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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

December 19, 1971: Lazio Perugia 4-1

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

Chinaglia scores again as Lazio thrash unlucky Perugia


A big win against hard fighting Perugia sends Lazio up to second place.




Source Wikipedia

The season so far


Lazio had been relegated the season before so were back in Serie B. The main change however was the arrival of new manager Tommaso Maestrelli from Foggia to substitute Roberto Lovati, who in turn had taken over from Juan Carlos Lorenzo during the previous disastrous season. Maestrelli was from Pisa, in Tuscany, and during his career in his younger days, had played 95 games for hated city rivals Roma. Certainly not the best visiting card on this side of the Tiber but little did people know then he would later become Lazio's favourite manager ever, to this day.


There had also been some changes to the squad. A new goalkeeper had arrived, Claudio Bandoni (Fiorentina) plus defenders Luigi Martini (Livorno) and Giancarlo Oddi (Massese). These two defenders would play a major role in Lazio's Scudetto a few years later.


Some players left of course; goalkeeper Michele Sulfaro (Fiorentina on loan), midfielders Nello Governato (Savona), Rino Marchesi (Prato) and Ferruccio Mazzola (Fiorentina on loan) as well as striker Juan Carlos Morrone (Foggia).


The season had started reasonably well for Lazio who obviously had promotion ambitions. So far they had won 7, drawn 2 and lost 3, so had 16 points .The best news was that “Long John” Giorgio Chinaglia was scoring goals, already 8 in 12 matches.


Perugia had finished a satisfying 6th the previous season. This year the manager, Guido Mazzetti, had been confirmed and they hoped to build on their recent positive results. Their top scorer had been Nicola Traini (9 goals) and he paired up with Giovanni Urban to form a dangerous attacking duo. An interesting name on their books was a very young Giorgio Mastropasqua, who ten years later would join Lazio.


Perugia had started decently this season and had won 5, drawn 4 and lost 3, so had 14 points.


The match: Sunday, December 19, 1971, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


A cold, cloudy day welcomed the Grifoni from Perugia to the capital. Lazio could finally field their best team, as striker Long John Chinaglia was returning after a two-match suspension.


The match came to life immediately with both teams throwing caution to the wind and going on the attack. The first 2 chances were for the hosts, both with Chinaglia. First he went round the keeper Leonardo Grosso but his shot went wide and then he went close with a header. The Umbri from Perugia however were far from docile and Bruno Mazzia came close to putting them ahead, hitting the post.


On the half hour mark the score changed. A good team move by Alessandro Abbondanza, Gianbattista Moschino and Chinaglia was hammered in on the volley by the “Italo-Welsh” centre-forward. Lazio then doubled their lead just before half-time. A free kick by Moschino was headed on by Carlo Facchin and then nodded past the keeper by Abbondanza. Perugia however didn't give up and there was still time for them to hit another post, this time with a Carlo Volpi header. So the first half score was Lazio 2 goals, Perugia 2 posts.


The start of the second half saw Perugia again go close to scoring with a Traini shot brilliantly saved by Bandoni. The Lazio keeper repeated himself on a powerful effort by Claudio Tinaglia. Perugia pushed more and more men forward in an attempt to kickstart a comeback but were made to pay in the 73rd minute when Moschino curled the ball in to make it 3-0.


Perugia were definitely groggy at this point and Lazio didn't hold back, getting their fourth of the afternoon, in the 75th minute. On this occasion Chinaglia, instead of pouncing on a keeper's blunder, graciously conceded the goal to Facchin, who got his first ever goal for Lazio.


The best goal of the match however was yet to come. With only a minute left to play, Perugia's Riccardo Innocenti glided past the entire Lazio defence to score a superb goal. A mere consolation but thoroughly deserved by Perugia who had pushed Lazio hard for the whole game.


The match ended in a standing ovation from the Lazio fans. Lazio shot up to second place on 18 points, behind leaders Ternana. Chinaglia had scored again and promotion seemed a concrete possibility. As for Perugia the score line was a bit harsh but they had performed well and shown they could have another good season.


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Di Vincenzo

Manager: Maestrelli


Who played for Perugia


Grosso, Casati, Vanara, Volpi, Carlet, Morello, Innocenti, Traini, Urban, Mazzia, Tinaglia

Substitutes: Casagrande, Agretti

Manager: Mazzetti


Referee: Reggiani


Goals: 30' Chinaglia, 44' Abbondanza, 73' Moschino, 75' Facchin, 89' Innocenti


What happened next


Lazio managed to get promoted. They maintained second place on 49 points, behind Ternana on 50, the third team to go up being Palermo. It was not easy and Lazio fell to 4 more defeats (including the return game against Perugia, 1-0) but their prolific attack helped them reach their objective. Giorgio Chinaglia got 21 goals (plus 5 in the Coppa Italia) and Giuseppe Massa got 12 meaning Lazio also scored more goals than any other team.


Lazio also had a decent cup run, even knocking Roma out in the group phase. They were then beaten by Napoli, who would lose the final against Milan.


Lazio's promotion was secured on the 18th June with a goalless draw away at Bari. Lazio, led by Maestrelli and Chinaglia, were back in Serie A and things were about to get even better.


Perugia confirmed the positive impression they gave in Rome in December. They went on to have a positive season and secured a solid 6th place, only 5 points off the last promotion slot. Their top scorer would be Giovanni Urban with 13 goals.


Lazio 1971-72

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals Scored

Serie B

38

18

13

7

48

Coppa Italia

10

5

2

3

13

Total

48

23

15

10

61

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Wilson

48

38

10

Massa

44

38

6

Bandoni

43

36

7

Martini

42

34

8

Chinaglia

41

34

7

Top goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Chinaglia

26

21

5

Massa

12

12

-

Abbondanza

7

7

-

Nanni

3

-

3


Let's talk about Giuseppe Papadopulo


Source Wikipedia

Giuseppe Papadopulo was born in Casale Marittimo, near Pisa, on 2 February, 1948. He is Tuscan but of Greek descent, as his surname obviously gives away.


He was a defender and his playing career started near home, but for bitter rivals Livorno. He played for the Leghorn team for 3 seasons. In the first 2 he barely appeared but in his third he established himself as a regular first team choice. With the Amaranto in total he made 27 appearances.


In 1969 he joined Lazio for 40 million Lire and played regularly for 3 seasons. He arrived at the same time as the likes of Giuseppe Wilson, Chinaglia, Franco Nanni, Mario Facco and Ferruccio Mazzola and would be part of the team that won promotion to Serie A in 1971-72 (with 31 games). He also won a Cup of the Alps in 1971. At Lazio he played under managers Juan Carlos Lorenzo and Tommaso Maestrelli both in the centre and at full-back. He was a very physical player, good at man to man marking but Lorenzo in particular refined his technique too.


With the return to Serie A, however, Maestrelli decided to go with a defence made up of Wilson, Facco, Sergio Petrelli and Oddi with Luigi Polentes as first replacement. There was therefore no more space for Papadopulo.


He played 82 times for Lazio (40 in Serie A, 31 in Serie B, 9 in Coppa Italia, one in Mitropa Cup and one in the Intercities Fairs Cup)


In 1972 he left for Brindisi in Serie B, where he played 71 games over 2 seasons. His career then led him to Arezzo,1974-76 (57 appearances), Salernitana, 1976-78 (34 appearances and a goal), Bari, 1977-80 (65 appearances) and finally back to Cecina, near home, for 2 more seasons, 1980-1982.


On retirement he became a manager starting off at Cecina in 1984. He then began a bit of a nomadic life and his curriculum started to look more like a geography test. He had endless jobs; Casertana, Sorrento, Monopoli, Perugia, Acireale, Avellino, Livorno, Fidelis Andria, Lucchese, Cremonese, Crotone and Siena.


It was in "Palio city" that he enjoyed most success. In his 3 years in Siena he first avoided relegation to Serie C, then took the Tuscans up to Serie A and finally managed the feat of keeping them there in 2003-04.


His connection with Lazio however was not over. Half way through the 2004-05 season Lazio were in deep trouble. A relegation battle seemed inevitable, with 17 points after 16 matches. President Claudio Lotito, in his first year in charge, decided to sack manager and former player Domenico Caso and called upon Papadopulo to try and resuscitate Lazio.


His debut came on the Epiphany, 6th January, 2005 and it was not a mere football match, it was the Roman derby. Things were not looking good for the Biancocelesti, apart from their current dismal form, they had not beaten Roma in the last 10 derbies and to top it all were without their two first choice central defenders (Sebastiano Siviglia and Fernando Couto).


As it turned out it was a triumph, one of the best ever derbies for Lazio. Papadopulo placed the two Filippini brothers, Antonio and Emanuele, in defence alongside Leonardo Talamonti and the two twins tackled anything that moved (not without some roughing). Roma were caught out by Lazio's aggressive approach and Francesco Totti in particular, used to special protection from the referees for the slightest of challenges, moaned for weeks about the unfair treatment.


A tactical masterpiece by Papadopulo who won the derby 3-1 with goals by Paolo Di Canio (16 years after his first derby goal), César and Tommaso Rocchi. Lotito described his players as 11 heroes and that is also how Papadopulo will always be remembered after this epic victory. Lazio not only stayed up but also qualified for the Intertoto Cup (due to Messina and Livorno pulling out).


The following year though he was not kept on by Lotito, who signed Delio Rossi. Papadopulo's career continued at Palermo, 2000. Then across to Lecce, 2006-2008, where he won promotion to Serie A. Up to Emilia and Bologna from April 2009, to substitute Sinisa Mihajlovic, but he was sacked after 8 games. His last experience was with Torino, from March 2011, where he lasted only 2 matches.


A long managerial career which took him all over Italy and had its high points with Siena, Lecce and Lazio. At Lazio he will be remembered for being part of the Chinaglia- era squad building up to the Scudetto and later as the hero of the 2005 derby, one of Lazio fans' favourites ever.


Appearances for Lazio

Season

Total

Serie A

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Fairs Cup

Mitropa Cup

Anglo-Italian Cup

Cup of the Alps

1969-70

34

22

-

3

-

1

4

4

1970-71

20

18

-

1

1

-

-

-

1971-72

36

-

31

5

-

-

-

-

Total

90

40

31

9

1

1

4

4

Sources


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