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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

December 12, 1982: Reggiana Lazio 0-0

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

Reggiana-Orsi ... zero-zero


The hosts dominated the game but despite a 90 minute assault could not find a way past an unbeatable Lazio keeper Fernando Orsi.




Ticket owned by Dag Jenkins, photo by Dag Jenkins

The season so far


Lazio in their third consecutive year in Serie B, after the betting scandal and relegation of 1979-80, had renewed ambitions this year. The previous season had been a depressingly mediocre 11th place but with the return of striker Bruno Giordano and midfielder Lionello Manfredonia (after the world Cup win armistice) they could finally see some light at the end of the tunnel.


The main players who had joined Lazio were keeper Fernando Orsi (Parma), defenders Renato Miele (Catania), Gabriele Podavini (Brescia) and Marco Saltarelli (Lodigiani), midfielders Enrico Vella (Catania) and Roberto Tavola (Juventus) plus forward Claudio Ambu (Perugia).


Players to leave were the scudetto legends of 1974, keeper Felice Pulici and attacking winger Renzo Garlaschelli plus defenders Giorgio Mastropasqua (Catania), Dario Pighin (Taranto), midfielders Alberto Bigon (Vicenza), Dario Sanguin (Perugia), Fernando Viola (Genoa) and forwards Lorenzo Marronaro (Monza) and Walter Speggiorin (Massese).


This reshuffling of the squad plus the return of clearly superior level players such as Giordano and Manfredonia, added to the talent of fan favourite Vincenzo D'Amico, gave the whole Lazio environment renewed enthusiasm and optimism.


Roberto Clagluna had been confirmed as manager after taking over from Ilario Castagner halfway through the previous campaign. After a slow start (3 draws) Lazio were starting to show their superior technical level and came to Reggio Emilia on the roll of 7 consecutive wins and as many clean sheets.


Today's opposition Reggiana had finished 10th the previous season and had enjoyed a good run in the Coppa Italia reaching the quarter finals (including a draw against Lazio). They had brought in some promising, talented players; defender Giovanni Francini (Torino) would later win a scudetto with Napoli and 8 Italy caps, winger Alberto Di Chiara (Roma) who would later shine for Fiorentina and especially Parma, also winning 7 Italy caps, and midfielder Luciano Bruni (Fiorentina) who would go on to win a scudetto with Verona in 1985. In the November market window Reggiana had also been strengthened with forward Francesco Boito (Genoa) and midfielder Walter Mazzarri (Fiorentina), who would later become an important manager.


Out had gone midfielder Gianfranco Matteoli (Inter), who would play 116 times for the “nerazzurri” and 6 times for Italy, defender Giancarlo Corradini had gone to Torino and Flaviano Zandoli had retired.


Their main star however was a young Andrea Carnevale, a powerful striker who would play for Roma and win 2 scudetti with Napoli (1987 and 1990) and earn 10 Italy caps. He would form the first Ma-Gi-Ca trio at Napoli (Maradona - Giordano - Carnevale). Careca's would take his place in the forward line in the second version.


Despite this talent Reggiana hadn't really come together as a team this season and, after a poor start, had 11 points in 13 matches. They were however unbeaten in the last 5 games (including 2 wins).


The match: Sunday, December 12, 1982, Reggio Emilia, Stadio Mirabello


It was a grey, foggy day in Reggio Emilia. The small but compact Mirabello stadium seemed more intimidating than it should with its crowd of 10,000. Lazio were looking for an 8th consecutive win but it was never going to be easy on a heavy pitch, added to a vocal home crowd and a physical side, both definitely up for a battle.


The hosts predictably came out strongly pinning Lazio back right from the start. They dominated the midfield with Mazzarri and Vito Graziani, with Piero Volpi constantly pushed forward from defence. In attack the agile Francesco Boito and sturdy Carnevale caused the Lazio back line all sorts of problems. For Lazio, defender Saltarelli went off injured after 26 minutes (replaced by Paolo Pochesci), star striker Giordano was still debilitated by a recent bout of flu and easily controlled by Francini while midfield dynamo Manfredonia was restrained by an early booking.


All this resulted in a game dominated by the local “Granata”. They had several chances in the first half; a 19th minute header by Giuseppe Pallavicini, a 25th minute shot by Boito, a 35th minute shot again by the lively Pallavicini and a 41st minute effort by Carnevale. The fact the score was still 0-0 had only one explanation, Fernando Orsi, playing the game of his life (and unbeaten in 7 games).


The second half saw a similar onslaught with more near goals by Carnevale (57'), a Graziani freekick (62'), plus a penalty appeal after Boito was allegedly pushed in the air by Miele while jumping for a header. The mother of all chances though came with only 3 minutes to go when, with Orsi finally beaten, a Volpi header went agonizingly wide for the “Reggiani”.


At this point Reggiana seemed to realize it maybe just wasn't their day and their energies faded allowing Lazio to take home a precious, hard fought point. Lazio's hero Orsi was rewarded with another 90-plus minutes to add to his unbeaten record. It was a relieved, ragged Lazio that left the field probably thinking if you can't win, the important thing is not to lose…


It was not a particularly enjoyable afternoon for the large following of Lazio fans present but they did witness their team show fighting spirit and emerge with a point. They didn't lose their sense of humour with some fans, at the peak of home pressure, shouting, "arrendiamoci, siamo circondati" (Let's surrender, we're surrounded)! The Reggiana fans had less to joke about and went home frustrated after chanting "ladri ladri" (thieves thieves) at the final whistle.


Who played for Reggiana


Lovari, Volpi, Caterina, Pallavici, Francini, Sola, Mossini (68' Bruni), Mazzarri, A.Carnevale, V.Graziani, Boito

Substitutes: Eberini, Imborgia, Zuccheri, A.Di Chiara

Manager: Fogli


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Moscatelli, Badiani, Tavola, Chiodi

Manager: Clagluna


Referee: Menicucci


What happened next


Lazio's second part of the season wasn't as positive as the first but they had enough talent to get them over the line and win promotion with a 2nd place finish on 46 points, one point more than a trio on 45.


Goalkeeper Orsi's unbeaten record came to an end a week later in a 2-2 draw against leaders Milan. It was by no means an easy ride for Lazio and on the 8th May after a 3-3 home draw, coincidentally against Reggiana, manager Roberto Clagluna was replaced by former Lazio player, Argentine Giancarlo Morrone. A week later Lazio were hammered 5-1 by Milan and to make matters worse city rivals Roma won the Serie A Scudetto.


Things however were about to take a turn for the better. Firstly rumours started to circulate of a possible club takeover by Lazio legend Giorgio Chinaglia and then things picked up on the field too. A home win against Atalanta (2-1), an away point at Arezzo (0-0), a crucial home win against promotion rivals Catania (2-1) and a decisive away draw against Cavese (2-2) handed Lazio the ticket back to the big time after 3 difficult years in Serie B.


Despite Roma's triumph things were looking up especially with the confirmed return of "Long John" Chinaglia from the States as new President, but that's another story.


Bruno Giordano ended up as top Serie B scorer with 18 goals. Milan came top and were followed up by Lazio and Catania (after a 3 team playoff with Como and Cremonese).


As for Reggiana, despite their encouraging performance against Lazio, their talented team never really clicked. In January manager Fogli was replaced by Gianbattista Fabbri and the team was strengthened by Giovanni Invernizzi (later to win a scudetto with Sampdoria in 1991) but they continued to struggle and were ultimately relegated to C1. They went down with regional rivals Bologna while other 'enemies' Bari and Foggia from Puglia also kept each other company on the dreaded journey down to the inferior levels of “Calcio”.


Lazio 1982-83

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie B

38

14

18

6

44

Coppa Italia

5

2

1

2

8

Total

43

16

19

8

52

Top five appearances (complete player statistics)

Player

Total

Serie B

Coppa Italia

43

38

5

42

38

4

39

34

5

38

34

4

38

36

2

Top five goal scorers (complete player statistics)

Player

Total

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Bruno Giordano

21

18

3

Enrico Vella

5

5

-

Vincenzo D'Amico

5

4

1

Lionello Manfredonia

4

4

-

Claudio Ambu

4

3

1

Let's talk about Fernando Orsi

Fernando Orsi, known as Nando, was born in Rome, on 12 September, 1959. His father was a Lazio fan while his mother supported Roma, a so-called 'mixed marriage'.


He started his career in the A.S Roma youth sector and in 1977/78 won the primavera scudetto (under 19's). However, despite being considered a bright prospect, he never made his full debut with the “Giallorossi”. In 1978, with the arrival of charismatic Swede Nils Liedholm, he was sold to Siena in C2. He performed well in Tuscany and a season later was rewarded with a move to Parma in Serie B where by 1981-82 he was the undisputed first choice keeper.


In 1982-83 he got the call of a lifetime from the team he supported as a child, Lazio. Orsi immediately played a big part in Lazio's promotion back to Serie A and then played another 2 seasons in the capital. This first spell at Lazio unfortunately ended with relegation under the Presidency of Giorgio Chinaglia. His final season would also be remembered for the goals he conceded in Naples where Maradona lobbed him from outside the box and then scored directly from a corner completing a famous hat-trick. Unfortunately for Nando when the “Pibe de oro” passed away these goals were shown time and time again worldwide. With Lazio relegated Orsi was sold to Arezzo where he played for 4 seasons.


In 1989 Lazio were back in the big time and needed an experienced number 12 to help the young Valerio Fiori in his professional growth. The choice fell on “good old” Nando who gave up higher wages and guaranteed first team football to return to his beloved Lazio.


He played another 9 years for Lazio under Giuseppe Materazzi, Dino Zoff, Zdenek Zeman and Sven-Goran Eriksson. He did get some playing time over the years especially in the 1992-93 season. With the arrival of Luca Marchegiani from Torino the following year he settled into a reliable reserve role. He retired in 1998 at 38 years old having played 134 times for Lazio, 87 and 47 respectively in his two spells at the club.


At 1.82 metres tall Orsi was not an imposing keeper but was strong, agile and above all reliable. He was appreciated and respected by his coaches and teammates for his professionalism. He was always ready when needed and never made a fuss when he was left out.


At International level he won 2 Caps at Under 21 level.


When he finished playing he coached Lazio's keepers for 2 years and was then Roberto Mancini's deputy first at Lazio (2002-2004) and then at Inter (2004-2006). He then tried his own luck as manager at Livorno, on and off for 2 years, then at Ternana for a year, all with mixed fortunes.


Orsi then moved into punditry. He is often a guest on the local Roman radio stations but also works on TV formerly with Mediaset and more recently with SKY. He is a respected commentator and can often be heard on big Champions League nights.


Appearances for Lazio

Season

Serie A

Serie B

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Total

1982-83

-

35

-

-

35

1983-84

17

-

-

-

17

1984-85

30

-

5

-

35

1989-90

8

-

-

-

8

1991-92

3

-

-

-

3

1992-93

23

-

1

-

24

1994-95

1

-

1

-

2

1995-96

5

-

-

2

7

1996-97

3

-

-

-

3

Total

90

35

7

2

134

Sources


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