a defender, mainly with Torino, and won 1 Italian cap.


It was as a manager however that he would become an Italian national legend as the coach who led Italy to the 1982 World Cup triumph. Despite only having coached Prato, Bearzot moved into the Football Federation ranks and, after being in charge of the Under 23's, he became head coach of the national team in 1975.


He remained for 11 long years taking Italy to 4th Place in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina and winning the top prize in Spain in 1982. His last was a disappointing and tired campaign in Mexico 1986. He led Italy from the bench a total of 88 times with 40 wins, 26 draws and 22 losses.


Bearzot, known as “Il Vecio” (Vecchio - old man), was highly regarded for his tactical prowess and versatility. To the greater public he was famous for his pipe smoking, a habit he shared with the then President of the Republic, Sandro Pertini. So assiduous was Bearzot's habit that his mouth movements appeared to be puffing even when his beloved pipe was nowhere to be seen. It is in fact a photograph of Bearzot, alongside Pertini, Dino Zoff (legendary captain) and the “Baron” Franco Causio, playing cards on the plane returning from Spain with the World Cup trophy on the table, which has become one of the most iconic images in Italian popular culture.


In connection with Lazio he will be remembered for his stubbornness in not calling up Lionello Manfredonia and especially Bruno Giordano, easily the best striker of his generation. Bearzot tended to favour players from the northern teams (there was the famous Juventus base) and in fact Vincenzo D'Amico was only capped in the year he spent playing for Torino. Another black spot on his career was not qualifying for the 1984 European Championships, as World Cup holders.


To be fair to Bearzot however, he did pull off one of Italy's greatest feats winning the biggest prize of all, the 1982 World Cup.

Source: Wikipedia


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