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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

February 1, 1976: Lazio Como 3-2

Lazio give themselves hope


Lazio come from behind to beat Como in crucial relegation clash




Source Lazio Wiki

The season so far


The previous season Lazio had failed to defend their title but had finished an honourable 4th. More disappointing, was not being able to represent Italy in the European Cup, due to a one-year ban after the previous year's Lazio vs Ipswich incidents (pitch invasion, brawls etc). Another problem was Tommaso Maestrelli's health issues which caused him to miss the last five games, replaced of course by Bob Lovati.

 

There had not been many new signings to the squad this year. The main entries were defender Paolo Ammoniaci (Cesena) and midfielder Antonio "Totò" Lopez (Pescara). Sadly, some Scudetto winners and fan favourites were leaving; Mario Frustalupi "The Wolf Thrasher" (Cesena), local lad Giancarlo Oddi (Cesena), Franco "Bombardino” Nanni (Bologna) and Paolo Franzoni (Avellino).

 

This season Lazio had started with Giulio Corsini on the bench. Corsini had problems with the "old guard" and especially Giorgio Chinaglia, so the climate was not ideal. Things in the league had not gone great and after 7 matches Lazio had lost 3, drawn 3 (including Roma 1-1) and won only 1 (first game away to Sampdoria with a goal by Bruno Giordano on his debut). Then Tommaso Maestrelli returned, seemingly having resolved his health problems. Things however did not improve and Lazio lost the next match at home to Napoli and drew 2-2 away at Verona after being two nil up. Then Lazio beat Cagliari 3-0 but then drew 2-2 at home with Cesena and lost the next three (Torino 1-2 away, Fiorentina 1-2 at home and Milan 0-3 away).

 

Lazio were currently in 14th position (out of 16), on 9 points. The Biancocelesti desperately needed a win today.

 

In Coppa Italia, Lazio had qualified for the second group stage to be played in May/June. The Biancocelesti had won two (Varese 1-0and Avellino 2-0, at home) and drawn two (Ascoli and Brescia both 0-0 away).

 

In the UEFA Cup Lazio had got through the first round beating Černomorec (Ukraine) 3-1 on aggregate. Then someone at Lazio had obviously been missing during history lessons and in the round of 64 Lazio refused to play against Barcelona in protest against the Franco regime. Lazio were punished by UEFA with a 0-3 defeat and then made to play the return leg which they lost 0-4. A shambles.

 

Como were newly promoted. The previous season, under manager Giuseppe Marchioro, the Comaschi had finished 2nd behind Perugia and won promotion.

 

This year the Lariani had started with Beniamino Cancian but he had been replaced by Osvaldo Bagnoli after 12 matches. Como had a few new players this season: midfielder Pasquale Iachini (Giulianova), Fortunato Torrisi (Siracusa), forward Renzo Rossi (Inter), young Paolo Rossi (Juventus-on loan) and Oliviero Garlini. So, three future Lazio players (Torrisi, R. Rossi and Garlini).

 

The main players leaving were: midfielders Adriano Lombardi (Avellino) and Marco Tardelli (Juventus) plus forwards Giuseppe Gavardi (Lecco) and Nerio Ulivieri (Brindisi).

 

So far Como were struggling. They were in 15th position, on 7 points, two behind Lazio. The Lariani had won 1 (Inter 3-0 at home), drawn 5 (including Roma 0-0 and Juventus 2-2, both at home) and lost 8.

 

This was clearly an absolutely crucial game for both sides today. It was not decisive as it was only early February but the result would say a lot about the two teams' chances of survival.

 

The match: Sunday, February 1, 1976, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


A grey, showery day saw about 25,000 gather at the Olimpico.

 

Maestrelli relied on the "old guard" for this vital game and played nine Italian champions from 1974.

 

The field was slightly heavy but playable. Lazio started out on the attack but Como responded with attacks of their own.

 

In the 14th minute Lazio took the lead. Gigi Martini charged down the right and crossed low to Renzo Garlaschelli who was agile and quick to anticipate defender Roberto Melgrati and score. Lazio 1 Como 0.

 

Lazio could hardly enjoy their goal that Como equalised. In the 16th minute Alessandro Scanziani crossed into a crowded area, no-one got a touch and it reached Pino Wilson who, in an attempt to pass it to keeper Felice Pulici, put it in his own net. An unfortunate goal but Lazio 1 Como 1.

 

Lazio did not react well to the set back and had difficulty creating any clear-cut chances before halftime. Lazio 1 Como 1.

 

A predictably tense and tight first period. Lazio thought they had cracked it but were let down by an unlucky and rare mistake by their captain.

 

The second half started slowly until the Olimpico was stunned by Como's second goal. In the 56th minute Pasquale Iachini won a challenge with Roberto Badiani and crossed to Renzo Rossi who headed past Pulici. Lazio 1 Como 2. The crowd were under shock and staring Serie B in the face.

 

This time luckily Lazio stirred and fought back. In the 63rd minute a move started by Gigi Martini and Totò Lopez reached Giorgio Chinaglia in the area, "Long John" was surrounded but managed to touch the ball to Garlaschelli who poked it past Antonio Rigamonti. Lazio 2 Como 2.

 

Maestrelli then took off a subdued Vincenzo D'Amico and threw on Giovanni Carlo Ferrari who was also celebrating his birthday. The tactical move worked and in the 65th minute the birthday boy scored. Martini crossed from the right and a Silvano Fontolan header flicked the ball backwards to Ferrari who then volleyed it into the top hand corner. Lazio 3 Como 2. A surprising turn around in two minutes.

 

Lazio now closed ranks and defended stoically,, helped by the fans who understood the importance of the two points against direct rivals, a four pointer as they say.

 

Lazio ultimately defended well and clinched the crucial win. A moral boosting win and a desperately needed two points. On today's performance however, it would be a long and tough battle to stay up.

 

Lazio moved up to 12th, on 11 points (with Verona and Sampdoria), Como stayed rooted on 7 while Cagliari were on 6. Next up Lazio vs Sampdoria.

 

Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Moriggi, Ammoniaci

Manager: Maestrelli

 

Who played for Como


Rigamonti, Melgrati, Bodini, Garbarini, Fontolan, Guidetti, R. Rossi, Correnti, Scanziani, Pozzato, Iachini

Substitutes: Tortora, Martinelli, Roda

Manager: Bagnoli

 

Referee: Bergamo


Goals: 14' Garlaschelli, 16' Wilson (og), 56' R. Rossi, 63' Garlaschelli, 65' Ferrari




What happened next


Lazio drew the next game 1-1 at home to Sampdoria and continued to struggle all season. In April charismatic leader Giorgio Chinaglia left to play for New York Cosmos. From February, Lazio then won only two more before the penultimate game against Milan. The Biancocelesti were in deep trouble but thrashed the "Diavolo" 4-0 to give themselves some hope. The table read Cagliari 17 (relegated), Como 20 (relegated), Ascoli 22, Lazio 22, Sampdoria 22, Verona 23. Four teams for one last relegation place.

 

So, it was all down to the last match of the season. 5,000 Lazio fans travelled up to Como near the Swiss border to cheer on the Biancocelesti. Among them were my Roman neighbours who I, as a young boy, was very impressed seeing driving off with flags flying from the windows.

 

The match did not start well, to put it mildly. Lazio were 2-0 down after 17 minutes but luckily Giordano pulled one back almost immediately, in the 20th minute. Another serious worry, for once, came from the news that Roma were losing 1-0 at home to Ascoli. Halftime table for the third relegation slot; Lazio 22, Verona 23, Ascoli 24, Sampdoria 24. At the moment Lazio were down.

 

In the second half Lazio equalised in the 53rd minute with Badiani.  A Re Cecconi pass put Badiani through on the left side of the area and with the outside of his foot he put the ball under the crossbar. 2-2, better and Lazio momentarily safe as Verona were losing 2-0 in Florence.

 

Lazio continued to push forward as they were still at risk but squandered chances with Re Cecconi and Giordano. Meanwhile by the 60th minute Verona had pulled two goals back and levelled against Fiorentina but then in the same moment came the news that Roma too had equalised against Ascoli. Never have Lazio fans celebrated a Roma goal as much.

 

The results stayed the same and Lazio were safe on goal difference. What a few months ago seemed impossible had materialised, Lazio had survived. The fans invaded the pitch in Como and hoisted Maestrelli up triumphantly. It was Ascoli who joined Como and Cagliari on the dreaded road to B-land.

 

Meanwhile in Rome I eagerly awaited my neighbours equally triumphant return from their long but well worthwhile drive in defence of the promised land, Serie A!!

 

Lazio’s top scorer was Chinaglia with 11 (8 in A) while young Bruno Giordano got 6 (5 in A). Both derbies ended in draws.

 

In Coppa Italia, Lazio went out in the second group phase after 3 wins (Inter and Genoa, both 1-0 at home and Genoa 3-0 away), 1 draw (Verona 0-0 at home) and 2 defeats (Verona 0-3 and Inter 2-3 both away).

 

Como as mentioned got relegated. A week later they lost 0-1 at home to Napoli and then won 4, drew 6 (including Juventus 1-1 away and Milan 2-2 away) and lost 4 but it was not enough. The top scorer was Scanziani with 6 goals.

 

The Scudetto was won by Torino for their 7th title, 27 years after the Superga tragedy. A well-deserved title too under manager Gigi Radice and players such as Luciano Castellini, Renato Zaccarelli, Claudio Sala, Eraldo Pecci, Francesco Graziani and top scorer Paolo Pulici.


Lazio 1975-76

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

30

6

11

13

35

Coppa Italia

10

5

3

2

10

UEFA Cup

4

1

-

3

3

Total

44

12

14

18

48

Top five appearances

Players

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Badiani

43

30

10

3

Pulici

42

30

9

3

Wilson

40

28

10

2

Ammoniaci

36

25

9

2

Garlaschelli

36

29

5

2

Top five goal scorers

Players

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Chinaglia

11

8

-

3

Garlaschelli

9

7

2

-

D'Amico

6

4

2

-

Giordano

6

5

1

-

Re Cecconi

3

1

2

-

Let's talk about Giovanni Carlo Ferrari


Source Lazio Wiki

Giovanni Carlo Ferrari was born in Arcene (Bergamo), on February 1, 1949.

 

As a football player he was formed in the Monza youth sector. He was then in the first team squad in Serie C1 in 1966-67 but never made his debut. For the record the Brianzoli were promoted under Gigi Radice.

 

In 1967-68 Ferrari joined Nocerina in Serie D. He played 12 league games with 4 goals and the Rossoneri finished 3rd.

 

In 1968 he moved to Seregno, near Monza, in Serie D. The "Spartani" were promoted and then finished 13th. and 11th. Ferrari played 105 league games with 35 goals.

 

In 1971 he joined Rovereto in Serie C. He only played 8 league with 1 goal for the Zebrette who eventually finished 15th and left for Apulia.

 

In 1971-72 he was with Brindisi in Serie C1. The Messapici won promotion, in 1st place, under manager Luís Vinicio. Ferrari played 29 league games with 11 goals.

 

In 1972-73 he moved slightly further south to Lecce in Serie C1. He stayed two years and the Salentini finished 2nd twice. His managers were Giuseppe Corradi and former Lazio, Maino Neri (1966-67) in the first season and Roma legend Giacomo Losi in the second. Ferrari did well, playing 63 league games and scoring 36 goals. One of his teammates was, future Lazio manager, Giuseppe Materazzi (1988-90)

 

In 1974-75 he spent a season at Avellino in Serie B. The Irpini finished 16th under three different managers: Antonio Gianmarinaro (1-24), Elio Grappone (25-30), Oronzo Pugliese (31-34) and Gianmarinaro again (35-38). Ferrari played 35 league games with 8 goals. His teammates included former Lazio Mario Facco (1968-74).

 

In 1975-76 he joined Lazio in Serie A. The manager was first Guido Corsini and then Tommaso Maestrelli returned despite his ailing health. It was a difficult year and Lazio only avoided relegation on the last game of the season. Charismatic leader Giorgio "Long John" Chinaglia had left for New York Cosmos in April. Ferrari played 6 league games with 1 goal (winner against Como in vital win), 7 in Coppa Italia and 3 in Coppa UEFA. He made his league debut in a home game against Bologna on November 2, 1976. He played little in the league due to the rise of young local talent Bruno Giordano.

 

The following year Ferrari joined Cagliari in Serie B. The Rossoblu had Lauro Toneatto as manager and finished 4th (missed out on promotion in 3-team playoff). Ferrari played 15 league games with 5 goals (Catania, Brescia, Modena, Varese, Ascoli) plus 1 game in the playoffs. He faced stern competition in attack from Pietro Paolo Virdis and Luigi Piras.

 

In 1977-78 he joined Pistoiese for a season in Serie B. The Arancioni finished 16th, first under Bruno Bolchi (1-11) and then Enzo Riccomini. Ferrari had a good season however playing 27 league games and scoring 13 goals. His teammates included former Lazio legend Mario Frustalupi (1972-75), Stefano Di Chiara (1973-76) plus a young Giuseppe Dossena (Scudetto with Sampdoria 1991) and Sergio Brio (4 titles with Juventus).

 

In 1978-79 Ferrari moved to the Adriatic Sea to Pescara in Serie B. The "Delfini" were promoted in 3rd place under manager Antonio Angelillo. Ferrari played 25 league games and scored 6 goals (Cagliari, Lecce, Genoa, Sampdoria, Pistoiese, Brescia) plus 3 games in Coppa Italia with 1 goal (Avellino). He therefore scored against four of his former clubs. One of his teammates was future Lazio Vincenzo Zucchini (1979-80).

 

In 1979-80 he played for Monza in Serie B. The Brianzoli finished 5th under Alfredo Magni. Ferrari played 24 league games and scored 5 goals (Matera x2, Ternana, Como, Vicenza). One of his teammates was future Lazio Paolo Monelli (1987-88) plus Daniele Massaro (4 scudetti with Milan).

 

In 1980-81 he stayed in Brianza under three different managers: Sergio Carpanesi (1-10), Lamberto Giorgis (11-30) and Franco Fontana (31-38). The Biancorossi ended up relegated in 20th position. Ferrari played 23 league games with 3 goals (Palermo, Varese, Foggia) plus 1 game in Coppa Italia. One of his teammates was future Lazio Antonio Elia Acerbis (1986-89). The two games against Lazio finished 2-2 in Monza and 2-0 to Lazio in Rome.

 

In 1981-82 he joined Salernitana in Serie C1. He stayed two seasons but only played 11 league games with 2 goals. The Granata finished 4th and 7th. The Ippocampi got through five managers: Antonio Gianmarinaro, Luigi Gigante and Romano Mattė the first year and Francisco Lojacono and Marino Perani in the second. One of his teammates was again Vincenzo Zucchini.

 

His last club was then Brembillese, near Bergamo, in 1983-84, in C2. The Biancazzurri were relegated and Ferrari played 27 league games with 6 goals.

 

At 35 Ferrari then retired.

 

Ferrari was a forward. He had a decent career but not at top level. He played 146 games in Serie B with 40 goals and 111 in C1 with 50 goals. He won three promotions: one to C2 with Seregno, one to Serie B with Brindisi and one to Serie A with Lecce.  In Serie A he only played 6 games with Lazio but played alongside legends such as Pulici, Wilson, Re Cecconi, Garlaschelli, D'Amico and Chinaglia and also played in Europe.

 

At Lazio he had two things against him. One was he was chosen by Guido Corsini who was then sacked and the second was the explosion of young talent Bruno Giordano. Without these two factors his stay in Rome and his career may have turned out differently.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

1975-76

16 (1)

6 (1)

7

3

Source






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