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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

April 9 1978: Lazio Fiorentina 1-0

Updated: Apr 9

A diving header by Bruno Gol gives Lazio priceless points


A spectacular header by Giordano towards the end of the game could prove to be decisive in the relegation battle.




Source Lazio Wiki

The season so far


The previous season had been a positive one for Lazio. Under Luís Vinicio and helped by rising youth sector stars; Bruno Giordano, Lionello Manfredonia and Andrea Agostinelli the Biancocelesti had arrived 5th in Serie A.


It had also been a sad year with the deaths of two Scudetto heroes: manager Tommaso Maestrelli on 2 December 1976 and midfielder Luciano Re Cecconi on 18 January 1977.


This year Lazio had a pretty much unchanged squad. In had come midfielder Luigi Boccolini (Catanzaro) and forward Sergio Clerici (Bologna) while leaving were midfielders Maurizio Montesi (Avellino- loan) and Fernando Viola (Bologna-loan). In the Autumn session, Lazio also said farewell to two Scudetto winners: legendary goalkeeper Felice Pulici (Monza) and defender Luigi Polentes (Modena).


So far things were not going too well on the pitch. The Brazilian manager was confirmed but had recently been sacked, two weeks earlier, after a 3-1 defeat at Foggia. Unsurprisingly Lazio turned to Roberto "Bob" Lovati to steer the Biancocelesti to safety. His first match was lost 4-3 in Naples. Today was his second.


So far Lazio had won 5, drawn 10 and lost 10 and were involved in the relegation battle on 20 points. They had drawn both derbies and had some good wins (Juventus 3-0 and Milan 2-0) but lost far too many matches. Coming into today's game they had lost 4 out of the last 5 (the other being a 1-1 draw against Roma).


In the UEFA Cup Lazio had got through the first round against Portuguese Boavista (0-1, 5-0) but then were knocked out in the second by French Lens (2-0, 0-6 after extra time...a collapse).


Today's opposition Fiorentina had an excellent season the year before, coming third in Serie A under Carlo Mazzone. This year the Florentines were not repeating the positive year. They had started with Mazzone again but replaced him with Mario Mazzoni after 11 games, then after another 5 games in came Giuseppe Chiapella. Their main star was Giancarlo Antognoni (who would win the 1982 World Cup with Italy) while their main striker was Roman born Ezio Sella.


Fiorentina had not won a match until November 27. They had won a few since (Napoli, Pescara, Perugia, Roma) but were still in the relegation zone. A week earlier they had drawn 2-2 at home against Atalanta (after being 0-2 down). So far the "Gigliati" had won 5, drawn 9 and lost 11 (including Lazio 0-1) so were on 19 points, just one behind Lazio.


In the UEFA Cup they had been knocked out in the first round in unfortunate circumstances. In the home leg against Germans Schalke 04 they had lost 3-0 by default for playing a suspended player, they then lost the return away leg 2-1.


So back to today's fixture, the home team with a single point advantage and both teams risking being sucked into a desperate situation, this was an important game, to put it mildly.


The match: Sunday, April 9, 1978, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


The game was played on a cold, humid day on a slippery pitch in front of about 45,000 spectators.


Both teams were in trouble, Fiorentina were last but one in the table and without Antognoni, Giancarlo Galdiolo and Claudio Desolati while Lazio were only one point ahead and had not won a match since February 26 (Inter 1-0).


The game was a tense affair from the start with both teams low on confidence. The visitors however seemed to be the ones suffering more from the terror of the drop. Lazio at least had the home crowd to lift them and spur them on.


The game pattern from the early stages was clear, Lazio on the attack and Fiorentina compact in defence hoping for sporadic counterattacks.


The first shot on goal was for the "Viola" but future Lazio Domenico Caso's effort lacked conviction. Lazio responded but Renzo Garlaschelli's strike was deflected into corner by another future Lazio player Mauro Della Martira. The Biancocelesti then had a good chance with Agostinelli but his shot shaved the crossbar. Fiorentina had the last chance with Gianfranco Casarsa whose powerful effort was well saved by Claudio Garella, in this case much appreciated by the fans (not always the case). A balanced first half ended with Lazio 0 Fiorentina 0, the home side had pushed more, but not dominated by any means.


For the second half the "Gigliati" replaced Luigi Sacchetti with a more defensive Marco Rossinelli and took on an even more cautious approach. Lazio gained complete control of the midfield while Fiorentina concentrated exclusively on taking home a point. For Lazio Gigi Martini was particularly active. The Scudetto winning full-back had been dropped by Vinicio but with Lovati he was back to his top form causing Fiorentina all sorts of problems with his forays from defence to attack.


Fiorentina were crushed and they could thank goalkeeper Giovanni Galli (future Milan and Italy keeper) if they stayed in the game. He made several saves, the most spectacular in the 78th minute when his brilliant diving reflex denied Martini's angled shot for a corner.


The key moment however was on the way. In the 83rd minute Martini on the right wing was surrounded by four opponents, who by now had targeted him as the danger man, he dummied and gained some space and then put a cross into the box where Giordano, with a superb diving header, finally beat Galli. A great goal and possibly the most important of the season for Lazio. Final Score Lazio 1 Fiorentina 0.


An absolutely crucial two points for Lazio who celebrated in style with their ecstatic fans. They were by no means safe yet but today was a giant step forward. Lazio had deserved the win for attacking intent and for chances created while Fiorentina paid for their absences and for their negative second half approach with Sella far too isolated up front. A sleepless week lay ahead for the Fiorentina faithful, Serie B loomed.


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Cari, Pighin

Manager: Lovati


Who played for Fiorentina


G. Galli, Orlandini, Tendi, Pellegrini, Della Martira, Zuccheri, Sacchetti (46' Rossinelli), Caso, Casarsa, Gola, Sella

Substitutes: Carmignani, Prati

Manager: Chiapella


Referee: Agnolin


Goal: 83' Giordano



What happened next


Lazio stayed in Serie A despite losing the next match 1-0 away to Torino. They then won a decisive home game against Perugia 2-0 and 1-0 away at Milan (then changed to 2-0 due to a firecracker hitting Pietro Ghedin). They lost the last uninfluential home game 1-0 to still desperate Bologna (goal by former Lazio Scudetto hero Nanni) but the Biancocelesti were already safe.


Lazio ended up 10th on 26 points after 8 wins, 10 draws and 12 defeats. Top scorer was Bruno Giordano with 19 goals (12 in Serie A).


Fiorentina also somehow managed to avoid the drop with a good finish. They drew the next game 0-0 away at Napoli, then beat Torino at home 2-0, won away at Perugia 2-0 and drew the crunch match 0-0 at home with Genoa. The two teams were on the same points in 3rd bottom place but the Florentines had a better goal difference so all they needed was a draw.


Fiorentina finished 13th after 7 wins, 11 draws and 12 defeats, on 25 points. Top scorer was Sella with 10 goals (7 in the league).


The Scudetto was won by Juventus ahead of a surprising Vicenza while the teams Lazio and Fiorentina were pleased not to be joining in a new B experience Pescara, Foggia and Genoa.


Lazio 1977-78

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

30

8

10

12

31

Coppa Italia

4

2

-

2

7

UEFA Cup

4

2

-

2

7

Intertoto Cup

6

4

1

1

13

Total

44

16

11

17

58

Top five appearancs

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Uefa Cup

Intertoto Cup

Agostinelli

42

29

4

4

5

Giordano

42

29

3

4

6

Garella

41

29

2

4

6

Lopez

41

28

3

4

6

Cordova

39

27

4

3

5

Badiani

39

25

4

4

6

Top goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Uefa Cup

Intertoto Cup

Giordano

27

12

3

4

8

Garlaschelli

12

7

-

2

3

D'Amico

3

2

1

-

-

Let's talk about Pietro Ghedin


Source Wikipedia

Pietro Ghedin was born in Scorzė (Venice) on November 21, 1952.


His first professional club was local Venezia in the 1969-70 season in Serie C1. He played 18 games for the "Leoni Alati" (The Winged Lions).


In 1970 he moved to Florence. He played for Fiorentina for two seasons under Bruno Pesaola, Oronzo Pugliese and Nils Liedholm. He however only made 4 league appearances for the "Viola".


Between 1972 and 1974 he was in Sicily with Catania in Serie B. He played a total of 53 games for the "Elefanti" and scored 1 goal (Cesena).


In 1974 he arrived at Lazio who were Italian Champions. He stayed at Lazio for five seasons playing under Tommaso Maestrelli, Bob Lovati and Luís Vinicio. He played 104 games in this period.


He was also involved in two dramatic episodes while at Lazio, one tragic. He was the player who was hit by a firecracker in the away game against Milan at San Siro, in April 1978. He collapsed to the ground in a state of shock and was unable to continue. Lazio were given the victory 2-0 by default although they had also won 1-0 in the 90 minutes.


The other episode was awful and tragic and occurred on January 18,1977. It was Ghedin who was with team mate Luciano Re Cecconi on the night he was shot to death. The two had entered a jeweller shop and the official version at the time was that Re Cecconi had pretended to stage a hold up with his hand in the shape of a gun under his jacket, as a prank, and was shot by the jeweller. The shop owner did not follow football so did not recognize the well-known Lazio player "Cecco". Ghedin only saved himself by putting his hands up to show he was unarmed. This version of a prank gone wrong has since been challenged and denied by witnesses and by Ghedin himself. The jeweller had already opened fire against thieves in the previous months so was probably particularly on edge and in the court case admitted that Re Cecconi had not made any hold up gestures but that he just looked suspicious. The fact remains that the Lazio Scudetto hero was killed and his close friend Ghedin scarred for life by the event.


After five years at Lazio, in 1979, Ghedin joined Pescara on loan in Serie A. He stayed one year and played 18 games but the "Adriatici" (The Adriatics) were relegated.


The following year however he was back at Lazio for the 1980-81 season in Serie B. He played another 11 games plus 2 in Coppa Italia under Ilario Castagner but Lazio narrowly missed out on promotion.


In 1981 he joined Pistoiese in Serie B and played 47 games over two years.


In 1983-84 he spent a year at Vigor Senigallia in Serie C2 and played 26 times.


His last club as a player was Siena in 1984-85 where he played 24 games in Serie C2, the "Robur" (The strength) winning promotion to C1.


After retiring ,Ghedin became a manager but not at club level. In 1987-89 he coached Italy U18's. He then coached Malta, first the U21's for a year and then the national side for two years.


In 1996 he started his long adventure with the Italian national side. He was assistant manager for 8 years. First under Cesare Maldini ('98 World Cup), then Dino Zoff (Euro 2000) and finally Giovanni Trapattoni (2002 World Cup). He then took over the Italy U23 side briefly and then the Italy national female side for seven years. A federation man. In 2000 he was made "Cavaliere Ordine al Merito dal Presidente della Repubblica" (a sort of OBE or Knighthood)


Between 2012 and 2017 he was manager of the Malta national side.


As a player he was a defender and could play at centre-back or full-back. At Lazio he played 88 games. He was a no frills, reliable defender and was a regular part of the very up and down 1970's post scudetto period.


For any tennis lovers his son Riccardo was a professional tennis player with a highest ATP ranking of 222.


Lazio career

Season

Total games

Serie A

Serie B

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Intertoto Cup

1974-75

19

19

-

-

-

-

1975-76

33

22

-

9

2

-

1976-77

13

9

-

4

-

-

1977-78

34

24

-

1

3

6

1978-79

5

4

-

1

-

-

1980-81

13

-

11

3

-

-

Total

117

78

11

18

5

6

Sources


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