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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

April 5, 1992: Lazio Bari 3-1

Updated: Apr 5

Deadly Lazio attacking duo deepen Bari's woes


A clinical Lazio performance with goals by their two strikers Riedle and Sosa give them a much-needed win





The season so far


The previous season Lazio had finished 11th in Serie A under manager Dino Zoff.


Zoff had been confirmed but this new season was largely influenced by a player who would not even be involved, English star Paul Gascoigne. Lazio had made a deal with Tottenham for Gazza but the Geordie midfielder had then injured his knee with his infamous tackle in the FA Cup Final. His official arrival at Lazio would therefore be for the successive 1992-1993 season.


In the meantime, Lazio had mitigated the setback by signing highly rated German midfielder Thomas Doll from Hamburger SV. In had also come defender Gigi Corino (Triestina), midfielder Giovanni Stroppa and striker Berardino Capocchiano (TSV Havelse).


Leaving Lazio were midfielders Sergio Domini (Brescia) and Pedro Troglio (Ascoli). The Argentinian had to go to make space for Doll, as there was still a three foreign player limit. Striker Alessandro Bertoni also left after two years (back home to Reggiana).


It had been a reasonable start for Lazio. They had drawn both derbies 1-1 and twice against Juventus. Since Christmas however they had become increasingly inconsistent and lost 5 games all 1-0 as well as some wins: Foggia, Torino, Cagliari and Verona. So far, the Biancocelesti had won 8, drawn 11 and lost 7. They were currently on 27 points. Their two main strikers were scoring regularly, Karl-Heniz Riedle with 10 goals and Ruben Sosa on 8.


Today's opposition Bari had finished 13th in Serie A the previous season under Gaetano Salvemini. This year he had been kept on but after a difficult start (2 points in the first 5 games) he had been sacked and replaced by Polish Zbigniew Boniek. So, from the 6th match onwards the former Juventus and Roma striker had been in charge.


Things had not really improved initially but since Christmas the "Galletti" had changed gear and beaten Cagliari, Roma, Verona and Fiorentina. The week before today's clash however, the Baresi had lost the derby with Zdenek Zeman's Foggia 3-1. They were still in trouble and they desperately needed a win today but at least they were fighting. They had won 4, drawn 9 and lost 13, so on 17 points.


They had a few interesting players on their books; Englishman David Platt who would later play for Juventus, Sampdoria and Arsenal, Croatian Robert Jarni who would play for Juventus and Real Madrid, Enrico Cucchi would play for Fiorentina and 91 games for Inter before passing away prematurely at 30 and finally a young Zvonimir Boban who would win everything there was to win in his ten years with Milan.


The match: Sunday, April 5, 1992, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


The visitors had a lot more to play for and came out by far the stronger of the two teams.


Bari were in control of the game and seemed to have more energy than a lacklustre Lazio.


In the 19th minute, however, the Biancocelesti scored, completely against the run of play. It took an acrobatic strike by Riedle to put Lazio ahead, his shot beating Enzo Biato, who had just replaced injured Giuseppe Alberga.


Bari barely had the time to take in the negative and unexpected turn of events that they found themselves 2-0 down. In the 21st minute Claudio Sclosa set up Ruben Sosa who after a long run doubled Lazio's lead. Lazio 2 Bari 0.


One could have imagined Bari would collapse but instead, led by Platt, they battled on. Just after the half hour mark they pulled one back. In the 31st minute Platt started the move, Jarni continued it down the right and Cucchi finished it off, not without the complicity of a distracted Lazio back line. Lazio 2 Bari 1. Game on.


Bari increasingly believed they could turn this around and had two more chances before halftime. First Valerio Fiori saved an Antonio Soda header and then the same forward hammered a potential equaliser over the bar. Halftime score Lazio 2 Bari 1. Lazio led but the score line was slightly flattering.


The second half started with a huge chance for the visitors. A Jarni shot hit the post with Fiori beaten. Bari surged forward knowing they would risk on the counter foot with Lazio’s technical forwards. This is exactly what happened in the 50th minute. An excellent pass by Doll put Ruben Sosa away on the break and the Uruguayan made no mistake. Lazio 3 Bari 1.


At this point Bari's heads did drop a bit but they still kept Fiori on his toes and Jarni hit another post. Final score Lazio 3 Bari 1.


Not a great performance by Lazio but they had taken advantage of Bari's desperate tactical approach and made their own technical superiority count. With Doll in great form and Ruben Sosa so quick on the break they had punished a now seemingly doomed Bari.


Lazio on the other hand with this win still had a sliver of hope to earn a European UEFA Cup place.


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Orsi, Corino, Neri

Manager: Zoff


Who played for Bari


Alberga (16' Biato), Brambati, Rizzardi, Terracenere, Maccoppi, Loseto, Carbone (60' Brugi), Cucchi, Soda, Platt, Jarni

Substitutes: Bellucci, Fortunato, Boban

Manager: Boniek


Referee: Pairetto


Goals: 19' Riedle, 21' Sosa, 31' Cucchi, 50' Sosa



What happened next


Lazio did not get into Europe. A week later they drew 1-1 at home against Fiorentina, who drew level in the last minute. Lazio then won 2 and lost 4 out of the last 6, too little to get into Europe.


Lazio finished 10th, a slight improvement on the previous year. They ended up on 34 points; 11 wins, 12 draws and 11 defeats. Strikers Riedle and Ruben Sosa would both get 13 league goals each.


The main news was the acquisition of the club by local entrepreneur Sergio Cragnotti. Better times were on the way.


The same could not be said for Bari. A week later they lost 3-1 at home against Napoli. The "Galletti" won the next two but then defeats with Atalanta, Inter and Roma ultimately condemned them to Serie B. They finished 15th, fourth bottom, after 6 wins, 10 draws and 18 defeats. Their traveling buddies on the trip down were Verona, Cremonese and Ascoli. Their top scorer was David Platt with 11 goals.


The Scudetto was won by Fabio Capello's Milan for their 12th title.


Lazio 1991-92

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals Scored

Serie A

34

11

12

11

43

Coppa Italia

4

2

1

1

5

Total

38

13

13

12

48

Top Five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Bacci

37

33

4

Pin

36

32

4

Doll

35

31

4

Fiori

35

32

3

Ruben Sosa

35

31

4

Top Goal Scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Ruben Sosa

15

13

2

Riedle

13

13

-

Doll

8

7

1

Stroppa

5

4

1


Let's talk about Valerio Fiori


Source Wikipedia

Valerio Fiori was born in Rome on April 27, 1969.


He grew up with the small local team Montesacro Lazio, in north-east Rome. He then moved to bigger Roman club Lodigiani in C2, where he made his professional debut (1 game) and then to Lazio in 1986.


He joined Lazio's first team squad in 1987-88 in Serie B but did not play under Eugenio Fascetti who relied on the more experienced Giuliano Terraneo. Lazio however won promotion back to Serie A.


In 1988-89 under Giuseppe Materazzi he played more. He made his debut at 19 against Fiorentina and made 12 league appearances plus 2 in Coppa Italia.


The following year he became Lazio’s first choice keeper. Again, under Materazzi he played 28 league games and 2 in Coppa Italia.


He kept his place in 1990-91 under Dino Zoff and made 34 league appearances and 2 in Coppa Italia.


In 1991- 92, still under the legendary former Italy keeper, Fiori played 32 league games and 3 in Coppa Italia.


In 1992-93 he played less, only 11 league games and 4 in Coppa Italia. He lost his place to Fernando Orsi who was considered more reliable after Fiori had committed a series of errors. A popular TV show "La Gialappa's Band" that mixed sport and comedy started calling him " Saponetta Fiori" (literally soapy Fiori but more like butterfingers).


In 1993, having lost the faith of Lazio and their fans, he moved to Sardinia and joined Cagliari. He played three years for the "Isolani" in Serie A, making 82 league appearances, 7 in Coppa Italia and 10 in Europe.


In 1996 he joined Cesena in Serie B for a year, playing 19 games in total.


He then moved to Fiorentina but played only 1 league game and 3 in Coppa Italia.


The following year he was back in Serie A with Piacenza and played 28 league games plus 1 in Coppa Italia.


At 30 he made a career choice. He joined Milan knowing full well he would be behind at least one other keeper in the hierarchy. He stayed at Milan for 9 years and played only 1 league game plus 1 in Coppa Italia. He was occasionally second keeper but usually third. He however has an enviable trophy winning record with the "Devil", between league titles, Champions Leagues and others.


At Milan he was already preparing for the next stage of his career. He stayed with the "Rossoneri" another 8 years as goalkeeper coach, 2008-2016.


In 2016 he went for the Chinese experience and coached Shenzhen's keepers followed by stints at Deportivo La Coruña, Milan again, Napoli, Genoa, Valencia. He is currently back at Genoa.


As a player he was considered to have a great future as a keeper. He earned 4 caps at U21 level for Italy. His main teams were Lazio and Cagliari, between the posts anyway. He never really fulfilled his potential however.


At Lazio he was a great shot blocker and had excellent reflexes and agility, making him very difficult to beat from the medium and long range. He however, especially in the last couple of years, had an Achilles heel, crosses into the area, particularly low ones. He became increasingly hesitant and was often caught in no man's land. The crowd murmuring every time there was a cross or corner probably didn't help.


He played 130 games for Lazio and is an integral part of the transition from the difficult years to the better times. He was a talented keeper and made some exceptional saves, unfortunately overshadowed by later blunders.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances

Serie A

Coppa Italia

1988-89

14

12

2

1989-90

30

28

2

1990-91

36

34

2

1991-92

35

32

3

1992-93

15

11

4

Total

130

117

13

Sources:




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