top of page
  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

April 14, 1974: Lazio Verona 4-2

Updated: Apr 14

One further step towards glory


Lazio come from behind to beat Verona and gain another point on Juventus




Source Lazio Wiki

The season so far


The previous season Lazio had gone agonisingly close to winning the scudetto. With 45 minutes to go to the end of the campionato, Lazio were drawing at Napoli and had a potential 44 points, Milan were losing at Verona and had 44 points, Juventus were losing against Roma and were on 43 points. But Napoli fought as if their lives depended on a win and beat Lazio in the final minutes, Juventus overturned the match after the Roma players basically stopped playing and Milan collapsed. Lazio came third.


The feeling was that the ship of glory had set sail leaving Lazio behind and would not come back. The summer transfer window was practically null but in the autumn there would be two signings, midfielder Fausto Inselvini from Brescia, who would go on to play 11 league games and forward Paolo Franzoni from Brindisi who would score in the first derby of the season.


Lazio started slowly, but gained momentum after winning the derby coming from behind and at the end of the first half of the season they were first with a three-point lead over Juventus, Fiorentina and Napoli. They were amazing to watch, a marvellous football team with great players in every position. Nobody thought that they could continue playing as well as the previous season, but they did and went even further.


In February they beat Juventus at home, at the end of March they won the derby again coming from behind, and the week before this game drew 3-3 in Naples with Napoli ahead three times and Giorgio Chinaglia scoring a hat trick. Lazio had a three-point lead with six games to go.


The match: Sunday, April 14, 1974, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


The game should have been an easy one. Verona were third from bottom and even if they had beaten Milan the previous week, there was no way they could stop the mighty Lazio.


The belief was strengthened in the 4th minute when Mario Frustalupi sent a ball in the box and Aldo Bet, in an attempt to anticipate Chinaglia, headed the ball into his own net.


The immediate lead did not stop the Biancocelesti who had chances with Chinaglia, Franco Nanni, Renzo Garlaschelli, Luciano Re Cecconi and Vincenzo D’Amico, either wide by a whisker or miraculously saved by the Verona goalkeeper Mario Giacomi in a state of grace.


But in the 25th minute the match changed. Walter Franzot passed the ball in the box to Gianfranco Zigoni who turned around and scored on the far post where Felice Pulici could do nothing.


If Lazio had been pushing before the equaliser, they certainly would not stop now. A Chinaglia header anticipated Giacomi but the ball was wide. A D’Amico cross went right across the penalty box and out of the blue came Garlaschelli but his header was also wide.


Two minutes from the end of the first half, Verona doubled. Livio Luppi crossed from the right, the ball reached Zigoni on the left who crossed again. Giancarlo Oddi wanted to clear into corner but unfortunately he put it in his own net. Verona surprisingly ahead at the end of the first half.


The crowd did not know where to look. Never in a million years would the fans have thought that Lazio would be in this state after 45 minutes. The Biancocelesti had not played badly but had been terribly unlucky.


The players headed for the changing rooms but there they found Tommaso Maestrelli at the door. “Where do you think you are going? Get back out there and think of how you are going to win this match”. The players turned around and went back on the pitch.


The crowd could not believe it. Why had they come back on to play so early? There were more than 10 minutes to go until the beginning of the second half. After a few minutes of bewilderment, the fans got it and started to shout Lazio Lazio. They did that for the entire interval so when Verona came back onto the pitch, they saw the Lazio players ready, the crowd all wound up, it was like walking into a den unarmed against 50,000 lions. In the second half the Biancocelesti ripped them apart.


In the 49th minute Frustalupi took a free kick Giacomi went to catch the ball but dropped it and Garlaschelli tapped it in. Lazio besieged poor Giacomi who did what he could against Chinaglia, Garlaschelli and Re Cecconi. When Zigoni had to be substituted due to injury, even Oddi went forward and one of his shots was masterfully saved by the Verona keeper.


In the 74th there was the umpteenth Frustalupi cross in the box. Too high for Chinaglia but in came Nanni who with a spectacular volley gave Lazio the lead. Two minutes later D’Amico received the ball on the half way line, went past two Verona defenders on the right, reached the goal line and passed it in the box to Chinaglia. Long John controlled it and with a left shot scored Lazio’s fourth. Game over.


Juve could not go further than a draw, the Biancocelesti now had a four point lead.


A fantastic psychological move by Maestrelli.


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Moriggi, Polentes, Franzoni

Manager: Maestrelli


Who played for Verona


Giacomi, F.Nanni, Sirena, Bachlechner, Bet, Mascalaito, Franzot, Maddè, Luppi, Zaccarelli, Zigoni (56' Pace).

Substitutes: 12 Porrino, 13 Ranghino.

Manager: Cadè.


Referee: Giunti


Goals: 4’ Bet (og), 25’ Zigoni, 43’ Oddi (og), 49’ Garlaschelli, 76’ Nanni, 78’ Chinaglia



What happened next


On May 12, 1974, Lazio beat Foggia with a Chinaglia penalty and won the scudetto. An amazing feat. Lazio played the most exciting football, had a bunch of wild players who were all stars and fitted together perfectly, managed by the Maestro Tommaso Maestrelli. Pulici, Petrelli, Martini, Wilson, Oddi, Nanni, Garlaschelli, Re Cecconi, Chinaglia, Frustalupi, D’Amico would all become club legends and have a place in the hearts of all Lazio supporters. But also Inselvini, Franzoni, Facco, Manservisi and Polentes who all lent a hand to reach the final apotheosis and will never be forgotten.


Lazio 1973-74

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

30

18

7

5

45

Coppa Italia

10

3

3

4

10

UEFA Cup

4

2

-

2

8

Total

44

23

10

11

63

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Chinaglia

42

30

8

4

Nanni

42

30

8

4

Oddi

42

30

8

4

Wilson

42

30

8

4

Frustalupi

40

30

6

4

Top five goalscorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Chinaglia

34

24

4

6

Garlaschelli

14

10

2

2

Nanni

2

2

-

-

D'Amico

2

2

-

-

Re Cecconi

2

2

-

-

Let's talk about Giancarlo Oddi


Source Wikipedia

Giancarlo Oddi is one of the heroes of the Lazio scudetto. For a number of years he was considered among the best Italian defenders. Expert in man to man marking despite the fact that he was one of those rare defenders who could play easily with both feet, he never really had to participate in the building of the game, so all he needed to think about was to annihilate the opposition’s centre forward. He did that exceptionally well throughout his career.


Born in Rome on July 23, 1948, he started playing for Lazio’s Primavera team in 1967 and in his first year he won the De Martino Championship (a tournament for the Serie A teams’ reserves) and played one game in Serie B.


Due to the fact that his family needed him to work, he asked to be loaned so that he could play and Lazio sent him to Sora in Serie D. He came back for a year, played three games in Serie A and was loaned again in 1970. He played a year for Massese in Serie B.


Back for a third time, in 1971-72 Manager Tommaso Maestrelli was impressed but decided to use the youngster for just 10 games so that he could acquire experience. The Biancocelesti were promoted back to Serie A and starting from the 1972-73 season Oddi went on to play 90 consecutive league games for Lazio without ever missing a minute.


After his first season as first choice player all the northern teams wanted to sign him but President Umberto Lenzini refused all offers. He would be one of the protagonists of Lazio’s triumphant 1973-74 season and one of the two Rome-born players of the team (the other being Franco Tripodi who played just 4 minutes in the final game of the season).


The 1974-75 season was marred by the news of Maestrelli being unwell and that would have a deep effect on the team. Lazio finished fourth and Maestrelli could not continue to coach the team.


That would be his last season for Lazio after 93 games in Serie A, 11 in Serie B, 24 in Coppa Italia and 4 in the UEFA Cup. The club decided that it was time to move on and sold Oddi and Mario Frustalupi to Cesena in exchange for Paolo Ammoniaci and Francesco Brignani. A massive mistake, proven by the fact that Cesena managed to qualify for the UEFA Cup that year and Lazio only managed to avoid relegation in the last game.


Oddi stayed for 8 years in Emilia Romagna, 4 in Serie A and 4 in Serie B. In his last professional year he came back to Rome and played in Serie C2 with Lodigiani.


In 1984 he was back at Lazio as Assistant to Paolo Carosi and then to Juan Carlos Lorenzo. When the latter got the sack with the team virtually relegated, he became head coach under the supervision of Roberto Lovati. He was unable to avoid relegation but he certainly could not be blamed, the damage had already been done. He was assistant coach to Gigi Simoni, Eugenio Fascetti, Giuseppe Materazzi and Dino Zoff. When Zdenek Zeman arrived he moved to the Lazio youth sector. He returned to assist Zoff in 2001.


After having coached briefly in China in 2003 he came back to Italy and was manager for Legnano for the 2004-05 season. From 2006 he became assistant coach to Giuseppe Papadopulo first at Palermo in 2006, then Lecce (2006-08), where he won a promotion to Serie A in 2008, then Bologna in 2009 and finally very briefly at Torino in 2011.


After that experience he continued to be manager of lower level teams in the Lazio area. In 2016 he had a brief experience in Romania. His last job was as head coach of Lanciano in 2020.


Giancarlo Oddi also has done a lot of punditry for local Rome radio stations that talk about Lazio and still does today.


Oddi, like all of the Lazio legendary 1973-74 team, will forever be a Lazio hero.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances

Serie A

Serie B

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

1967-68

1

-

1

-

-

1969-70

3

3

-

-

-

1971-72

18

-

10

8

-

1972-73

34

30

-

4

-

1973-74

42

30

-

8

4

1974-75

34

30

-

4

-

Total

132

93

11

24

4

Sources


Comments


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page