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  • Writer's pictureLazio Stories

1968-69 Overview: We're back!!!

Updated: Nov 11, 2023

The previous season Lazio had arrived 11th in Serie B. A rather dismal performance despite a team which was not too bad. It was so poor that at a certain point the Biancocelesti were very close to the relegation zone. In the end they managed to stay in Serie B but just two points ahead of the five teams that finished on 36 and needed a playoff to determine who would join Novara and Potenza to Serie C (in the end Venezia and Messina were relegated while Perugia, Lecco and Genoa safe).

The worst thing of last year was the very low number of goals scored: just 27 in 40 games. Certainly not enough to have any chance of promotion. Manager Renato Gei had been sacked in February, substituted by faithful Bob Lovati.

Hence for the 1968-69 season there was a need for a new manager and new forwards. Juan Carlos Lorenzo returned for his second stint at Lazio and a number of interesting players were signed. There was optimism for a return in Serie A.

First however there was the Coppa Italia to play in September. Lazio was paired with Roma, Bologna and Spal. The Biancocelesti lost the derby and drew the other two games 1-1. Roma won the group and eventually the Coppa Italia too.

The first six games were characterised by not great performances away from home (a draw and two loses) but big wins at home (4-1, 5-2, 4-0). A win at Mantova in the seventh game broke the negative spell away but then two home draws also broke the home record. Lazio however were in a good position, just one point behind leaders Genoa and Foggia. The 4-0 win away at Cesena allowed the Biancocelesti to reach the top of the table in the company of Brescia and Genoa. Game 12 saw the beginning of a two-team lead that lasted the whole season. Brescia and Lazio were either first or second from then on to the end of the tournament. At the end of the first half of the campionato, and after losing at Reggio Emilia, Lazio were second together with Bari, one point behind Brescia.

On April 20 the big match between the two teams saw the Biancocelesti prevail and take the lead in Serie B and when they won at Catania on May 11 the lead became +4. Two weeks later it was +5 on Brescia but more importantly +6 on third place with 5 games to the end of the season.

Serie A was obtained mathematically thanks to a 3-0 win against Lecco on June 8 and the certainty of winning the Serie B championship arrived a week later despite falling to Monza. As a consequence, the Biancocelesti would be playing the Mitropa Cup the following year.

It was a great season, Lazio were strong and had good players in every role. A mix of young talent and experience, well managed by Lorenzo. There was a lot of room for optimism for the 1960-70 season in Serie A.

Most appearances all season: Gian Piero Ghio & Ferruccio Mazzola II, 40

Most appearances Serie B: Rino Marchesi, 38

Top goal scorer overall: Ghio, 11

Top goal scorer Serie B: Ghio, 10

Most substituted player overall: Giancarlo Morrone, 7

Most substituted player Serie B: Morrone, 7

Most sub ins overall: Morrone, 12

Most sub ins Serie B: Morrone, 12

Most booked player overall: Carlo Soldo, 6

Most booked player Serie B: Soldo, 6


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