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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

December 7, 1930: Roma Lazio 1-1

Updated: 4 days ago

Lazio survive wolves den but deserve more


Lazio were the better team but have to settle for draw as goal scoring machine Volk equalises for Roma.



Source SS Lazio Museum


The season so far


Lazio had finished 15th the previous season. They had added Brazilian duo Octavio Fantoni II and Joao Fantoni I (Cruzeiro), Aldo Mattei III and Giovanni Zanni (both from Juventus). Having left Lazio was Francesco Rier (Juventus) while Luigi Saraceni and Ugo Ciabattini had retired. The manager, Hungarian Ferenc Molnar, was confirmed.


Lazio had a promising start to the season and were on 14 points, only one behind today's rivals Roma. They were doing well but were clear underdogs visiting Testaccio.


The previous season had seen the first single national league and Roma had come in 6th. It had also been the year the “Giallorossi” had moved to their new Campo Testaccio stadium. Roma had brought in keeper Guido Masetti (Verona), Renato Bodini (Cremonese) and Raffaele Costantino (Bari) but had lost Bruno Ballanti and Giovanni Corbyons (Fiorentina), Walter Corsanini and Pietro delle Vedove (Cremonese) and Armando Preti (Leece). There was a British connection at Roma as the coach was Mancunian Herbert Burgess. Roma's main star was goal scoring machine Rodolfo Volk who had scored 21 league goals the previous season. In the team was also former Lazio player Fulvio Bernardini who would also later coach Lazio (1958-1960) and scudetto winning Fiorentina (1956). He became Italy's national coach (1974-1977) after the German World Cup fiasco.


Roma had enjoyed a good start to the current season and despite losing the direct clash (3-1), they were second on 15 points behind leaders Juventus. They certainly fancied their chances against historically more consolidated but currently weaker opposition Lazio.


The match: Sunday, December 7, 1930, Rome, Campo Testaccio


The game was played on a cold, gloomy December afternoon in front of a record breaking capacity crowd of 25,000 spectators. For the first time in history the derby saw the presence of Government leader Benito Mussolini, “Il Duce”. He had played a major role in founding the recently formed A.S Roma (1927) as he wanted a single, strong, Roman team that could challenge the northern powerhouses. He had not however managed to get Lazio on board, who would remain a fiercely proud independent entity.


As mentioned, Roma were strong favourites lying second in the table but it was Lazio who had the upper hand from the start. A dominant midfield made up of Mario Malatesta, Marino Furlani and Alfredo Foni helped dictate the proceedings and as the game went on it was Lazio who had the better chances forcing several saves from keeper Masetti. The Roma keeper probably had a point to prove as he had previously been rejected by the Biancocelesti.


The opening goal finally came after 34 minutes, rewarding Lazio's dominance. A high corner from Carlo Cevenini was punched away by Masetti but only as far as Foni who volleyed it into the net from about 6 metres out.


Roma's reaction was tame even after falling behind and they never really threatened to equalise. They did however have prodigious goal scorer Volk in their line-up and with 15 minutes left he beat keeper Ezio Sclavi with a powerful free-kick.


The game ended up 1-1 and Lazio were left with the conviction they had been the better team. They had deserved the 2 points but came away from Testaccio with the consolation of having taken their first historic point from the wolves' Testaccio den.


Who played for Roma


Masetti, Ferraris IV, Bodini II, Degni, Bernardini, Bossi, Costantino, Fasanelli, Volk, Lombardo, Chini Luduena

Manager: Burgess.


Who played for Lazio


Sclavi, Tognotti, Mattei II, Pardini, Furlani, Caimmi, Ziroli, Foni, Pastore, Malatesta, Cevenini V.

Manager: Molnar


Referee: Caironi


Goals: 34' Foni, 75 'Volk



What happened next


Lazio's good form continued for a short while and two weeks later they defeated eventual champions Juventus 2-1 but they then started to struggle. Between early January and early May they lost 9 out of 13 matches. They did pick up towards the end of the season drawing the derby (2-2) and winning 5 of their last 8 games but had to settle for an 8th place finish. It was an improvement on the previous season but still a bit disappointing especially considering how well they had started.


Roma continued to have a competitive season and even beat Juventus 5-0 at Testaccio but eventually had to settle for 2nd place, 4 points behind the “Zebras” from Turin. Their striker Rodolfo Volk continued to score and would end up with 28 league goals.


Lazio 1930-31

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

34

15

5

14

45

Top Five Appearances

Players

Serie A

Mattei II

34

Sclavi

33

Pardini

32

Tognotti

32

Pastore

29

Top Five Goal Scorers

Players

Serie A

Pastore

13

Malatesta

6

Fantoni

6

Cevenini V

5

Spivach

4

Let's talk about Ezio Sclavi


Source Wikipedia

Ezio Sclavi was born in Montu' Beccaria (Pavia, Lombardy), on March 23, 1902.


He started his football at local club Stradellina. In 1923 he was sent to Rome to carry out his compulsory military service and was fortuitously signed up by Lazio. Legend has it that Sclavi was helping set up the infrastructure for the scudetto final between Lazio and Genoa and was noticed by talent scouts while playing a game. Anyway he signed for Lazio despite never having played at top level before.


In his first spell at Lazio (1923-1925) he played 32 times.


In 1925 he joined Juventus but had difficulty establishing himself as first choice keeper and was even sometimes played outfield as a midfielder. Juventus won the league that year and offered him a new contract but as a midfielder so he decided to return to Lazio. In Rome he quickly reclaimed the number one jersey and played with Lazio until 1934.


He is remembered as a real character and a tough nut. In a game against Alessandria in 1931 he fainted after a collision with an opponent and was carried off, he soon insisted to come back on only to be forced off again with a face injury that needed several stitches, but once again Sclavi reappeared between the posts, this time so heavily bandaged that the press at the time likened him to a mummy. His courage was greatly admired and appreciated especially as Lazio went on to win the game. He definitely belonged to another era, on one occasion he even challenged a journalist to a duel after some criticism, the two did later become friends.


In the 1933-34 season he twice underwent meniscus operations and lost his place to Giacomo Blason. He then played briefly for Messina in serie B but he claimed without Lazio he was lost. His disappointment at finishing at Lazio and the fact that a close Jewish friend had to escape abroad due to the racial laws led Sclavi to a drastic decision, he left for Ethiopia as a volunteer. In Africa he set up a rubbish disposal company and continued to be involved with football as player/coach (this time as centre-forward) and won 3 consecutive league titles. All this was interrupted in 1941 when he was imprisoned in a concentration camp by the British. He was held captive for 6 years and finally returned to Italy in 1947 penniless.


He settled in Liguria where he had a sister and returned to his two passions; football and painting. In his playing days in Rome he had started frequenting the artistic circles and mingled with intellectuals and writers such as Alberto Moravia and Elsa Morante. He had also started painting and realized he had a genuine talent. In 1933 he had his first exhibition which had received positive reactions. On his return from Africa he thus took up painting again and established himself as a much admired artist.


In his playing career in two different spells Ezio Sclavi played a total of 255 times for Lazio. He also earned 3 caps for Italy, he probably deserved more but was penalised for not playing for the more 'influential' Northern clubs.


Sclavi was no giant physically, he was 1.77 metres tall but what he lacked in height he made up for in courage. He was agile and quick and despite his height was good in the air on high crosses and corners. At Lazio he was one of the more popular players of the period. A real character as the story of his life shows and a player who as they say in Italy “dava tutto per la maglia” (gave everything he had for the jersey). A man and player no-one can forget and even the younger generations have heard of the legendary “portiere-artista” (the artist-goalkeeper). It is said about many people's lives that they could write a book about it, and this is certainly true in Ezio Sclavi's case, and in fact they have.


Lazio Career

Season

Total

National Championship

First Division

National Division

Serie A

Coppa Coni

1923-24

17

17

-

-

-

1924-25

15

15

-

-

-

1926-27

23

-

23

-

-

1927-28

18

-

-

16

-

2

1928-29

29

-

-

29

-

-

1929-30

31

-

-

-

31

-

1930-31

33

-

-

-

33

-

1931-32

32

-

-

-

32

-

1932-33

31

-

-

-

31

-

1933-34

26

-

-

-

26

-

Total

255

32

23

45

153

1


Sources


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