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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

February 1, 1959: Sampdoria Lazio 1-2

Updated: Feb 1

After 5 consecutive defeats Lazio make comeback for shock win


One zero down after twenty minutes against superior opposition, Lazio stage surprising turn around





Source Lazio Wiki

The season so far


Lazio had arrived 12th the previous season and only narrowly avoided relegation. They had gone through three different managers in the process.


This season they had kept the last manager on, Fulvio Bernardini. They had won their first historic silverware, the Coppa Italia. The tournament was the first since the war and had been played between June 7 and November 4. In the final in Rome, Lazio defeated Fiorentina 1-0, with a goal by Maurilio Prini, to lift their first ever trophy after 58 years of trying.


There had however been a major change to the Lazio squad. It was more a trauma, as Swedish idol Arne Selmosson, (nicknamed "Raggio di Luna", moonbeam, for the pallor of his skin) after 3 highly successful seasons and 31 goals in 101 games for Lazio, had done the unmentionable; he had swapped “sides of the Tiber” and signed for bitter rivals Roma.


It was a major event in Rome and some people were even said to have changed teams siding with the Giallorossi just so they could continue following the Swede (such as former Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema, just to name one). Until 2018 he was the only player to have scored for both Lazio and Roma in derbies (since emulated by Aleksander Kolarov and Pedro). So Lazio had started the season "Selmossonless".


This was the main talking point but there had been other changes too. Lazio had added goalkeeper Idilio Cei (Foligno), defender Franco Janich (Atalanta), midfielder Carlo Tagnin (Alessandria), forwards Maurilio Prini (Fiorentina) and Claudio Bizzarri (Fiorentina).


Other players leaving apart from "Raggio di Luna" were midfielder Luigi Fuin (Juventus) and forwards Ermes Muccinelli (Juventus) and Pasquale Vivolo (Genoa).


In the league Lazio got off to a reasonable start and in the first 12 matches won 5, drew 4 and lost 3 (including the derby). Then things took a turn for the worse and Lazio had lost the last five matches (including 5-0 against Milan and 6-1 against Juventus). Lazio currently had 14 points and were struggling.


Today's opposition Sampdoria were an on form side and there was not much optimism traveling up to Liguria.


Sampdoria the previous season had finished 13th, just behind Lazio, first under English manager William Dodgin and then, from February 19, Adolfo Baloncieri. Their top scorer had been Eddie Firmani with an impressive 23 league goals.


This season the South-African striker Firmani had left for Inter and Sampdoria also had a new manager, Eraldo Monzeglio. The Blucerchiati were doing better this year. Despite losing on the opening day of the season to Lazio (1-0) they had since won 8 (including derby), drawn 5 and lost 3. They were on 21 points and in a healthy league position.


Sampdoria were clear favourites for today's game in the "city of the lantern".


The match: Sunday, February 1, 1959, Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa


Lazio had not won a game since December 23. Sampdoria were on form but missing some key players; Guido Vincenzi, Mario Bergamaschi and Bruno Mora.


The day in Genoa was grey and showery and the pitch slightly slippery. There was a crowd of 15,000 at the Ferraris.


Sampdoria, today playing in red, came out attacking. After six minutes they had their first goal scoring opportunity when a Giuseppe Recagno cross was headed towards goal but well saved by Idilio Cei. The goal, however, came fifteen minutes later. A free kick was awarded to the home team at the edge of the box for a foul by Franco Janich on Aurelio Milani; Tito Cucchiaroni took it and due to the badly positioned wall and goalkeeper's inexperience the ball went in. Sampdoria 1 Lazio 0.


The Blucerchiati almost doubled their lead at least twice, first with Azeglio Vicini in the 21st minute and then Austrian Ernest Ocwirk in the 31st. In the 42nd minute, and completely out of the blue, Lazio equalised. A perfect through ball by Ugo Pozzan reached Humberto Tozzi who got past Azeglio Vicini and as the keeper was coming out beat him with a delicate chipped shot. Against the run of play but Sampdoria 1 Lazio 1.


In the second half Sampdoria almost immediately took back the lead after Cei had fumbled the ball but Nicola Lo Buono saved the day. Constant pressure by Sampdoria produced several goal line scrambles and it looked as if they would score any minute. Instead, in the 59th minute, it was Lazio who scored. Claudio Bizzarri found Tozzi who, with his back to the goal, turned swiftly and sent a powerful shot that came off the crossbar and Renzo Burini was there for the rebound to put Lazio in front. Sampdoria 1 Lazio 2.


Sampdoria at this point went for all out attack. The Lazio area was put under siege but Carlo Tagnin, Janich, Giovanni Molino and Prini held firm protecting the shaky keeper Cei.


From the 75th minute on, Lazio started having some space on the break. They had some dangerous counter attacks and almost scored twice; Tozzi first forced Ezio Bardelli into making a difficult save in the 80th minute and then hit the outside of the post one minute from time.


So, full time, Sampdoria 1 Lazio 2. A shock away win for Lazio whose defence had been solid, apart from Cei, and Tozzi had come to life in a few decisive moments.


Who played for Sampdoria


Bardelli, Marocchi, Sarti, Delfino, Bernasconi, Vicini, Bolzoni, Ocwirk, Milani, Recagno, Cucchiaroni

Manager: Monzeglio


Who played for Lazio


Manager: Bernardini


Referee: Famulari


Goals: 21' Cucchiaroni, 42' Tozzi, 59' Burini


What happened next


A week later Lazio lost 1-0 at home to Vicenza. They finished 11th after 10 wins, 10 draws and 14 defeats, on 30 points. Their best result over the rest of the season was beating Juventus 1-0 at home. Lazio's top scorer was Humberto Tozzi with 26 goals (14 in the league).


Sampdoria won their next match 2-1 away at Torino. The Blucerchiati had a positive season and finished 5th. They won 15, drew 8 and lost 11 giving them 38 points. Their top scorer was Milani with 13 league goals.


The Serie A title was won by Milan while Talmone Torino and Triestina slumped down to Serie B.


Lazio 1958-59

Competition

Games

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals Scored

Serie A

34

10

10

14

37

Coppa Italia 1958 (final phase)

3

3

0

0

5

Coppa Italia 1958-59

2

1

0

1

3

Total

39

14

10

15

45

Top Five Appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia 1958 (final phase)

Coppa Italia 1958-59

Tozzi

37

33

3

1

Carradori

36

32

3

1

Janich

36

32

3

1

Lo Buono

34

30

3

1

Tagnin

33

29

3

1

Top Five Goal Scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia 1958 (final phase)

Coppa Italia 1958-59

Tozzi

18

14

2

2

Prini

4

3

1

-

Fumagalli

4

2

2

-

Bizzarri

3

3

-

-

Carradori

3

3

-

-


Let’s talk about Renzo Burini


Source Lazio Wiki

Renzo Burini was born in Palmanova (Udine), on October 10, 1927.


He first started kicking a ball among prisoners in their yard time as his father worked as a prison guard.


In 1946-1947 he played for his local Palmanova in Serie C. In 1948 he made the big move to Milan, also helped by the promise of a job in a knitwear factory.


His debut came on January 4 1948 and he scored a brace in an 8-1 win over Bari. He played for Milan for six years playing 190 games in Serie A with 87 goals. He played alongside the "Gre-No-Li" trio of Gunnar Gren, Gunnar Nordahl and Nils Liedholm and won the Scudetto in 1950-51 (after a 44 year drought). With the Rossoneri he was an extremely prolific attacking winger.


In the 1952-53 season he broke his leg in February and the following year was sold to Lazio. At Lazio he adapted his role and became more of a midfielder.


He played six seasons for Lazio helping them to their first historic triumph, the Coppa Italia in 1958. He performed particularly well in derbies, scoring a brace in a 3-1 victory in 1955 and a goal and an assist in a 2-1 win in 1958. He played 140 league games for Lazio and scored 35 goals plus 8 in Coppa Italia with 5 goals.


In 1959 at 32 he left Rome and signed for Cesena in Serie D. They won promotion to Serie C where he would play for another two seasons. In his last season he scored the winning goal in the derby against Ravenna, allowing Cesena to avoid relegation. He made 66 appearances in Romagna scoring 13 goals.


At International level he took part in the Italy squad at the London Olympics in 1948 but never played. He made his full Italian debut in 1951 against Portugal and scored in a 4-1 victory. He earned three more caps (Jugoslavia, Switzerland and West Germany).


After retiring he worked as a coach. First at Cesena for a couple of years in the youth sector then as head coach at Forli for a year. He then had experiences as coach but mainly as assistant at Pro Patria, Monza, Pro Patria again and finally Omegna (Verbania).


Burini was an exceptionally quick player especially in the first part of his career. He started off as an attacking winger with the ability to set up but also to score lots of goals. He later became more of a midfielder but never lost his eye for goal.


In 2017, on his 90th birthday, Milan honoured him with a special ceremony in the stadium, handing him a number 7 shirt with his name (it was given by Daniele Massaro who Burini had nurtured in the Monza youth sector).


At Lazio he is also remembered fondly as a great player over six years with plenty of goals, especially the three in the local derbies. Burini too kept Lazio in his heart and would often turn up at the Lazio fans club meetings in Milan where he lived.


Renzo Burini died in Milan at the age of 92 in 2019.


Appearances and goals for Lazio

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

1953-54

32 (6)

32 (6)

-

1954-55

31 (8)

31 (8)

-

1955-56

30 (7)

30 (7)

-

1956-57

18 (5)

18 (5)

-

1957-58

26 (12)

20 (7)

6 (5)

1958-59

11 (2)

9 (2)

2

Total

148 (40)

140 (35)

8 (5)

Sources


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