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  • Writer's pictureLazio Stories

2012-13: A legendary season

The marvellous win against Roma in the Coppa Italia final overshadowed everything that happened during the 2012-13 season and made it a legendary one.

Official SS Lazio photo

In Campionato Lazio started off very well with three wins in a row. But then they lost two consecutive games and then three more wins in a row including beating Milan 3-2. Hence after eight games Lazio were third. The three games before the derby brought in only one point so it was the eternal battle with the team from the other side of the Tiber to determine how good this season was going to be. Under pouring torrential rain during the first half, the Biancocelesti first went under and then scored three goals. The final result, 3-2, would give Lazio a big boost and in the eight games to the end of the first half of the season the Biancocelesti won five and drew three reaching an incredible second place behind Juventus. Could Champions League be a possibility this year? No.

In the second half of the season, possibly distracted by the good run in the Europa League and the prospect of a final of the Coppa Italia against Roma, the team took their eye off the ball. 19 matches, 6 wins, 4 draws and 9 defeats. Not good enough for top tier European football. The potential was there though. They beat Milan, Inter (twice), Roma, they could have gone further but there were too many defeats with small teams. To note is that in the May 5 game at home against Bologna, Miro Klose scored a record of 5 goals in a match, the first Laziale to do it in a Serie A match.

Europa League

Lazio had a very good run in Europa League. After easily eliminating Mura 05 in the play-off, they had to face Tottenham, Maribor and Panatinaikos in the group stage. Two goalless matches against the Londoners, a draw and a win against the Greeks and a double victory against the Slovenians gave them first place in their group.

In the round of 32 Lazio had to face Borussia Mönchengladbach. In the first leg away Lazio managed to draw 3-3 with a last gasp goal by Libor Kozak in a match where the referee decided to award three penalties to the Germans (two scored, one missed). The return game was a simple 2-0.

For the next round the Biancocelesti had to face another German team, VFB Stuttgart. Easy 2-0 away and 3-1 at home with a Kozak hat trick.

In the quarterfinals Lazio were faced with Fenerbahce. Everything was going smoothly until Eddy Onazi got sent off. The Biancocelesti resisted but little could they do against the referee. Willian Collum awarded a non-existent penalty to the Turkish side and then inverted a free kick, which should have been for Lazio, which the Turks then scored from. As a consequence the Biancocelesti lost 2-0. The team was tired, lots of games and lots of injuries during the course of the season. They made a huge effort in the return match (played behind closed doors due to the stupidity of some idiots), went 1-0 up but Fenerbahce equalised and Lazio were out. A real pity. The Biancocelesti have historically always had problems with refs in Europe.

Coppa Italia

There are many heroes in this Coppa Italia win.

Lazio had started the campaign on December 19 with a seemingly easy game against Siena. Manager Vladimir Petković had put in a bunch of reserves but not only were Lazio playing dismally but in the second half even fell behind. Fortunately with only a few seconds left in the game, Michael Ciani headed in a perfect Pedro Cavanda cross and Lazio took the game to extra time. In the penalty shootout Juan Pablo Carrizo became the second hero of the day saving two penalties and Lazio progressed in the tournament.

In the quarterfinals Lazio played against Catania who had beaten Parma on penalties in the previous round. After hitting the post with Mariano Izco early on, Catania crumbled and the Biancocelesti won 3-0 with a goal from Stefan Radu and a Hernanes double.

The semi final was a complicated affair and Lazio faced Juventus who had beaten Milan 2-1 in extra time in the quarters. The first leg was away and following an evenly sided first half, Juventus had gone ahead in the second with a Federico Peluso header. The former Lazio player had jumped on Senad Lulic's back to score and the goal should not have been given. At this point Federico Marchetti became unbeatable with one of the most incredible saves in the history of football. Arturo Vidal’s headed lob had gone over Marchetti but he managed to jump back and claw the ball out of the goal. The Chilean had previously hit the woodwork and Juventus were dominating particularly on the counter attack. With five minutes to go, a corner for Lazio was capitalised by Stefano Mauri and Lazio made it 1-1.

The return match saw the craziest last minutes of a football game ever. Juventus obviously needed to win but nothing much happened in the first half. Lazio scored in the 53rd minute thanks to a magnificent Alvaro “El Tata” Gonzalez header from a great Cristian Ledesma cross. Juventus piled on pressure and Lazio pulled back to defend. The referee awarded six minutes of injury time, way too many for what had happened on the pitch. In the 92nd minute cross into the Lazio box, Giuseppe Biava headed the ball backwards but it became an assist for Vidal who, thanks also to a sleeping Radu, put the ball past Marchetti. Hence there would be the need for extra time. But let’s just wait a second. A Mauri shot was deflected into corner. The Lazio skipper took it, the ball was deflected by Sebastian Giovinco and fell perfectly to Sergio Floccari who headed in to make it 2-1 for Lazio. All over? Almost. While the Lazio players were already mentally out of the game, Mirko Vucinic put a ball past the Lazio defence for Giovinco who was unmarked in front of Marchetti. The Lazio goalkeeper was able to parry the Juve player’s shot and the ball travelled across the box to the other side. Claudio Marchisio had an open goal golden opportunity but his shot went wide. A miracle. Game over and Lazio in the final.

Final against who? The other semi final was between Inter, who had beaten Bologna in the quarter finals 3-2 after extra time, and the second team of Rome who had won in Florence 1-0, again in extra time. After beating Inter at home 2-1, Roma had also won 3-2 away.

This meant that the final was going to be the Rome derby. A first in the history of the city.

The game was tense and with not a lot of scoring possibilities. But in the end Senad Lulic had an open goal chance and did not miss. Lazio beat Roma, won the Coppa Italia and secured a place in next season’s Europa League.

A mediocre season became legendary.

● Most minutes played overall: Federico Marchetti, 4320

● Most minutes played Serie A: Marchetti, 3137

● Most appearances all season: Hernanes, 53

● Most appearances Serie A: Cristian Ledesma, 36

● Top goal scorer overall: Miroslav Klose, 16

● Top goal scorer Serie A: Klose, 15

● More assists overall: Antonio Candreva, 9

● More assists Serie A: Candreva, 5

● Most substituted player overall: Hernanes, 24

● Most substituted player Serie A: Candreva, 13

● Most sub ins overall: Libor Kozak, 17

● Most sub ins Serie A: Kozak, 14

● Most booked player overall: Lorik Cana, 14

● Most booked player Serie A: Senad Lulic, Giuseppe Biava, Cana, Ledesma, 9

● Most sent off player overall: Biava, 2

● Most sent off player Serie A: Biava, 2


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