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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

December 20, 1953: Lazio Genoa 3-0

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

Lazio demolish Genoa on a soggy pitch


Despite a waterlogged pitch, once Lazio figured out how to play in these conditions there was nothing Genoa could do.




Source Wikipedia

The season so far


The previous season had been a disappointment so a lot was spent on reinforcing the side for the 1953-54 season. Alberto Fontanesi, Pasquale Viviolo and Renzo Burini arrived in the summer and fan favourite Flacco Flamini returned from his spell at Reggiana in the autumn transfer window.


Lazio were however unable to improve and in the first 12 games of the season won four games (including one against Juventus), drew three times and lost five. It was a team that had potential, but only sporadically were able to produce good football.


For the first time Lazio and that other team from Rome started playing at the Stadio Olimpico, built for the Olympic Games of 1960.


The match: Sunday, December 20, 1953, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


It was very wet and the players had difficulty coming to terms with the state of the pitch. Nothing happened for the first 24 minutes until a bad back pass to the goalkeeper by Per Bredesen was intercepted by Dario Seratoni who flew unopposed towards the Lazio goal, but Lucidio Sentimenti IV saved the situation. Seratoni did the same four minutes later but his shot went wide.


At this point Lazio stirred and pulled their socks up. A Burini header was saved by the Genoa goalkeeper with difficulty in the 29th minute. Two minutes later a Fontanesi shot was miraculously saved by Angelo Franzosi who repeated himself on another Burini attempt.


The goal was on its way and came in the 43rd minute. Vittorio Bergamo had a free kick opportunity. His first shot was walled but the ball came back to him and his volley put Lazio ahead.


Lazio consolidated their lead early in the second half. Another Fontanesi shot was saved into corner by Franzosi. Aldo Puccinelli’s subsequent cross fell in the goal area and Bredesen made it 2-0 in the 49th minute.


Genoa had a chance shortly after but Sentimenti IV had safe hands. In the 56th minute it could have been 3-0. Benedetto De Angelis saved a goal on the line after a powerful Bredesen shot and Fontanesi’s attempt on the rebound was again saved by the Genoa goalkeeper. But the goal came two minutes later. A spectacular three touch move between Luigi Fuin, Viviolo and Puccinelli allowed Fontanesi to make it 3-0.


Genoa had the chance to score on a penalty, very generously given by Guido Agnolin, but Amedeo Cattani put it wide.


A good match for Lazio and there was a new wave of optimism for the rest of the season.


Who played for Lazio


Manager: Sperone


Who played for Genoa


Franzosi, De Angelis, Becattini, Larsen, Cattani, Corrente, Dal Monte, Pravisano, Seratoni, Bennike, Carapellese.

Manger: Sárosi


Referee: Agnolin


Goals: 43’ Bergamo, 49’ Bredesen, 58’ Fontanesi


What happened next


If Lazio’s first half of the season was at least decent, the second half was rather dismal and included seven consecutive losses between March and April 1954, one of them being in the derby. The last games of the season went a little bit better and so relegation was comfortably avoided, but the fans really had expected more.


Francesco Antonazzi was the player with most appearances (33) and the top scorers were Fontanesi and Vivolo with nine goals each.


Lazio 1953-54

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

34

10

9

15

40

Top five appearances

Player

Serie A

Antonazzi

33

Bredesen

32

Burini

32

Sentimenti V

30

Viviolo

30

Top five goal scorers

Player

Serie A

Viviolo

9

Fontanesi

9

Bredesen

6

Burini

6

Puccinelli

3


Let’s talk about Lucidio Sentimenti IV


Lucidio between his brothers Primo and Vittorio. Source Wikipedia

Lucidio Sentimenti is one of the most famous goalkeepers in Italian football and consequently a legendary figure in Lazio history.


The Sentimenti’s were nine brothers, all of them played football but “only” five of them professionally. Three of the brothers played for Lazio: Vittorio (III), Lucidio (IV) and Primo (V). Ennio (I) was the only one of the brothers that had nothing to do with the Biancocelesti since Arnaldo (II) became manger of Lazio’s youth teams between 1953 and 1957.


Why is there a roman numeral at the end of their surnames? At that time players with the same surname were given a Roman number to distinguish them all. Therefore you had five Sentimenti’s.


Lucidio was born at Bomporto (Modena) on July, 1920 and started his professional career with Modena in 1938. He just wanted to play football, anywhere on the field, and he even played in attack for a while until manager Umberto Caligaris put him in goal. Sentimenti IV played in Emilia Romagna for four years and helped Modena stay in Serie A for three of those years.


Lucidio was not only a goalkeeper, but he occasionally took penalties. His brother Arnaldo in the 1941-42 season had saved nine consecutive penalties playing for Napoli. There was a penalty during Napoli Modena and Lucidio went to take it. He scored, ending Arnaldo’s record. Arnaldo took it very badly and did not speak to his brother for two years!!!


In 1942 Sentimenti IV moved to Juventus, who was looking for a quality goalkeeper, joining his brother Vittorio. He stayed until 1949 playing four seasons in Serie A plus the strange 1945-1946 Campionato which was divided into two groups, North and Centre-South, just like the Championships prior to 1929 when the single Serie A was introduced. In that season he even played right winger for a few matches due to injury, and scored four goals.


In 1949 Juventus thought that he was no longer as competitive as he had been and sold him to Lazio together with Vittorio. Lazio was looking to substitute Uber Gradella and Sentimenti IV was a perfect replacement. He became a team leader and in the first three years Lazio came fourth. The team played some good football and was admired in all of Italy.


Lucidio played for Lazio until 1954 when he moved to Vicenza. He played with the Biancorossi until 1957 and helped them get a promotion in Serie A in 1954-55. In 1957 he moved to Turin to play in IV Division Cenisia. He stayed there until 1960 with the exception of a brief return in 1959 for a handful of games for Torino.


He was not particularly tall (only 1.70) but had a great sense of position and what he lacked in height he made up for with his athleticism. He was also a very modern goalkeeper and often used his feet to save goals. His only fault was that he was sometimes a little over confident that some shots were going over the crossbar or wide, and sometimes they did not. Lazio supporters at one point convinced the management to have an optician thoroughly check his eyesight.


He played 9 times for the Nazionale over eight years and was part of the squad that participated in the 1950 World Cup in Brazil. He played the first game against Sweden (Italy lost 3-2). In 1947 Italy played a friendly against Hungary in Turin. There were ten players from the Great Torino plus Sentimenti IV. Italy won 3-2.


After he quit football he became a manger and was in charge of Juventus’ youth teams for a while in the early 1970s.


He died in Turin on November 28, 2014.


He played 170 games for Lazio and scored three goals, all on penalty.


Lazio has had a tradition of legendary goalkeeps. Lucidio Sentimenti IV is certainly one of them.


Lazio Career

Season

Appearances (goals)

Serie A

Mitropa Cup

1949-50

37

37

-

1950-51

40

38

2

1951-52

38 (1)

38 (1)

-

1952-53

32 (2)

32 (2)

-

1953-54

25

25

-

Total

172 (3)

170 (3)

2

Sources


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