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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

August 5, 2002: Derby County Lazio 1-2

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

Eagles out of Rams' reach


An evenly balanced game is decided by a Crespo winner


Source Wikipedia

The season so far


The summer was all about talk of Alessandro Nesta's possible departure. Lazio were in financial difficulty so would have to sell more of their stars. Nesta, possibly the world's best defender, was an obvious candidate, as was Hernan Crespo. So far however, in early August they were still both with Lazio.


The previous season finished 6th (UEFA qualification) after a difficult year which had seen Alberto Zaccheroni take over from Dino Zoff after only 3 games. The Biancocelesti's run in the Champions League had been poor, going out in a group with PSV Eindhoven, Galatasaray and Nantes.


Fortunately, Lazio had a new manager. The disappointing Alberto Zaccheroni had been replaced by former player and scudetto winner Roberto Mancini.


Mancini found quite a different squad from the one he had left as a player only two years earlier. No more Pavel Nedved, Juan Sebastian Veron, Marcelo Salas and Alen Boksic. From the previous season Lazio had also let go of: midfielders Ivan de la Peña (Espanyol), Gaizka Mendieta (Barcelona - loan) and Karel Poborský (Sparta Prague).


Joining Mancini’s Lazio so far was defender Massimo Oddo (Verona) while midfielder Roberto Baronio was back from his loan at Fiorentina. More signings were planned over the summer, especially in view of some possible sacrifices.


This today was Lazio's second friendly of their British tour. A week earlier Lazio had clinched a prestigious victory at Anfield by beating Liverpool 1-0, with a goal by César.


Derby County had finished 19th in the Premier League and been relegated. They had started under Jim Smith (until 7 October), then legend Colin Todd (until January 14) and finally John Gregory. Top scorer had been former Lazio Fabrizio Ravanelli.


This year the Rams had confirmed John Gregory. So far on the transfer market they had brought in defender Paul Ritchie (on loan-Man City), Nick Chadwick (on loan-Everton) and forward Tommy Mooney (on loan-Birmingham City). Ravanelli was still there.


The match: Monday, August 5, 2002, Pride Stadium Park, Derby


A crowd of 25,000 came to Pride Park to see the Rams last pre-season friendly but also obviously to admire some of Lazio's international stars (Nesta, Jaap Stam, Crespo to name a few). Alas the famous Baseball Ground (built in 1890) had not been used since 1997.


Just like in Liverpool a week earlier Lazio started cautiously. They absorbed some pressure from Derby and then gradually grew into the game. Playing against English sides this time of year obviously meant coming up against fitter teams as their leagues were about to start.


Both sides had chances; Crespo almost took advantage of a defensive blunder, Luca Marchegiani nearly gave a goal away trying to dribble Malcolm Christie and Diego Simeone had a long-range lob go wide.


Lazio slowly but surely took control of the game and took the lead just before halftime. In the 40th minute a cross by Simeone (crowd enemy number one for getting David Beckham sent off in the '98 World Cup) was met by César whose half bicycle kick was saved by Mart Poom but on the rebound Guerino Gottardi put Lazio ahead. Derby 0 Lazio 1.


Lazio had controlled the game well after an initial onslaught by the Rams and took the advantage to halftime.


It was Nesta's debut from the start (he played the last 20 mins at Anfield) so he stayed in the changing rooms as did keeper Marchegiani and on came Fernando Couto and Emanuele Concetti. The beginning of the second 45 minutes saw a similar pattern to the early spells of the first. Derby surged forward at a high tempo while Lazio tried to slow things down and exploit their superior skill.


In the 56th minute Lazio made five substitutions all at once; out went Massimo Oddo, Gottardi, Simeone, Baronio and Simone Inzaghi for Jaap Stam, Dino Baggio, Stefano Fiore, Fabio Liverani and Claudio López.


Whether it was the confusion due to all the changes or the result of Derby's sustained pressure, the fact is the Rams equalised. In the 58th minute a Ravanelli header was palmed away by Concetti but Adam Murray slammed it home. Derby 1 Lazio 1.


At this point Lazio got the upper hand again and started to dominate the midfield with Liverani and Fiore dictating the proceedings. Derby were still dangerous however, with Morris forcing Concetti to make a difficult save and Couto saving the day with a last ditch tackle, again on Lee Morris. Lazio went ahead in the 71st minute. An Argentine combination between López and Crespo put "El Valdanito" in a scoring position and he did not miss. Derby 1 Lazio 2.


Lazio then controlled Derby's late push for an equaliser and conquered their second consecutive victory in the land of Albion. Final score Derby County 1 Lazio 2.


A good test for Lazio with plenty of player rotation and the reassuring return of captain Nesta. Two more fixtures were on the cards in England, a match at Ewood Park against Blackburn Rovers on August 9 and Tottenham Hotspurs at White Hart Lane on August 11.


Who played for Derby County


Poom, Barton (78' Mawéné), Boertien, Higginbotham (78' Evatt), Jackson, Bolder, Lee (76' Mustoe), Murray (76' Grenet), Ravanelli (79' Strupar), Christie (85' Tudgay), Morris (78' Twigg)

Substitutes: Oakes, Elliot, Robinson,

Manager: Gregory


Who played for Lazio


Marchegiani (46' Concetti), Oddo (56' Stam), Negro, Nesta (46' Couto), Pancaro (68' Stankovic), Gottardi (56' D. Baggio), Simeone (56' Fiore), Baronio (56' Liverani), César, S.Inzaghi (56' Lopez), Crespo

Substitutes: Giannichedda

Manager: Mancini


Referee: Riley


Goals: 40' Gottardi, 58' Murray, 71' Crespo


What happened next


Four days later Lazio lost 3-2 to Graeme Souness' Blackburn Rovers (after being 3-0 down after 19 minutes). The Biancocelesti then drew 2-2 with Spurs after being 2-0 down.


This would alas be Lazio's first Serie A season without home-grown and possibly best defender in the world Alessandro Nesta. Due to financial difficulties Lazio were forced to sell their captain to Milan on the closure of the transfer market. To make matters worse Milan and Juventus had secretly agreed to keep their bids low, so Lazio were also forced to sell Hernán Crespo to Inter.


Since the game in the Midlands, Lazio had signed strikers Bernardo Corradi (Inter) and Enrico Chiesa (Fiorentina).


Despite the trauma of losing their captain Lazio had a good season. At one stage in December, they were even top of the table. They played excellent, entertaining football and finished 4th (Champions League preliminary qualification). The Biancocelesti also reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup but were defeated by eventual winners Mourinho’s Porto 1-4 on aggregate and the semi-final of Coppa Italia. Top scorer was Claudio López with 17 goals (15 in league) while Corradi got 10 league goals.


Derby did not have a great season. In March John Gregory was sacked and replaced by George Burley. The Rams finished 18th in the First Division. Top scorer was Malcolm Christie with 9 goals (he would retire at 30 due to a spinal injury).


Lazio 2002-03

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

34

15

15

4

57

Coppa Italia

6

3

1

2

7

UEFA Cup

12

6

4

2

18

Total

52

24

20

8

82

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Lopez

47

34

4

9

Fiore

46

33

5

8

Stankovic

38

29

2

7

Cesar

36

26

1

9

Corradi

36

32

4

-

36

30

-

6

Top Five Goal Scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Lopez

17

15

-

2

Corradi

10

10

-

-

Fiore

9

6

1

2

S. Inzaghi

9

4

1

4

Simeone

7

7

-

-

Chiesa

7

2

1

4

Let’s talk about: Dino Baggio


Dino Baggio was born in Camposampiero (Padova), on July 24,1971.


He played football at local Tombolo (PD) between 1976 and 1984. He then joined the Torino youth sector. He made his first team in Serie B in 1990 under Eugenio Fascetti. Torino won the league and on 9 September 1990 he played his first game in Serie A under Emiliano Mondonico.


He played 25 league games that year and scored 2 goals (Cesena, Genoa) plus 6 games in Coppa Italia. The Granata had a good year, finishing 5th (UEFA qualification) and winning the Mitropa Cup.


In 1991 he was bought by city rivals Juventus but loaned to Inter for a year. In the Lombard capital he played under Corrado Orrico (1-17) and Luis Suarez (18-34), making 27 league appearances with 1 goal (Cagliari), 5 in Coppa Italia with 1 goal (Casertana) and 2 in the UEFA Cup. The Nerazzurri finished 8th.


In 1992 he went back to Juventus. He stayed two seasons. In the first under Giovanni Trapattoni the "Vecchia Signora" (The Old Lady) finished 4th (UEFA qualification) but won the UEFA Cup beating Borussia Dortmund 6-1 on aggregate. Baggio played 32 league games with 1 goal (Ancona), 7 in Coppa Italia with 3 goals (Fidelis Andria, Genoa x2) and 11 in the UEFA Cup with 5 goals (Sigma Olomouc, Benfica, Borussia Dortmund home and two away in the final). He started to be called Baggio 2 to distinguish him from Roberto Baggio.


In 1993-94 Juventus came 2nd again under "Il Trap". Baggio played 17 league games, 2 in Coppa Italia and 6 in the UEFA Cup.


In 1994 he moved to Parma where he would spend his best years. In his first he was coached by Nevio Scala and the Gialloblù finished 3rd. They reached the final of Coppa Italia (lost to Juventus 0-3 on aggregate) but triumphed in the UEFA Cup getting revenge on the "Zebras" 2-1 on aggregate (Baggio scored both goals). He played 31 league games with 6 goals (Cagliari, Reggiana, Foggia, Brescia, Juventus), 7 in Coppa Italia with 1 goal (Cagliari) and 11 in the UEFA Cup with 5 goals (Athletic Bilbao x2, Bayer Leverkusen, Juventus x2). He played alongside future Lazio Fernando Couto, Stefano Fiore and Nestor Sensini plus former captain Gabriele Pin. The Parma team included Faustino Asprilla, Gianfranco Zola and Thomas Brolin.


In 1995-96 the "Crociati" finished 6th. They lost the Supercoppa final to Juventus 0-1. Baggio played 28 league games with 4 goals (Inter, Roma, Torino, Bari), 1 in Coppa Italia, 4 in the European Cup Winners Cup with 1 goal (Halmstad) and the Supercoppa. Hristo Stoichkov, Filippo Inzaghi and Fabio Cannavaro also arrived at Parma and a young Gianluigi Buffon broke into the team.


In 1996-97 the "Ducali" changed manager and Carlo Ancelotti arrived. Parma fought for the title but finished 2nd (behind Juve). Baggio played 31 league games with 2 goals (Napoli, Lazio), 1 in Coppa Italia and 2 in the UEFA Cup. The Parma team included Hernan Crespo, Lilian Thuram and Enrico Chiesa.


In 1997-98 Parma finished 6th. They were eliminated in the group stage in Champions League (Sparta Prague, Galatasaray and Borussia Dortmund after 2 wins, 3 draws and only 1 defeat). Baggio played 29 league games with 5 goals (Bologna, Napoli, Lecce, Milan, Bari), 6 in Coppa Italia and 8 in the Champions League (including Preliminary).


In 1998-99 Alberto Malesani arrived as manager. Parma also added former Lazio captain Diego Fuser and future player Juan Sebastian Veron. The Parmensi finished 4th but won both the Coppa Italia (Fiorentina 3-3 aggregate, decided on away goals) and the UEFA Cup (Olympique Marseille 3-0 in Moscow). Baggio played 29 league games with 2 goals (Juventus, Venezia), 5 in Coppa Italia and 8 in the UEFA Cup.


In 1999-2000 Parma finished 5th and qualified for the UEFA Cup after losing a Champions League playoff against Inter 3-1. The "Ducali" won the Supercoppa in August beating Milan 2-1 at San Siro. This year Parma had added Alain Boghossian, Paulo Sousa, future Lazio Ousmane Dabo and Márcio Amoroso. Baggio played 24 league games (plus the playoff), 9 in Europe (2 CL, 7 UC) and the Super Coppa.


In 2000-01 Baggio started the season at Parma but, after playing 2 games in Coppa Italia and 1 in the UEFA Cup, in October he joined Italian Champions Lazio. In Rome he found manager Sven-Göran Eriksson but he was then replaced by Dino Zoff after 13 games (the Swede had signed for England from the following summer causing inevitable problems). Lazio did not repeat the previous epic season and finished 3rd. They did win the Supercoppa but that was before Baggio arrived. He played 25 league games with 1 goal (Milan) and 1 in Coppa Italia. In the Champions League the Biancocelesti reached the second group stage but were then eliminated (Real Madrid, Leeds United and Anderlecht).


In 2001-02 Zoff started but was soon replaced by Alberto Zaccheroni after three draws. Lazio struggled and finished 6th (UEFA qualification). Baggio played 15 league games, 3 in Coppa Italia and 3 in the Champions League (disappointing campaign ending in the first group phase).


In 2002-03 Roberto Mancini arrived as manager. Lazio had a good season finishing 4th (CL preliminary) and reached the semi-finals in both the Coppa Italia and the UEFA Cup (lost to eventual winners Mourinho's Porto). Baggio however did not feature much and played only 4 league games and 8 in the UEFA Cup.


In 2003 he went to Blackburn Rovers on loan. In Lancashire he played 9 Premier League games with 1 goal (Leeds United), 1 in the FA Cup and 2 in the UEFA Cup. He played under Graeme Souness and the Rovers finished 15th but Baggio had already returned to Lazio in January only to be loaned out immediately to Ancona in Serie A.


In le Marche he found manager Nedo Sonetti but he was soon replaced by Giovanni Galeone. The "Dorici" were relegated after only 2 wins, 7 draws and 25 defeats (including 0-1 before he arrived and 2-4). Baggio played 13 league games. Meanwhile Lazio won the Coppa Italia under Roberto Mancini (Juventus 4-2 on aggregate).


In 2004-05 he was back at Lazio under Domenico Caso and then Giuseppe Papadopulo but was excluded from the squad and even took the club and new owner Claudio Lotito to court for mobbing. That was obviously the end of his time at Lazio…


In 2005 he joined Triestina in Serie B but only played 3 league games and in October he retired. He "missed out" on playing under six different managers…(the last being former Lazio player Andrea Agostinelli). The "Alabardati" finished 13th.


A few years later he came out of retirement and played a few games for his local village of Tombolo, under his first coach from the 70's Cesare Crivellaro. Talk about coming full circle…


Since retiring he has worked a little in football. He was a technical adviser at Padova in 2011-12 and from 2018-20 he was involved in the Montebelluna (Treviso) youth sector.


Baggio had an excellent international career. He won 73 Italy caps from 1992 to 1999. He played in two World Cups (USA '94 and France ' 98) and a European Championship (England '96) under Arrigo Sacchi ('94, '96) and Cesare Maldini ('98). He played in a World Cup final ('94 lost to Brazil on Penalties). He scored 7 goals for the Azzurri, the most important being the winner against Norway in USA '94 and in the same tournament one in Italy's 2-1 quarterfinal win over Spain. He also played 18 games for the U21's with 1 goal and won the 1992 European Championship in Spain under Cesare Maldini. He played 5 games for the Olympic team too in 1992.


His career for Italy came to a controversial end when he was ostracized by the then Federation President Luciano Nizzola for making a money gesture to a referee and spitting on the ground after being sent off in a Parma Juventus game. That was January 9 and he never played for Italy again.


He was probably already past his peak anyway as he proved at Lazio. He was not a great success in the capital. He played 62 games over four years and scored 1 goal (a long-range cracker against Milan soon after arriving). He seemed to have lost his physical prowess and was often slow and mechanical. It did not help that Lazio too by the time he arrived were starting to decline.


At his peak with Parma, he was one of the best Italian midfielders of the 90's. He is 1.88 and 80 kilos so very strong physically. He was a defensive midfielder but was extremely versatile and could play in various areas of midfield. He was an excellent tackler and a strong, resistant athlete. He had good vision and long passes, a powerful shot, he was good in the air and had well timed attacking forays. All these characteristics made him a complete and impressive midfielder.


His best years as mentioned were with Juventus but especially Parma where he played 240 games and won the UEFA Cup twice, a Coppa Italia and an Italian Supercoppa. He played 331 games in Serie A with 24 goals.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

UEFA Cup

Oct 2000-01

26 (1)

25 (1)

1

-

-

2001-02

21

15

3

3

-

2002-03

15

4

3

-

8

Total

62 (1)

44 (1)

7

3

8

Sources


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