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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

January 28, 1940: Torino Lazio 0-1

Updated: Jan 28

Lazio win the Battle of the Filadelfia


A fantastic win for Lazio in a match that was more of a battle than a game of football




Source Wikipedia

The season so far


Lazio, as usual, did not have much money for the summer transfers. All the same three interesting players arrived from South America: Evaristo Barrera and Silvestro Pisa plus Enrique Flamini. They all arrived via boat in February of 1939 together with many other “oriundi” trying to be signed by an Italian club. The three could not play in the 1938-39 season so they were signed for the next one.


Lazio had also a new manager Kertesz Geza, who substituted Luigi Allemandi.


Lazio did pretty well in the first half of the season, beating Milan, Napoli and Juventus and drawing against the formidable Ambrosiana Inter. The Biancocelesti were 4th together with Juventus and Ambrosiana and behind Bologna and Genoa.


The match: Sunday, January 28, 1940, Stadio Filadelfia, Turin


Torino was the first team off the mark and had control of the ball for the first ten minutes but without creating anything particularly dangerous. Then Silvio Piola took control falling a little back hence controlling the entire Lazio attacking play.


Lazio scored in the 34th minute. Piola to Flamini who eluded offside and crossed. There were two Lazio players in the box ready for the kill: Barrera and Pisa. The former let the ball go under his legs so the latter could score easily on the volley. 1-0 for Lazio.


In the second half Torino attacked first but Lazio created the best move of the match. Bruno Camolese took a free kick that Piola scissor kicked. The ball went low to the left of the Torino goalkeeper who miraculously saved it.


The game was getting dirty with fouls from both sides. At one point the teams decided to take matters into their own hands and the referee had to send somebody off. He had a wide choice of players but in the end, he opted for Luciano Ramella and Cesare Gallea, the least guilty.


Ten against ten, Lazio fell back into defence. As written in La Stampa newspaper by Vittorio Pozzo, manager of Italy in the 1930s and winner of two World Cups, the game became a farce. Lengthy rugby-type scrums in the penalty box with Torino failing to get the ball into the net and Lazio unable to clear. The Granata even scored but ref Giorgio Moretti said no. A siege that lasted half an hour with Lazio only breaking it a few times.


In the end the Lazio defence resisted and brought back the two points. An excellent first half and a gutsy performance in the second.


Who played for Torino


Olivieri, Piacentini, Ferrini, Gallea, Allasio, Baldi III, Borsetti, Marchini, Michelini, Petron, Capri.

Manager: Kuttik


Who played for Lazio


Manager: Kertesz


Referee: Moretti


Goal: 34' Pisa


What happened next


Lazio played really well and arrived 4th just behind Juventus. It could have gone even better but some losses deprived the team of a better position. However, Ambrosiana Inter who won the scudetto and Bologna were way too strong.


Alfredo Monza and Ramella were the ones who played most games (33 in total between Serie A and Coppa Italia) and obviously Piola was the leading goal scorer (10).


Serie A finished on June 2 1940. Eight days later, on June 10, Benito Mussolini declared war on France and Great Britain.


Lazio 1939-40

Comeptition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

30

12

11

7

36

Coppa Italia

3

2

-

1

5

Total

33

14

11

8

49

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Monza

33

30

3

Ramella

33

30

3

Baldo

31

28

3

Milano

30

28

2

Vettraino

30

27

3

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Piola

10

9

1

Pisa

9

9

-

Vettraino

8

7

1

Barrera

7

6

1

Flamini

5

5

-

Busani

5

5

-


Lets talk about Silvestro Pisa


Silvestro Pisa is front row second from left. Source Wikipedia

Silvestro Pisa was born in Buenos Aires on April 4 1916. Son of Italian immigrants, he started playing football in 1935 with Lanus. After two years he was signed by Independiente but he stayed there only for a year. In 1938 he played for Platense and then went back to Independiente.


He came to Lazio in February of 1939 together with his future teammates Barrera and Flamini. Lazio could not sign him immediately but he played some friendlies and was part of the team that went on tour in Germany in June 1939 winning all four games against German teams.


His first season with Lazio was excellent and he contributed 9 goals. His best season was in 1941-42 when, with Silvio Piola as attacking companion, he scored 14 times.


He left Lazio in 1943 with war at the gates of Rome. He took refuge in Barcelona together with teammates Flamini, Alberto Fazio, his brother Anselmo and the Roma player Miguel Angel Pantò. The fact that he and Flamini were Italian meant that they could not play for Barcelona so after a few months they left for Montevideo to play for Penarol.


When he went back to Argentina he became player manager for Nacional Argentino. He was later manager of Deportivo Italiano.


Pisa played 92 times for Lazio (82 in Serie A and 10 in Coppa Italia) and scored 34 times (32 in Serie A and 2 in Coppa Italia). A very good player and excellent partner for Piola.


He died in Buenos Aires on December 16 1975. He never stopped following Lazio and would often listen to the games on the Italian radio in Buenos Aires.


Appearances and goals for Lazio

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

1939-40

23 (9)

21 (9)

2

1940-41

13 (2)

9 (1)

​4 (1)

1941-42

29 (14)

27 (14)

2

1942-43

27 (9)

25 (8)

2 (1)

Total

92 (34)

82 (32)

10 (2)

Sources


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