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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

December 19, 1982: Lazio Milan 2-2

Updated: Jan 22

Smells like Serie A

 

Lazio manage to equalise the Serie B big match between two former greats with a last gasp D’Amico goal




Source Lazio Wiki

The season so far

 

The previous season had been rather disastrous. There was a new Presidency with Gian Casoni and there were promotion ambitions but the team did not live up to expectations. It was so bad that the Biancocelesti needed a Vincenzo D’Amico hat trick to beat Varese coming from behind in the final game at the Olimpico to avoid Serie C.

 

This year the situation was completely different. Italy had won the World Cup and the Federation took two years off the suspensions for all the players involved in the match fixing scandal of 1980. As a consequence, Lazio stars Bruno Giordano and Lionello Manfredonia were available to play again. The two, feeling guilty over what had happened, even if they probably did not do that much to be given such long sentences (three years and six months), had sworn that if they did come back to play, their first objective was to get Lazio back to Serie A. So, at least for moment, they were staying.

 

There was a massive coming and going in the summer transfer window. The club said goodbye to scudetto heroes Felice Pulici (retired) and Renzo Garlaschelli (Pavia) plus Giorgio Mastropasqua (Catania), Dario Pighin (Taranto), Alberto Bigon (Vicenza), Dario Sanguin (Perugia), Nando Viola (Genoa), Walter Speggiorin (Massese), Dario Marigo (Perugia). New arrivals were Fernando Orsi (Parma), Renato Miele (Catania), Gabriele Podavini (Brescia), Marco Saltarelli (Lodigiani), Roberto Tavola (Juventus), Enrico Vella (Catania), Claudio Ambu (Perugia) plus the return from last year’s loans of Carlo Perrone and Stefano Chiodi.

 

The manager was Roberto Clagluna. He had substituted Ilario Castagner half way through the previous season and had been confirmed.

 

The season opened with the Coppa Italia and Lazio did not make it to the next round. They lost against Avellino and Napoli and were unable to beat Atalanta at home so they arrived third by just one point. 

 

In Campionato the Biancocelesti started slowly with three draws but then a couple of changes allowed the team to blossom. Against Sambenedettese, Orsi substituted Maurizio Moscatelli, who was not performing well following his return to football after breaking his Achilles tendon, Miele was placed at the centre of the defence and Saltarelli was introduced as new left-back. Lazio won 1-0 so now there was renewed enthusiasm. But there were still problems. The Biancocelesti struggled to beat Cremonese and lost at Bologna. 

 

What then followed was a vast improvement as Lazio won seven consecutive games plus a draw at Reggio Emilia. They were leading in Serie B with two points over Milan. Next game, Lazio-Milan.

 

The match: Sunday, December 19, 1982, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

 

70,000 spectators turned out for this game, a possible anticipation of Serie A. The Biancocelesti fans had poured into the stadium since the early hours of the morning. As was customary in these circumstances, time was passed by ripping up newspapers and creating paper confetti to throw in the air when the two teams came on.

 

Lazio and Milan had shown to be so superior to the other Serie B teams that the evening football programs had added the reports on the game to the other Serie A matches of the day.

 

Milan started very strongly and Oscar Damiani immediately had a chance receiving the ball in the box and finding himself alone in front of Orsi who managed to maintain his unbeaten record that began four minutes from time at Bologna when Claudio Sclosa had scored the Bolognese winner. In the eight games since then Lazio had not conceded a single goal.

 

It did not last long. In the 9th minute Andrea Icardi interrupted a Lazio play (possibly with a foul) and ran down the right wing. He crossed into the box and Damiani with a back heel put the Rossoneri ahead. 

 

Lazio had terrible problems at midfield and could not organise a response and Milan almost made it two in the 21st minute. Tiziano Manfrin to Damiani who with a dummy went past Marco Saltarelli, dribbled around Orsi and once in front of goal put in a powerful shot. But the Biancocelesti defenders had managed to race back in time so Vella intercepted and Arcadio Spinozzi cleared.

 

Giordano then rose to the occasion. After having missed a goal earlier when he went round the keeper but failed to score, in the 42rd minute he took a free kick and with a splendid curling shot around the wall beat Giulio Nuciari.

 

All square after the first half.

 

The second half opened like the first, with Milan with the foot on the accelerator. Giancarlo Pasinato, after a splendid assist from Franco Baresi found himself all alone in front of Orsi but the Lazio goalkeeper parried. In the 53rd minute Icardi crossed into the box for Joe Jordan but his header was saved by Orsi. Four minutes later a wonderful long ball from Manfrin to Damiani, clinical header and Milan back in front.

 

Lazio pressed Milan but could not create any dangerous chances. The Biancocelesti fans had almost lost hope. My dear friend Luciano still held a bunch of paper confetti in his hand. “This is for when we score the equaliser”. He was right to be optimistic.

 

In the 89th minute Vella on the counter attack passed to D’Amico who just inside the box immediately went for the shot: crossbar. The ball bounced back and a Milan defender tried to send the ball into corner, anticipating Giordano, but it was a pass to Vincenzino who this time put the ball in the back of the net. Lazio 2 Milan 2. Luciano could now throw the paper confetti in the air.

 

Lazio managed to keep the two-point lead and celebrate over Christmas.  

 

Who played for Lazio

 

Substitutes: Moscatelli, Pochesci, Badiani, Tavola

Manager: Clagluna

 

Who played for Milan

 

Nuciari, Tassotti, Icardi, Pasinato (82' Longobardo), Canuti, F. Baresi, Manfrin, Battistini, Jordan (61' Incocciati), Verza, Damiani

Substitutes: Piotti, Cuoghi, Gadda

Manager: Castagner

 

Referee: Agnolin

 

Goals: 9’ Damiani, 43’ Giordano, 57’ Damiani, 89’ D’Amico


 

What happened next

 

After this game, Serie A looked as if it was just around the corner. But in 1983 things went south. In the 19 games from the start of the new year Lazio won only three. The Biancocelesti went into a long psychological and technical crisis. They had difficulties in scoring because they were not creating chances. Clagluna could not figure out a solution. In April Lazio dismally drew 0-0 three times and lost at home against Pistoiese and away to Varese.

 

The match against Reggiana on May 8 was fundamental. Serie A was slipping away. Lazio scored three times with Giordano but were unable to secure victory. Clagluna had to go in order to create a spark that could help the Biancocelesti get over the line. Old Lazio glory Giancarlo Morrone, who was managing the Primavera team, was called in to help create that spark. In the next match however things precipitated even further and Lazio lost 5-1 to Milan.

 

On Sunday May 22, Lazio fans woke up with heavy hearts. But when they went to buy their newspapers, they discovered that Giorgio Chinaglia wanted to buy Lazio. The enthusiasm that this news generated brought 55,000 people to Lazio Atalanta, a decisive game, and lifted the team to victory. 

 

After a goalless draw at Arezzo the following Sunday came the mother of all games for Lazio at home against Catania. A win meant that only a point would then be needed to get promoted. And win it was thanks to a shot from Podavini deflected by Mastropasqua that made it 2-1. The last game against Cavese finished 2-2 and Lazio were finally in Serie A after three years.


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 Oscar Damiani


Source Lazio Wiki

Oscar Damiani had a long career playing in three decades for all the major Italian teams, including Inter, Milan, Juventus, Napoli and Lazio.

 

Giuseppe Damiani, better known as Oscar, was born in Brescia on June 15, 1950 and started playing in the youth teams of Brescia and then moved to Inter but he never played with the first team. He got the nickname “flipper” because he always played pinball in his spare time. In 1969 he signed for Vicenza and started to make a name for himself. He made 68 Serie A appearances with 9 goals before moving to Naples in 1972. After a year (26 league games and 5 goals) he was back in Vicenza and stayed for a year playing every single match and scoring five more goals.

 

In 1974 he got his big break and went to Turin to play for Juventus. In his first year he scored 9 goals contributing to the scudetto, his only one in his lengthy career. He stayed another season before going back to Naples.

 

Three seasons later he signed for AC Milan who were in Serie B. His ten goals were a great contribution to the Rossoneri cause as they won the Serie B championship and were promoted to Serie A. He stayed one more year before signing for Parma in Serie B. He also played a couple of games for New York Cosmos in 1984.

 

In 1985 he played his last year in professional football for Lazio. With the chaos at the club he could not give much of a helping hand. 

 

Damiani has two caps for Italy, both friendlies played in 1974 against Yugoslavia and Bulgaria.

 

Once he stopped, he became a sports agent. Over the years he has represented a number of players, two of them Lazio legends Giuseppe Signori and Tommaso Rocchi but also Alessandro Costacurta, Liliam Thuram and Andrej Shevchenko.

 

Damiani was an excellent forward, fast, quick thinker, not particularly tall (1.75) but lethal when he had the chance, as shown by his two goals against the Biancocelesti in the above game. When he came to Lazio he was past his prime but made 14 appearances.


Lazio Career

Season

Appearances Serie B

1985-86

14

Sources


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