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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

January 16, 1994: Lazio Reggiana 2-0

Updated: Apr 6

Di Matteo turns on the light


After the disappointing game at Foggia the previous Sunday, where Lazio lost 4-1, the Biancocelesti play a much better match and beat Reggiana.





The season so far


For the first time in 16 years Lazio finally were able to play 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 very busy 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 however, 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 Avellino, a team in Serie C1.


A not so good start to Serie A changed once Boksic started to play for the Biancocelesti. Wins in Naples and 3-1 against Juventus at home with a Paul Gascoigne goal gave Lazio a good position, still behind the greats but not that far off. However, the Christmas break broke the momentum and Lazio came back from the holidays with a draw against Sampdoria and a 4-1 loss at Foggia.


Cragnotti was not happy.


The match: Sunday, January 16, 1994, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


Without Beppe Signori, out due to injury, manager Dino Zoff needed to rely on Boksic and Casiraghi up front and Gascoigne to invent something decisive.


After an early chance for Eugenio Sgarbossa, who played for Lazio very briefly in 1986, saved by Marchegiani, Reggiana left the initiative to Lazio who only occasionally turned on the light, mainly with Gascoigne . In the 3rd minute he dribbled most of the Reggiana team but arrived tired in front of goal and Claudio Taffarel saved.


In the 14th minute Michele Padovano crossed the ball from the right, Christian Lantignotti was able to get the ball from Roberto Bacci but his shot was wide.


The crowd started getting impatient with Lazio, completely incapable of producing anything dangerous. But Roberto Di Matteo was playing for Lazio. He was one of the few to try anything, particularly shots from outside the penalty box. His first three attempts were not on target, but the kid had a hard head and scored with his fourth. Gazza passed him the ball inside the Lazio half, Di Matteo surged forward and thirty meters from goal gave the ball a whack. Taffarel tried to save it but was deceived by an irregular bounce. 1-0 for Lazio.


In the second half, Gascoigne slalomed through the Reggiana defence again but his shot was wide. In the 50th minute, Boksic went off alone and was brought down in the penalty box. Penalty. Roberto Cravero took the spot kick and Lazio doubled their score.


Reggiana were no longer in the game, so Lazio started to collect a series of chances with Boksic: a header was saved on the line by Esposito and Taffarel saved another two attempts. Casiraghi also became busy but hit the woodwork in the 74th minute and missed an easy header nine minutes later.


A breath of fresh air for the Biancocelesti who, however, did need to solve their problems. Fortunately Signori would be back soon.


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Orsi, Negro, Sclosa, Di Mauro

Manager: Zoff


Who played for Reggiana


Taffarel, Parlato, Zanutta, Accardi, Sgarbossa, De Agostini, M. Esposito (71' Pietranera), Scienza, Padovano, Mateut (17' Picasso), Lantignotti.

Substitutes: Costagli, Torrisi, Cherubini.

Manager: Marchioro.


Referee: Brignoccoli


Goals: 45’ Di Matteo, 50’ Cravero (pen)





What happened next


Lazio lost the next match at Parma but when Signori came back things went decisively better. Lazio won in Milan against Inter, beat Roma and Napoli. Signori scored a lot and won the trophy for most goals in Serie A.


Unfortunately, Lazio lost Gascoigne. In April Gazza broke a leg in training and it would take a while for him to come back.


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


As everybody imagined, Cragnotti at the end of the season did not confirm Zoff, 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

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

5

4

1

5

4

1

Di Matteo

4

4

-

4

4

-


Let’s talk about Roberto Bacci


Source Wikipedia

Roberto Bacci was certainly not the best player that has ever worn the Lazio jersey, but he gave balance to the team and was held in high esteem by Dino Zoff.


Born in Barga on June 15 1967, Bacci began to play football in defence for Torino youth teams. In 1986-87 he began his professional career in Serie C2 for Derthona and then two years at Pavia in Serie C1 and C2. After a very brief stint with Como in 1989, he was sold to Mantova where he played the rest of the season.


His adventure with Lazio started in 1990-91 under Dino Zoff and he played quite a number of games, despite not being one of the major members of the squad. He played a lot more in the subsequent three years, despite the increased quality of the Lazio players, because Zoff could always rely on his adaptability, spirit and application. Once Zoff became President and Zeman arrived, he played a lot less. He was certainly not a player that could adapt well to Zeman.


Lazio sold him to Torino and he played the 1995-96 season for the Granata before going on loan to Verona in Serie A a year later and then to Modena in Serie C1 in 1997-98. He ended his career with Arezzo where he stayed until 2002.


Bacci later became a manager and trained youth teams for Torino and Fiorentina, followed by minor league teams in Italy. He is currently manager for Pianese in Serie D.


He played 143 games for Lazio (124 in Serie A, 12 in Coppa Italia and 7 in the UEFA Cup) and scored two goals (one in Serie A and one in Coppa Italia).


Appearances and goals for Lazio

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

1990-91

22

20

2

-

1991-92

37

33

4

-

1992-93

35 (1)

31

4 (1)

-

1993-94

33

29

-

4

1994-95

16 (1)

11 (1)

2

3

Total

143 (2)

124 (1)

12 (1)

7

Sources



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