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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Chinaglia leads the way towards Serie A

Updated: Jan 23

1971-72 Season

Game 37, Serie B

Sunday, June 11, 1972


Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa

Genoa Lazio 0-2


An inspired "Long John" and a goal by Gritti give Lazio 2-0 win and close in on promotion.



The main news on match day was that "Long John" Chinaglia had passed the morning fitness test and would be in the starting line-up.


A grey, drizzly day welcomed Lazio to the "Città della Lanterna" (Lantern city). Lazio had plenty of support as 3,000 fans had followed the team from Rome.


Genoa came out strongly despite having nothing to play for. It was clear Genoa were up for a fight but Lazio seemed ready, concentrated and dynamic.


Chinaglia was lively and in the 17th minute, after beating Alberto Benini, tried his luck from the long range but his powerful strike went wide. "Long John" had the extra motivation of a possible call up by Ferruccio Valcareggi, the Italy national coach.


In the 26th minute "Giorgione" won the ball, danced past Benini and Giorgio Garbarini and hammered the ball towards the top hand corner, the Genoa keeper Armando Buffon (no relation..) however flew and saved into corner.


Three minutes later Chinaglia again, set up by Rino Gritti, had a low left shot saved by Buffon. Lazio were in complete control.


On the half hour Lazio took the lead. Roberto Derlin committed a foul about twenty metres out, Gritti took the free kick and it went through the wall and sneaked in near the post. Genoa 0 Lazio 1.


Genoa barely had time to regroup before Lazio doubled their advantage. Only sixty seconds had passed when Luigi Polentes anticipated Vincenzo Traspedini and fed Luigi Martini who set up Chinaglia, the big number nine powered forward, lobbed Benini, nodded the ball past Garbarini and beat Buffon coming out. A fantastic goal which even the home crowd appreciated and applauded. Genoa 0 Lazio 2.


Half time came with Lazio two nil up and basically too good for "Zena" (Genoa in local dialect - from Arabic word, the beautiful)


In the second half after eight minutes Chinaglia went off, replaced by the experienced midfielder Carlo Facchin. Genoa pushed forward but rarely threatened Bandoni. The main danger man was Corradi and he was man marked by Giuseppe Papadopulo. The duel became increasingly physical and tense and in the 80th minute Papadopulo, already on a yellow, was sent off for elbowing the striker. The rossoblu lost blood, he would later need five stitches, and the home fans were furious, two even invading the pitch before being blocked by the police. The two sets of opposing fans also came into contact with some old-style brawls.


The game came to an end in a hostile atmosphere but the important thing for Lazio were the two points. The win had been legitimate and Lazio had shown a clear superiority with a superb Chinaglia, despite his injury. The attention could now turn to the results coming from the radio.


Ternana had lost 1-0 at Brescia, Palermo beaten Cesena 2-0, Como beaten Novara 1-0 and Reggina drawn 0-0 with Livorno. The new table read Lazio and Ternana 48, Palermo 47, Como 46. Four teams for three places but Lazio now needed only one point in next week's away game at Bari.


Who played for Genoa


Buffon, Manera, Rossetti, Derlin, Benini, Garbarini, Corradi, Perotti (65' Piccioni), Traspedini, Bittolo, Speggiorin

Substitutes: Lonardi

Manager: Silvestri


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Di Vincenzo

Manager: Maestrelli


Referee: Giunti


Goals: 31' Gritti, 32' Chinaglia


Sources


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