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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

April 6, 2014: Lazio Sampdoria 2-0

A win for Europe

 

Lazio beat Sampdoria and continue to have European hopes




Source Lazio Wiki

The season so far

 

Optimism was high at the start of the 2013-14 season thanks to the great victory in Coppa Italia against Roma on May 26, 2013. The celebrations lasted the whole summer and fans were over the moon.

 

The summer transfer window was not exactly eye opening, but two important signings were made: Lucas Biglia, Argentinian midfielder from Anderlecht, and Felipe Anderson, Brazilian forward that Lazio believed could be one of the best players the Biancocelesti had ever signed. Other minor signings were Etrit Berisha, goalkeeper, Diego Novaretti, defender and Brayan Perea, forward.

 

However, the real focus of the summer transfers was the missed deal to sign the Turkish forward Burak Yilmaz from Galatasaray. Lazio had already tried in 2012 but the negotiations collapsed at the last minute because the Turkish club wanted a very high percentage on the future sale of the player. The talks re-opened in 2013 and all was agreed. Yilmaz was in Rome waiting to sign the contract. But at the last minute of the last hour of the mercato, his agent asked for a €2 million commission to be paid on the signing of the contract and not spread over its length, as done normally. President Claudio Lotito refused to be blackmailed and the deal fell through.

 

The fans were furious. The anti-Lotito sentiment, which had faded after the historic win against Roma, came back with all of its venom. It would mar the entire season.

 

2013-14 had not started too well anyway as Lazio were thrashed in the Super Coppa by Juventus 4-0 with three goals in four minutes. The defence had been one of the strong points of the team, now it was a liability. At the end of the first half of the season Lazio were ninth, miles away from everything.

 

Lazio had also been kicked out of the Coppa Italia in the quarter-finals by Napoli and the Europa League adventure saw Lazio go through to the knockout phase but they had then been eliminated by Bulgarian club Ludogorets Razgrad.

 

Manager Vladimir Petković was unable to steer the Lazio ship in the right direction. Not only. He signed a contract to be the new Head Trainer of the Swiss national team at the end of his deal with Lazio in 2014. Lotito took this opportunity to sack him before Christmas and call back Edy Reja to try to get Lazio back on course.

 

The change seemed to solve things. Lazio were back and in the first six games under Reja came 12 points which included beating Inter and drawing against Roma. The Biancocelesti were currently 8th, two points from a possible Europa League qualification.

 

The match: Sunday, April 6, 2014, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

 

It was pretty hot in Rome today and that certainly affected play which was slow, very slow. In the 23rd minute the first chance of the match was for Samp. Manolo Gabbiadini received a low pass from a corner and volleyed towards the goal. His shot shaved the crossbar. Around the 30th minute, splendid pass from Eddy Onazi to Antonio Candreva who ignored Senad Lulic in the middle of the box and tried a shot, saved by Angelo Da Costa.

 

Keita Balde in the 42nd minute went off on the right, magnificent low cross to the middle where Candreva volleyed the ball into the net. Keita had another chance towards the end of the half. He ran off leaving a couple of defenders behind but when it was time to shoot Shkodran Mustafi managed to intervene and avert the threat.

 

The second half opened with a free kick by Gabbiadini, tipped over the bar by Etrit Berisha. In the 56th minute the possible game changer. Lucas Biglia got a second yellow card and left for an early shower. Reja took off Helger Postiga and threw in Stefano Mauri, with Keita the only forward. The Spaniard in the 68th minute went off on the left and put another splendid ball in the middle of the box, Mustafi avoided danger by deflecting it into corner. After a long range shot by Gianluca Sansone comfortably parried by Berisha, in the 73rd minute Lazio made it two. Candreva to Mauri in the box on the left near the byline, perfect assist for Lulic, Lazio 2 Sampdoria 0.

 

The Genoese tried to reduce the deficit but apart from an Angelo Palombo freekick that shaved the post and two penalty appeals, they could not muster much else.

 

Good win for Lazio, but still two points away from a Europa League qualification

 

Who played for Lazio

 

Berisha, Konko, Biava, Cana, Radu, Onazi, Biglia, Lulic (77’ Minala), Candreva, Postiga (61’ Mauri), Keita (88’ Perea)

Substitutes: Strakosha, Guerrieri, Ciani, Serpieri, Pereirinha, Cavanda, Felipe Anderson, Kakuta

Manager: Reja

 

Who played for Sampdoria

 

Da Costa, De Silvestri, Mustafi, Regini, Berardi, Palombo, Krsticic (74' Renan), Gabbiadini (58' Sansone), Eder, Soriano, Maxi Lopez (61' Okaka).

Substitutes: Fiorillo, Falcone, Costa, Fornasier, Bjarnason, Obiang, M. Rodriguez, Wszolek, Salamon

Manager: Mihajlovic (Sakic on the bench)

 

Referee: Calvarese

 

Goals: 42’ Candreva, 73’ Lulic



What happened next

 

Not even Reja could lead Lazio to a European Cup qualification. Two decisive draws, both 3-3, against Torino and Verona put an end to any hopes.

 

Too many celebrations and too many players not performing as well as they should made any type of comeback impossible. The anti-Lotito climate certainly did not help matters.

 

Antonio Candreva was the player with most appearances (44) and with the most goals (12).


Lazio 2013-14

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

38

15

11

12

54

Coppa Italia

2

1

-

1

2

Europa League

8

3

4

1

11

Super Coppa

1

-

-

1

-

Total

49

19

15

15

67

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Europa League

Super Coppa

Candreva

44

37

1

5

1

Onazi

40

29

2

8

1

Lulic

37

30

1

5

1

Keita Balde

35

25

2

8

-

Ledesma

34

27

1

5

1

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Europa League

Candreva

12

12

-

-

Klose

8

7

-

1

Lulic

7

7

-

-

Keita Balde

6

5

-

1

Perea

5

1

2

1

Let's talk about Joseph Minala


Source Lazio Wiki

Joseph Marie Minala was born on August 24, 1996 in Yaoundé in Cameroon. After leaving his country he moved to Rome and started playing in amateur clubs. He was noted by Lazio scouts and signed for the Biancocelesti in the summer of 2013. He became a star of the Primavera team but a fake rumour started back in his country that would harass him for the rest of his career.

 

How old is Minala?

 

A website claimed that he was 42 years of age. He certainly did look much older than 17, but that was the sign of a difficult life and he certainly moved like a youngster. There was an enquiry by the Italian Federation but nothing came of it and they certified that the age on his documentation was correct. This however would haunt him for the rest of his life. Interviewed recently by the Daily Mail, he said “I'm convinced that the age story has always held back my career”.

 

Career

 

He debuted with Lazio on April 6, 2014 in the home game against Sampdoria and at the end of the season was loaned to Bari. He then came back to Lazio who loaned him to Latina but in the winter transfer window he was again sent to Bari.

 

Back at Lazio in 2016, he was part of the squad but never played. In January 2017 he was sent to Salerno for six months. After he returned to Lazio at the end of the season he was again loaned to Salernitana for the 2017-18 season. He did pretty well, making 36 appearances with 3 goals but he returned to Rome.

 

Never really considered for any playing time at all by Simone Inzaghi in January 2019 he was loaned yet again to Salernitana for his third stint, but still did not stay on.

 

Back at Lazio one final time, he played a few minutes in a Coppa Italia tie before being loaned to Qingdao Huanghai in the Chinese Super League. At the end of that experience, his contract with Lazio was over and he signed for Lucchese for a season in Serie C and then was at Olbia for six months. In 2023 he moved abroad and started to play in the Latvian League with FC Liepaja but did not play much (2 appearances).

 

In 2023 he signed for Sliema Wanderers in the Maltese league.

 

With Lazio he was certainly unlucky and the rumours on his age certainly did not help. He is a good midfield player and showed some quality with Salernitana, maybe not first tier skills, but a useful player.


Lazio Career

Season

Total Appearances

Serie A

Coppa Italia

2013-14

3

3

-

2019-20

1

-

1

Total

4

3

1


Sources









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