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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

A Christian miracle in Florence

Season 1994-95

Game 5, Serie A

Sunday, October 2, 1994

Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence

Fiorentina Lazio 1-1

In a man less for most of the match, 1-0 down on the hour mark, and seemingly doomed, Lazio thank Bergodi for 94th minute equaliser

Source Lazio Wiki

A rainy day meant a heavy, wet pitch. The Florentine stadium had no roof (and still doesn't) but a good crowd of 37,000 turned up for this classic.

Fiorentina played with Rui Costa behind Gabriel Batistuta and Ciccio Baiano while Lazio played Zdenek Zeman's traditional 4-3-3.

In the first fifteen minutes Lazio took the initiative but Fiorentina were dangerous on the break. Rui Costa put Batistuta one-on-one with Luca Marchegiani but he pulled it wide, a huge miss.

In the 16th minute came a controversial and key moment. José Chamot was dispossessed by Batistuta about 40 metres out and then attempted to tackle him from behind, he hit player and ball so probably a foul but then he was shown a red card for being last man and interrupting a goal scoring opportunity. It was clear however that Roberto Cravero had Batistuta potentially covered coming in from the left, the fact is Chamot was sent packing and Lazio down to ten men.

There was then a nasty incident as when "El Flaco" Chamot was about to enter the tunnel for his early shower he was hit on the head by a coin and needed three stitches on his bloody wound.

Lazio immediately replaced Roberto Rambaudi with a defender, bringing on Cristiano Bergodi.

Batistuta soon had another massive chance when he was set up by Baiano but his shot was similar to his previous effort.

Lazio did occasionally relieve the pressure and Aron Winter and Diego Fuser with their speed held their own in midfield. Alen Boksic teed up the Dutchman who raced forward and tried a central shot, Francesco Toldo parried and Beppe Signori got the rebound but Toldo got a glove on it.

Fiorentina then had a penalty appeal when Batistuta tried to go around Marchegiani but "Il Conte" clearly touched the ball. Half time Fiorentina 0 Lazio 0.

Lazio holding on mainly due to Batistuta's surprisingly bad aim but with ten men it would not be easy.

For the second half Lazio replaced Boksic, who had a fever, with Pierluigi Casiraghi while Fiorentina brought on a more attacking Anselmo "Spadino" Robbiati for Fabrizio Di Mauro.

The pattern was the same and in the 60th minute the Viola took the lead. Fiorentina had a freekick on the right, for a foul by Winter on Daniele Carnasciali, Baiano swung the cross in and Batistuta jumped between two defenders and headed powerfully onto the post, the ball came back to him and he beat Marchegiani with a low right foot. Fiorentina 1 Lazio 0. Nobody could say they had not seen it coming.

Fiorentina almost made it two several times. Beppe Favalli messed up a pass in midfield and it went straight to Sandro Cois who assisted Batistuta, the Argentine dribbled Cravero and was clean through but on his left foot and his low shot came off Marchegiani's heel and into corner. Batistuta was again denied when Marchegiani saved his low volley with his feet and on the rebound his cross was put in the back of the net by Robbiati but in offside. Some minutes later Batistuta 's central freekick was saved in two attempts by the Lazio keeper.

Fiorentina should really have been two or three up but strange things happen in football. In the 94th minute Signori was pulled down on the left wing about 35 metres out. He floated in the freekick and Bergodi anticipated his marker, twisted his body and dived low to send a header into the bottom left hand corner. Fiorentina 1 Lazio 1. A Lazio miracle in Florence, thanks to San Luca and San Cristiano.

Fiorentina must have been kicking themselves to have let the win slip away against ten men and after so many chances. Lazio were over the moon and never was the expression "un punto d'oro" (a golden point) more apt.

Who played for Fiorentina

Toldo, Carnasciali, Luppi, Cois, Pioli, Malusci, Carbone, Di Mauro (46' Robbiati), Batistuta, Rui Costa (78' Tedesco), Baiano

Substitutes: Scalabrelli, Sottil, Flachi

Manager: Ranieri

Who played for Lazio

Substitutes: Orsi, Bacci, Venturin

Manager: Zeman

Referee: Beschin

Goals: 60' Batistuta, 94' Bergodi



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