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  • Writer's pictureLazio Stories

February 18, 1979: Lazio Fiorentina 4-0

Updated: Feb 18

Spectacular


Best Lazio of the season so far annihilate Fiorentina




Source Lazio Wiki

The season so far


The summer transfer window had seen Lazio very cautious. Not much money was available so Lazio did not do much. Lionello Manfredonia and Andrea Agostinelli refused to leave as did Vincenzo D’Amico. The three players chosen by previous manager Luis Vinicio, Luigi Boccolini, Claudio Garella and Sergio Clerici, changed jerseys. In goal it looked like scudetto hero Felice Pulici was going to come back but the deal fell through. Lazio’s new goalkeeper would be Massimo Cacciatori. New arrivals included Aldo Nicoli and Aldo Cantarutti plus Nando Viola who returned from a loan spell at Bologna.


In Coppa Italia Lazio topped their Group and reached the quarterfinals after beating Vicenza at home in a decisive match. The Serie A campaign began quite well with a draw against champions Juventus and a win away from home at Avellino. At the end of the first half of the season Lazio were sixth with a UEFA Cup qualification still very possible. But they were not playing well. Before the game against Fiorentina, Lazio had not won at home for two months. A win, and a convincing one too, was needed.


The match: Sunday, February 18, 1979, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


Ticket owned by Dag Jenkins, photo by Dag Jenkins

Before the game, Manager Bob Lovati was undecided what type of squad to play with. A more robust one or a more technical one? He got 15 players to warm up before the match and then decided. The more technical squad was chosen.


The first half, however, was not all that great. Bruno Giordano had a chance in the 12th minute but Pietro Carmignani saved. Nando Viola and D’Amico also had their chances but the former wasted his and the latter had his shot saved again by the Fiorentina goalkeeper. The only thing that the Viola managed to do was a shot by Giancarlo Galdiolo well saved by Cacciatori.


The game was pretty boring and nobody expected what was about to happen in the second half.


Lazio changed gear and in the 46th minute a great pass from D’Amico to Giordano, who saw his lob over the goalkeeper clipped over the bar by Carmignani. In the 55th, Agostinelli crossed from the left and Giordano in the middle of the box back headed the ball into the net. 1-0 for Lazio.


Five minutes later, Ciccio Cordova found D’Amico on the left whose back heel volley allowed Viola to win possession. He dribbled a player and sent the ball to the other side for Nicoli. The Lazio player stopped the ball, looked up, and sent a magnificent cross into the box for Giordano who with a perfect header made it 2-0.


Two goals for Giordano scored uncharacteristically with headers which were certainly not his forte.


At this point Fiorentina disappeared and Lazio took full control thanks to the technical players Viola, Cordova and D’Amico. In the 70th minute, Viola to Nicoli , to Giordano , to Cantarutti who passed it to Agostinelli. His shot was deflected into the goal by Fiorentina defender Roberto Galbiati.


In the 83rd minute, D’Amico won back the ball, passed it to Giordano who passed it back and Vincenzino had no problem in making it 4-0.


In the 88th minute glory also for Cacciatori’s deputy, Bruno Fantini, who came on for his debut in Serie A. It would be Fantini’s only appearance for the Biancocelesti.


Great match, wonderful Lazio.


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: De Stefanis

Manager: Lovati


Who played for Fiorentina


Carmignani, Lelj, Tendi, Galbiati, Galdiolo, Orlandini, Restelli, Di Gennaro, Sella, Antognoni, Pagliari.

Substitutes : Paradisi, Marchi, Amenta.

Manager: Carosi.


Referee: Barbaresco


Goals: 55’ Giordano, 60’ Giordano, 70’ Galbiati (og), 83’ D’Amico



What happened next


At the end of the season Lazio finished 8th, better than the previous, but not all that great. Just two points in the last five games meant that a UEFA Cup qualification became impossible, which was a pity, since Napoli, who came 6th, were only three points away. In Coppa Italia they lost the quarterfinal against Palermo after a penalty shootout.


At least they beat Roma. The win against the Giallorossi would be the last one until January 15 1989.


Giordano was top scorer in Serie A with 19 goals (21 for the whole season) and, together with Cacciatori, the player with most appearances (36).


Lazio 1978-79

Competition

Played

Won

Lost

Drawn

Goals scored

Serie A

30

9

11

10

35

Coppa Italia

6

2

4

-

3

Total

36

11

15

10

38

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Cacciatori

36

30

6

Giordano

36

30

6

Cordova

34

28

6

Manfredonia

34

28

6

Wilson

33

29

4

Top goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Giordano

21

19

2

5

5

-

Wilson

2

2

-

D'Amico

2

2

-


Let's talk about Bruno Giordano


Bruno Giordano, a Lazio Legend.


Giordano was born in Rome on 13 August, 1956. He was born in the famous “Vicolo del Piede” in the historic district of Trastevere. He was known as “Il bomber di Trastevere“ all his career.


He joined Lazio as a teenager and was part of a highly talented youth sector. The Lazio Primavera with manager Paolo Carosi won the scudetto in 1975-76. In his squad he had the creme de la creme of Lazio youth: Bruno Giordano, Lionello Manfredonia, Andrea Agostinelli, Maurizio Montesi and Massimo De Santis.


He made his official club debut on 5 October 1975, when he came on as a substitute and scored the winner away at Sampdoria, latching on to a pass by Giorgio Chinaglia, his boyhood idol. He then became Lazio's number 9 when “Long John” left for New York Cosmos in 1976. Giordano became one of the best players of his generation and was top Serie A goal scorer in 1979 with 19 goals.


In 1980 however his career suffered a dramatic setback. He was accused, along with childhood friend and teammate Lionello Manfredonia, goalkeeper Massimo Cacciatori and Captain Giuseppe Wilson, of being involved in the “Totonero” match fixing scandal. The punishment was first an 18 month ban then increased on appeal to three-and-a-half years. Lazio as a club were also penalized for their players' alleged involvement and were relegated to Serie B.


Giordano has always proclaimed his innocence. “I had nothing to do with it. The ban was a blatant injustice, a ban based on no proof and none of the accusers mentioned my name”. The criminal judgement a year later gave a verdict of not guilty to all the players.


After Italy's World Cup triumph in 1982, two years were taken off all the bans, so Giordano and Manfredonia could start playing again.


When Giordano returned for the 1982-83 season Lazio were still languishing in the second division. He took up where he left off however and helped Lazio back into the big time with 18 goals.


The following season saw him experience another blow, breaking his leg at an away match at Ascoli. He was out for much of the second half of the season but did manage to return in time to help Lazio avoid relegation. A fate not even he could prevent a year later when, after a dismal season, Lazio were relegated. Giordano played a total of 260 games for his beloved home team (165 in Serie A, 38 in Serie B, 43 in Coppa Italia, 8 in the UEFA Cup and 6 in the Intertoto Cup) and scored 116 times (68 in Serie A, 18 in Serie B, 18 in Coppa Italia, 4 in the UEFA Cup and 8 in the Intertoto Cup).


In 1985 he moved to Napoli where he spent three highly successful years. He won a “scudetto” and a Coppa Italia in 1987 and was part of the formidable MA-GI-CA trio alongside Diego Armando Maradona and Careca and later Andrea Carnevale. He played 109 games for Napoli scoring 37 goals and setting up countless others.


His playing career continued at Ascoli, Bologna and again Ascoli before retiring in 1992.


He played 13 times for Italy, probably too few for a player of his calibre and class. His chances were hampered by the betting scandal and by the emergence of the less talented but incredible goal scoring machine, Paolo Rossi.


After his playing days he coached a myriad of club teams mainly between Serie B and C but never with the success he enjoyed as a player.


Giordano was a strong, yet skilful centre forward. He was a classy, technical attacker with a powerful finish. He was an all rounder, he could dribble, had pace, strength and could set up goals as well as score them. The great Argentine Maradona described Giordano as the best Italian he had ever played with and also said he was the most South American of them.


He was certainly an idol for generations of Lazio fans growing up in the late 70's - early 80's and “Bruno –gol” is undoubtedly up there with the club's all time greats and was definitely one of the most talented.


Giordano is still a Lazio fan and can regularly be heard discussing his beloved home team in the local press, media and radio stations.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Serie B

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Intertoto Cup

1975-76

27 (7)

14 (5)

-

9 (1)

4 (1)

1976-77

30 (13)

26 (10)

-

4 (3)

-

-

1977-78

42 (27)

29 (12)

-

3 (3)

4 (4)

6 (8)

1978-79

36 (21)

30 (19)

-

6 (2)

-

-

1979-80

29 (12)

23 (9)

-

6 (3)

-

-

1982-83

43 (21)

-

38 (18)

5 (3)

-

-

1983-84

23 (8)

18 (8)

-

5

-

-

1984-85

30 (8)

25 (5)

-

5 (3)

-

-

Total

260 (117)

165 (68)

38 (18)

43 (18)

8 (5)

6 (8)

Sources


Giancarlo Governi. Bruno GIordano - Una vita sulle montagne russe. Fazi Editore, 2017



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