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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

February 8, 2004: Parma Lazio 0-3

Updated: Feb 8

No contest


Lazio, way too strong for this Parma, bring home the three points fairly comfortably.




Source Lazio Wiki

The season so far


Knowing Roberto Mancini, he must have been very disappointed when the Lazio management told him that there was no money for transfers. Goodbye scudetto heroes Luca Marchegiani, Giuseppe Pancaro and Diego Simeone as well as Enrico Chiesa, Dino Baggio and Lucas Castroman. Welcome Roberto Muzzi, Ousmane Dabo, Demetrio Albertini, Luciano Zauri and Matteo Sereni. Not exactly what ambitious Mancini would have wanted.


But this is what a deeply financially troubled Lazio could afford and there was nothing one could do. Impossible to extend Dejan Stankovic’s contract so he was obviously going to have to go but instead he stayed at least for the first part of the season. He was sold to Inter in January.


The season started with the Champion’s League qualifying round against Benfica. A comfortable win at home for 3-1 was money in the bank for Lazio who also won the away match.


However, the group stage was dismal despite an excellent start with a win away against Besiktas. Two home draws against Sparta Prague and the Turkish side, plus a double defeat against Chelsea meant that Lazio had to win away against the Czechs in the last match of the group stage. Despite the numerous chances, Lazio lost in injury time and were last in the group, hence no UEFA Cup consolation.


Mancini was not happy and accused the players of not putting in enough effort. The players though were not convinced of Mancini’s change from a 4-4-2 formation, which Lazio had been playing with for a long while, to a 4-3-3 squad. They felt more comfortable with the old style of play and the manager had “intense” discussions with the team.


But the real Lazio was seen in Coppa Italia. After easily dispatching Modena, in January Lazio had to face Parma in the quarterfinals. Stankovic scored both at home and away and gave Lazio the pass for the semi final. It was his final game for Lazio.


In the Campionato, Lazio were fairly inconsistent. Good start, but then they just seemed to forget how to play some matches and the 3-0 loss at Siena in late November was the prime example. However, when all seemed doom and gloom, Lazio suddenly woke up and beat Juventus 2-0 and Inter 2-1. Recovery? No. As usual for Mancini teams, January was always the most negative month. Just 4 points in the last season and just four in this one.


Even if January was over it looked as if the jinx was still on after the draw against Sampdoria in the game before this one. Lazio needed three points at Parma.


The match: Sunday, February 8, 2004, Stadio Ennio Tardini, Parma


It only took Lazio six minutes to create the first chance. Stefano Fiore, unmarked, shot wide from a favourable position. Twelve minutes later it should have been a penalty when Antonio Benarrivo brought down Claudio Lopez but the referee was not of the same idea.


The Biancocelesti slowed down for a while but Parma were not in the mood. In the 38th minute, penalty for Lazio. Massimo Oddo took a corner and Fabio Cannavaro "noosed" Bernardo Corradi. Lopez thundered the ball in and Lazio went one up. And it could have been two very shortly after. Stefano Fiore to Luciano Zauri on the right, ball in the middle of the box, Lopez let it pass and it was Fiore again ready for the kill but Sébastien Frey miraculously saved it.


Marco Marchionni had a chance in the 51st minute but his shot from outside the penalty box was just wide. Parma attacked, but this allowed Lazio to exploit the large open spaces in their defence and midfield. In the 54th minute Lopez flew towards the Parma box, Frey came out to stop the Lazio forward, the Argentine lobbed over the Frenchman but the ball bounced and went over the goal.


Three minutes later, Oddo made a long pass forward to Fiore on the right, back heel to Corradi in the centre just outside the box, ball to Lopez in the box on the left, 2-0. Eight minutes later another wonderful pass from Fiore allowed Lopez to run down the left in complete solitude, cross to the centre of the box and Corradi had a comfortable header for the 3-0.


Lazio could have made it four in almost exactly the same way: Fiore to Lopez, low cross in the middle for Corradi but Frey saved. Not to worry, Lazio had already brought back the prosciutto.


Who played for Parma


Frey, Benarrivo (63' Potenza), Castellini, Cannavaro, Seric, Barone, Bresciano, Marchionni, Morfeo (46' Cammarata), Carbone (63' Degano), Gilardino.

Substitutes: Amelia, Camara, Rosina, Zicu.

Manager: Prandelli.


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Sereni, Cesar, Mihajlovic, Muzzi

Manager: Mancini


Referee: Dattilo


Goals: 40’ Lopez (pen), 57’ Lopez, 65 Corradi



What happened next


The financial difficulties left the players and the manager in a bit of uncertainty about the future and many used the season to plan for it. Mancini started secret talks with Inter and tempted most of Lazio’s players to go with him. Stam told the club that he had no intention of continuing to play for Lazio once his contract was over but was not interested in following Mancini.


The campionato should have given a different result. Lazio were always very close to the Champions League qualification but missed out in the end. Too many injuries, too much uncertainty and too many controversial referee decisions to be able to achieve the goal. The team managed to play some particularly spectacular games but also put in very dismal performances. Too inconsistent to be able to do anything better than qualify for the Uefa Cup.


In Coppa Italia Lazio surprisingly won in Milan in the first leg and in the second leg at home put on a wonderful display, perhaps one the best games Lazio has ever played at least in its recent history, and won 4-0.


The final was against Juventus with the first leg at home. Lazio won 2-0 but it could have been even better as the Biancocelesti played at a similar level as the Milan game and even missed a penalty. The return match was complicated and Lazio went down 2-0, but a splendid header from the worst player on the pitch up to that moment, Corradi, gave Lazio its fourth Coppa Italia.


The 2003-2004 season was the end of an era. Nothing would ever be the same. Claudio Lotito was on his way.


Lazio 2003-04

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals Scored

Serie A

34

16

8

10

52

Coppa Italia

8

6

2

-

16

Champions League

8

3

2

3

10

Total

50

25

12

13

76

Top Five Appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

Fiore

47

32

7

8

Corradi

46

32

6

8

Oddo

44

31

7

6

Favalli

43

29

6

8

Stam

42

29

6

7

Top Goal Scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

Fiore

16

8

6

2

Corradi

12

10

1

1

Inzaghi

10

6

1

3

Cesar

8

6

1

1


Let’s talk about Luciano Zauri

Luciano Zauri was born in Pescina on January 20 1978. He started his career in the youth teams of Atalanta and played his first match in Serie A in the 1996-97 season. The next year he went to Chievo in Serie B to gain experience but he was back at Bergamo in 1998 and stayed with the Lombardy club for five more years, the first two in Serie B and the next three in Serie A.


Unfortunately, Atalanta were relegated at the end of the 2002-03 season so for the following year he was up for sale. He signed with Lazio together with his team mate Ousmane Dabo. His first stint with Lazio lasted five years and towards the end he even became captain. He will be remembered particularly for his handball on the line in 2005 in a decisive match against Fiorentina, fortunately not seen by the referee. The consequent draw allowed Lazio to stay in Serie A.


In 2008 he was loaned to Fiorentina where he stayed for a year and a year later to Sampdoria where he stayed for two years.


Back at Lazio in 2011, he played very little and was sold to Pescara in January 2013. In 2014 he quit football.


He played a total of 177 games for Lazio (139 in Serie A, 16 in Coppa Italia, 10 in Champions League, 7 in Europa League, 4 in Intertoto and one Super Coppa final) and scored 6 goals (4 in Serie A, one in Coppa Italia and one in Champions League). He was part of the team that won the Coppa Italia in 2003-04. Zauri also played five times for Italy.


After quitting football he became manager, first for the youth teams of Pescara and then as assistant to Massimo Oddo at Udinese. In 2018 he was back at Pescara to manage the Primavera team and a year later he was promoted to the A side in Serie B but he resigned in January. In 2021 he was in charge of the Bologna Primavera but Pescara called him again in April 2022 in order to improve their 5th place position in Serie B. He did not and the team lost in the first round of the playoffs. He was not confirmed.


Zauri was very appreciated by the various managers at Lazio. He was a player you could put almost anywhere, he played at midfield, left back, right back, wherever he was needed, always with a positive outcome. He was not a classy player, but very reliable.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

Europa League

Intertoto Cup

Super Coppa

2003-04

30 (3)

20 (3)

6

4

-

-

-

2004-05

24

21

-

-

2

-

1

2005-06

45 (1)

37 (1)

4

-

-

4

-

2006-07

39 (1)

36

3 (1)

-

-

-

-

2007-08

27 (1)

18

3

6 (1)

-

-

-

2011-12

12

8

-

-

5

-

-

Total

177 (6)

140 (4)

16 (1)

10 (1)

7

4

1

Sources


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