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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

December 23, 2006: Parma Lazio 1-3

Updated: Dec 23, 2023

Down to 10 men and 1-0 down Lazio stage incredible first half comeback


After a disastrous start Lazio strike back to win in unlikely fashion





The season so far


It was manager Delio Rossi's second year in charge of Lazio. The main new players were defensive midfielders Cristian Ledesma (Lecce) and Massimo Mutarelli (Palermo) and attacking midfielder Pasquale Foggia (Milan). Leaving the capital were well serving Fabio Liverani and Ousmane Dabo (who would return some years later) and especially charismatic leader Paolo Di Canio.


The season had started with a 3-point deduction (reduced from the original 11) a further consequence of the previous year's Calciopoli scandal when they already had been docked 30 points thus losing their UEFA Cup qualification.


This season Lazio had lost the first 2 games (Milan and Palermo) but then had picked up slightly. They now had 7 wins (including a 3-0 derby triumph), 3 draws and 6 defeats. Not a lot of consistency but they had 24 points, just off the Champions League slots.


Today's opposition Parma were a lot worse off. Despite a 7th place and UEFA qualification the previous year, this season they were really struggling. They had a new manager in Stefano Pioli (actually from Parma and many years later to be a Lazio manager). They had lost joint top scorers Bernardo Corradi (Manchester City) and Fabio Simplicio (Palermo).


Their key players were goalkeeper Luca Bucci, midfielders Luca Cigarini, Daniele Dessena and Andrea Gasbarroni while up front they had Domenico Morfeo and Igor Budan. The most interesting player on their books from Lazio's point of view was former Lazio scudetto winner Fernando Couto (one of the players with most trophies ever between Porto, Barcelona, Parma and Lazio).


Anyway Parma had got off to an awful start this season. In the first 6 games they lost 5 and drew 1. At this stage they had won 2, drawn 6 and lost 9 for a grand total of 12 points. In their favour however they were unbeaten in the last 4 (all draws).


Today's game therefore had Lazio down as slight favourites but their inconsistent form and Parma's desperate need of points made it quite open, as Italians would say 'da tripla' (1 X 2).


The match: Saturday, December 23, 2006, Stadio Tardini, Parma


There was not a big crowd at the Tardini (about 13,000) but they were in for an eventful afternoon. The first 10 minutes were pretty cautious by both sides ('da studio' as they say in Italy) but the game was awoken with a bang in the 14th minute. Lazio's central defender Sebastiano Siviglia was judged to be last man when he pulled down Dedic outside the area and was shown a direct red. Things got worse for Lazio when shortly after Budan headed in a Gasbarroni corner to make it 1-0. Losing away from home and down to 10 men things were not looking good for the Biancocelesti.


The game however remained balanced with both sides hitting the woodwork. First Ledesma hit the bar with a curling freekick and then Cigarini did the same for Parma, again with a freekick but hitting the post.


Lazio were alive and fighting despite the difficulties. They were rewarded on the half hour mark when a Ledesma cross from a free kick was headed home by Guglielmo Stendardo, who the Parma defenders had inexplicably forgotten to mark. Lazio seemed galvanized and continued to push forward despite the numerical inferiority. It took them only another 4 minutes to go in front. Tommaso Rocchi made a run down the right hand side of the area drawing several defenders to him and then pulled a clever ball back which Goran Pandev pounced on to make it 2-1.


Parma certainly had not been expecting this and were in total confusion. Lazio made it 3-1 in the last minute of the first half. A good team move was started by Mutarelli and then Stefano Mauri put in a perfect low cross for Rocchi to finish off. A surprising score at half time, seeing the way the game had started.


In the second half Pioli piled on the forwards throwing Kutuzov and Papponi on for an all-out attack. Lazio however defended well, helped by Rossi's astute move of placing Valon Behrami at full-back. Parma's Cigarini had a shot go just wide but it was Lazio who came closer to scoring again at least another four times. A Pandev shot was saved by Bucci, Rocchi hit the crossbar, replacement Stephan Makinwa went close and finally another replacement Christian Manfredini almost stole the show with a spectacular back heel effort.


A comfortable win in the end for Lazio despite the shock start. A boost for their Champions League aspirations while Parma seemed in serious trouble, low on confidence and now second from bottom in the league.


Who played for Parma


Bucci, Ferronetti, Paci, F.Couto (55' M.Rossi), P.Castellini, Dessena, Cigarini, Ciaramitaro (46' Papponi), Gasbarroni, Dedic (46' kutuzov), Budan

Substitutes: De Lucia, Coly, Bolano, Bocchetti

Manager: Pioli


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Berni, Oddo, Bonetto, Foggia

Manager: Rossi


Referee: Saccani


Goals: 20' Budan, 30' Stendardo, 34' Pandev, 45' Rocchi


What happened next


Lazio would go on to have an excellent season. Despite selling captain Massimo Oddo to Milan in January, Lazio would arrive 3rd in the league. Between 18 February and 2 April, Lazio won 8 consecutive matches. Tommaso Rocchi was their top scorer with 15 goals in Serie A.


This gave a Champions League preliminary round qualification (Lazio would then reach the prestigious group phase by knocking out Dinamo Bucharest).


It was definitely a season to remember for all Lazio fans.


Parma meanwhile would also lose their next match at Empoli but in the end two key factors saved them from relegation. The first was the arrival of striker Giuseppe Rossi on loan from Manchester United (he had already been with Parma's youth sector between the ages of 12-17). Rossi (always a promising name for an Italian striker) scored 9 goals from his arrival in January. The other fundamental change was the advent of Claudio Ranieri, who replaced Pioli in February. Parma improved drastically and by beating Empoli 3-1 on 27 May they were guaranteed another year in Serie A, a feat which at a certain point had seemed impossible.


Lazio 2006-07

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals Scored

Serie A

38

18

11

9

59

Coppa Italia

3

1

1

1

8

Total

41

19

12

1

67

Top Five Appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Pandev

39

36

3

Rocchi

39

36

3

Zauri

39

36

3

Ledesma

36

33

3

Siviglia

34

32

2

Top Five Goal Scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Rocchi

19

16

3

Pandev

14

11

3

Mauri

6

6

-

Oddo

5

5

-

Siviglia

3

3

-

Makinwa

3

3

-

Stendardo

3

3

-


Let's talk about Guglielmo Stendardo


Guglielmo Stendardo was born in Naples, on May 6, 1981. He was formed in the Napoli youth sector and made his debut for the first team on May 16, 1998. This game would remain his one and only appearance for his hometown team.


In the summer of 1998 he moved to Sampdoria where he would stay for 4 full seasons, 3 of them in serie B. He played 33 games in Serie B and 14 in Coppa Italia.


In his fifth year in Genoa half way through the season he moved to Salernitana in serie B. He would stay in Salerno only one year making 17 league appearances.


The following year found him in Sicily at Catania. He made 42 appearances in Serie B (1 goal) and 1 in Coppa Italia.


His next stop was Perugia where he played 32 games (2 goals) in Serie B and 2 in Coppa Italia.


His Serie B experience finally came to an end in 2005 when he signed for Lazio in Serie A. In his first year, under manager Delio Rossi, he played 18 games (1 goal) and 3 in Coppa Italia. The year after he increased his appearances to 21 (3 goals) and 3 in Coppa Italia. The 2007-2008 started well for Stendardo who became Lazio's first choice centre- back in partnership with Emilson Cribari, also due to injuries to Siviglia and Modibo Diakité. In December however everything changed. He was left out of the starting line-up away to Real Madrid and this was followed by a major bust up with the manager. Stendardo was punished by the club who excluded him from the squad (so no training either, let alone match time).


At this moment of standby in his career Juventus stepped up. In January 2008 he moved to Turin on loan with an agreement to sign him in June. He only played 5 league games and 1 in Coppa Italia but he gave a good contribution and Juventus were interested in keeping him on. The two clubs though couldn't agree on the price (Lotito is well known for his rigidity when making deals) and Stendardo returned to Rome.


Not for long though, he barely had time to unpack before he was off to newly promoted Lecce in Serie A. In Salento he played 21 league games.


Only a year later however he was back at Lazio but the new manager, Davide Ballardini, was not overly keen on Stendardo and, in agreement with the club, he was again excluded from the team list. Lazio however, despite having won the Italian Supercoppa in August (against Mourinho's Inter), were struggling and in serious trouble in the league. In November Stendardo, Lotito and Ballardini reconciled and the Neapolitan defender was reintegrated into the squad.


Stendardo was fit and ready and played well, even scoring 2 goals. Lazio however were not over the crisis yet and in February Ballardini was sacked and replaced by experienced Edy Reja. Things changed dramatically for the better, results improved and Stendardo kept his place, ending up with 19 league appearances (2 goals) and 2 in Coppa Italia.


Over the next two seasons however Stendardo would play less. In 2010-11 he made 14 league appearances and 2 in Coppa Italia (with 1 goal). The following season he had not played at all until he was sold to Atalanta in January. At Lazio he totalled 85 league appearances (6 goals), 12 in Coppa Italia (1 goal) and 7 in Europe.


In Bergamo he would play for five and a half seasons totalling 116 league appearances with 7 goals and 5 games in Coppa Italia.


In January 2017 he signed for Pescara in Serie A and made 10 league appearances. That was the end of his professional career. He had played 363 games between Serie A and Serie B (20 goals), 34 in Coppa Italia (1 goal) and 7 in European tournaments. Not a bad club career.


Stendardo was not your typical football player. In 2012 he graduated in Law. He is one of the very few in the sport to have a degree (he was once fined by Atalanta for choosing to sit an exam over playing a cup game). He put his studies to good use and went on to lecture at university. Now he combines the two and is currently manager of the LUISS University team in Rome.


Stendardo, known as 'Willy' was a physical centre back. At 1.90 metres tall he was good in the air and most of his 20 career goals came from headers. He was not a technical player and was not particularly quick but what he lacked in those two areas he made up for in tenacity and hard work. With little natural talent you don't play 363 games without dedication, discipline and a strong desire to compete. Stendardo was a classic, rugged, strong defender who didn't make life easy for the opposing attackers.


Lazio have seen far better defenders in their history but Willy always gave 100% and was popular with the fans. They certainly will not forget his full length of the pitch 100 metre sprint in Ascoli, after scoring at the opposite end from the away supporters sector, just to celebrate with the Lazio fans. These are things fans appreciate, sometimes more than a Franz Beckenbauer style tackle.


Lazio Career

Season

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

2005-06

21 (1)

18 (1)

3

-

2006-07

24 (3)

21 (3)

3

-

2007-Jan 2008

22

13

2

7

2009-10

21 (2)

19 (2)

2

-

2010-11

16 (1)

14

2 (1)

-

Total

104 (7)

85 (6)

12 (1)

7


Sources







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