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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

February 6, 1994: Inter Lazio 1-2

Updated: Apr 6

From hell to heaven in three minutes


Lazio went from one down to 2-1 up in three minutes as Signori and Di Matteo turned the game around in the dying moments



The season so far


For the first time in 16 years Lazio were finally to play in a European tournament, since they had qualified for the UEFA Cup in the previous season. In order to celebrate the occasion, President Sergio Cragnotti was particularly during the summer transfer window: in came Luca Marchegiani, Roberto Di Matteo and Paolo Negro. But more specifically, Cragnotti was able to reach an agreement for the purchase of the best player in Europe: Alen Boksic. Unfortunately, the agreement was for the 1994-95 season and Marseille President Bernard Tapie did not want to let the Croat go any earlier. As a consequence, Lazio bought Pierluigi Casiraghi from Juventus. In the end, Cragnotti was a lot more convincing and Boksic arrived in the winter transfer window.


The arrival of the new players meant that some of the old ones had to go. Therefore Lazio said goodbye to Karl-Heinz Riedle, Angelo Gregucci and Valerio Fiori.


There was optimism for the start of the season. Alas, the European adventure did not last long. Lazio were eliminated by Boavista in the second round. Coppa Italia went even worse, eliminated by Avelino, a team in Serie C1.


A hesitant start in Serie A changed once Boksic started playing for the Biancocelsti. A win in Naples and 3-1 against Juventus at home, with a goal also by Paul Gascoigne, gave Lazio a good position, behind the greats but not that far. However the Christmas break broke the momentum and Lazio came back from the holidays with a draw against Sampdoria (and a Beppe Signori injury) and a 4-1 loss at Foggia. Without Signori, Lazio lost a lot of potential. They managed to beat Reggiana but then lost again at Parma.


Finally, with Signori back from injury one could see light at the end of the tunnel and Lazio played exceptionally well against Cremonese the week before this match.


Inter were not having a great season, Lazio were waking up. Time for an upset?


The match: Sunday, February 6, 1994, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan


Dino Zoff, sensing that Lazio were finally getting into the groove, went for the big three up front: Signori, Casiraghi, Boksic. But unfortunately, Casiraghi lasted only a quarter of an hour and had to be replaced by Fabrizio Di Mauro. Lazio had started well and the Inter defence had been in trouble having to face the big three, but they gained a bit of courage once Casiraghi had to go off.


In the 27th minute Inter scored. Lovely ball in the box for Ruben Sosa and the former Lazio player scored a superb acrobatic goal. Lazio had a blackout and Inter could have made it two with Dennis Bergkamp, who had two chances in the 28th and 33rd minute and especially Beppe Bergomi, who hit the woodwork with a header off a Ruben Sosa free kick in the 40th minute.


Everything changed in the second half. Inter literally stopped playing, allowing Lazio to move forward. Slowly but surely, Lazio started manoeuvring and playing a lot better and Boksic was at times unstoppable. Di Mauro hit the crossbar in the 82nd minute but instead of depressing the Biancocelesti, it gave them even more energy. With three minutes to go Sergio Battistini brought down Boksic in the box. Penalty. Signori made no mistake, 1-1.


Miracle coming? That’s what some Lazio fans were hoping for. C’mon Lazio you can do it, Inter are on their knees. Di Matteo was listening to the fans’ plea and three minutes later picked up the ball and shot from 30 meters out. The ball bounced right in front of Walter Zenga and it was 2-1 for Lazio.


A marvellous win for Lazio and a fatal loss for Inter manager Osvaldo Bagnoli who would be sacked in the evening and never manage a team again.


Who played for Inter


Zenga, Bergomi, Paganin I, Jonk, Ferri, Battistini, Orlando, Manicone, Fontolan, Bergkamp, Sosa.

Substitutes: Abate, Rossi, Bianchi, Dell'Anno, Marazzina.

Manager: Bagnoli.


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Orsi, Bergodi, Luzardi, Sclosa

Manager: Zoff


Referee: Luci


Goals: 26’ Ruben Sosa, 87’ Signori (pen), 90’ Di Matteo




What happened next


After beating Inter, Lazio also won against Roma and Napoli. Signori scored loads of goals in the second part of the season and won the trophy for most goals in Serie A.


Unfortunately Lazio lost Gascoigne. In and out due to injury for most of the season, in April Gazza broke a leg in training. Recovery would be long.


At the end of the season Lazio were third, behind Milan and Juventus. Marchegiani and Winter played the most games (40) and Signori was the top scorer with 23 goals.


As everybody imagined, Cragnotti did not confirm Zoff for 1994-95, but, in order to keep a man so deeply respected in the football world, made him President of the club. Zdenek Zeman would be the next Lazio manager.


Lazio 1993-94

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

34

17

10

7

55

Coppa Italia

2

-

1

1

-

UEFA Cup

4

3

-

1

5

Total

40

20

11

9

60

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Marchegiani

40

34

2

4

Winter

40

34

2

4

Di Matteo

35

29

2

4

Bacci

33

29

-

4

Cravero

32

29

1

2

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

UEFA Cup

Signori

23

23

-

Cravero

7

5

2

Winter

5

4

1

Casiraghi

5

4

1

Di Matteo

4

4

-

Boksic

4

4

-

Let's talk about Roberto Di Matteo


Source Wikipedia

Roberto Di Matteo was born in Sciaffusa, Switzerland, on May 29 1970. His parents were Italian immigrants. He started playing football in the local youth team and at the age of 18 was signed to FC Zurich where he played as sweeper. In 1992 he was sold to Aarau and won the Swiss National League A.


He attracted attention and since he had an Italian passport, Serie A began to take an interest in him. Lazio signed him in 1993 but Di Matteo’s expectations were low. “I thought I wouldn't play more than 25 games”, he said. He came on in the first game of the season against Foggia and never left the squad for three years.


Di Matteo was a similar player to Declan Rice. He gave order to the Lazio midfield and was a great player liked by both Zoff and Zeman. He played 115 games for Lazio (88 in Serie A, 13 in Coppa Italia and 14 in the UEFA Cup) and scored seven goals all in Serie A.


In 1996 Lazio sold him to Chelsea. He was one of the players that helped the London club start establishing themselves as one of the most important in the Premiership. In his first season he won the FA Cup (scoring one of the goals), in his second the UEFA Cup Winners Cup and the League Cup (scoring the second goal), in his third the UEFA Super Cup and in his fourth another FA Cup with him scoring the winning goal.


Unfortunately, in the 2000-01 season he suffered a triple leg fracture in a UEFA Cup match against St. Gallen and was out of action for 18 months. He tried a comeback but had to quit football in February 2002 at just 31 years of age. It was unfortunate because there was a strong possibility of him coming back to Lazio.


He played 34 games for Italy (2 goals) and was in the squad at Euro 1996 and the 1998 World Cup.


In July 2008 Di Matteo became the manager of Milton Keynes Dons in League One and helped the team get to the play-offs. They were beaten in the semi-final. In 2009 he was appointed manager for West Bromwich Albion who had just been relegated from the Premier League. In his first season the team finished second and were promoted, but he was sacked the following year after WBA had won only two games out of ten between December and January.


In 2011 he was appointed assistant to André Vilas Boas, the new Chelsea manager. The Portuguese head coach was sacked in March 2012 and Di Matteo became caretaker manager. He did so well that Chelsea won both the FA Cup as well as the Champions League. As a consequence he was confirmed as manager, but Chelsea did not live up to expectations and he was sacked in November.


In October 2014 he joined Schalke 04. The German team did well and managed to advance to the knockout phase in the Champions League (where they lost to Real Madrid after winning away 4-3). But in the last ten games of the season they only won two games and lost their place in the next Champions League. He resigned.


In June 2016 he was appointed manager of the newly relegated Aston Villa but was sacked in October.


In January 2023 he signed for Jeonbuk Hyundai in the first Korean division as assistant to coach Kim Sang-sik.


Lazio Career

Season

Total Appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

1993-94

35 (4)

29 (4)

2

4

1994-95

42 (1)

28 (1)

8

6

1995-96

38 (2)

31 (2)

3

4

Total

115 (7)

88 (7)

13

14

Sources


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