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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

July 21, 2007: Lazio West Ham United 2-0

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

Good training match


Lazio beat West Ham in the first encounter between the two teams


The season so far


The previous season had been a triumphant one for Lazio, arriving third and reaching a qualification for the Champions League preliminary round. Under Delio Rossi, the Biancocelesti would have to play in mid August and the draw would take place in early August.


Since it was July, Lazio were in full transfer mode. There was the problem of the goalkeeper to solve. Angelo Peruzzi had retired and Lazio were looking for a substitute. So far Lazio had signed Aleksandar Kolarov, a young Serb left back with a powerful shot, Mourad Meghni from Bologna, Lionel Scaloni and Simone Del Nero on a free transfer. It was hoped that more would come, especially considering that Lazio had a Champions League to play.


The pre-season training was held at Kapfenberg in Austria. Lazio had already played a few friendlies and today would face West Ham United.


The Hammers are a glorious club from East London founded in 1895. They have millions of fans worldwide and a strong home support. They have never won the premiership, but have won the FA Cup three times (1964, 1975 and 1980) and the European Cup Winners Cup in 1965. Some legendary players have worn the Claret and Blue jersey such as Bobby Moore, Jeff Hurst and Martin Peters (World Champions in 1966), Trevor Brooking, Frank Lampard (both father and son) and Joe Cole. Many Lazio fans follow West Ham thanks to the fact that Paolo Di Canio played for them from 1998 to 2003.


This game is the first and only time the two teams have met at any level.


The match: Saturday, July 21, 2007, Lebring


West Ham were ahead in the pre-season preparation so this would be a good test for Lazio. It was a real game between the two teams. The Hammers had no intention of merely being a sparring partner and had a couple of chances in the first half. In the first Craig Bellamy involuntarily deflected a Calum Davenport shot and in the second Marco Ballotta was extraordinary in stopping Carlton Cole from scoring.


The Biancocelesti scored in the 14th minute with Guglielmo Stendardo was ready to tap the ball in after a Stephen Makinwa chip had hit the crossbar.


In the second half Lazio doubled in the 50th minute with a magnificent 30-metre lob from Goran Pandev. West Ham could have reduced the deficit had Bellamy scored a penalty awarded by the referee for an Emilson Cribari foul on Luis Boa Morte. But Grandfather Ballotta was able to parry the spot kick. The Biancocelesti could have scored again with Makinwa later on in the match but his shot went wide from a favourable position.


In the end a good test for Lazio and excellent performance. More friendlies would follow.


Who played for Lazio


Ballotta, Scaloni (71’ De Silvestri), Stendardo, Cribari (73’ Diakite), Zauri (69’ Kolarov), Mudingayi (46’ Behrami), Ledesma (81’ Baronio), Manfredini (69’ Firmani), Mauri (55’ Del Nero), Pandev (61’ Rocchi), Makinwa (71’ S. Inzaghi)

Substitutes: Berni, Belleri, Faraoni, Tare

Manager: D. Rossi


Who played for West Ham United


Green, Spector (46' Gabbidon), Davenport (46' Collins), A.Ferdinand (59' Dailly), McCartney (46' Upson), Bowyer (78' Collison), Mullins (46' Boa Morte), Parker, Etherweton (71' Reids), Ashton (46' Cole), Bellamy.

Substitutes: Wright, Walker.

Manager: Curbishley


Referee: Eisner


Goals: 14’ Stendardo, 50’ Pandev


What happened next


Lazio’s opponent for the Champions League preliminary round was selected on August 3: Dinamo București. The first game was at home and it proved to be a very difficult match. The Romanians scored early, Tommaso Rocchi missed a penalty, three injuries (Cribari, Stendardo and Stefano Mauri) and two sending offs (Valon Behrami and Massimo Mutarelli) Despite all of this, the Biancocelesti managed to equalise and still had a glimmer of hope for the return game which also started badly since Dinamo scored on the half hour mark. But in the second half Lazio came alive and scored three goals (Rocchi double and Pandev), going through to the Champions League group phase for the first time under Claudio Lotito’s presidency.


At this point it was hoped that Lazio would start to do something as far as transfers were concerned but the only major signing was young goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, temporary replacement of Juan Pablo Carrizo forced to stay in Argentina due to the fact that his Italian passport did not arrive in time.


In Serie A Lazio struggled all year. They did not have the squad depth to face both Champions League, Campionato and Coppa Italia and in the end they finished 12th. The only highlight of the year was a last second winner against Roma in March. Lotito came to rescue in the winter transfer window with the purchase of young Romanian defender Stefan Radu, more experienced defender David Rozenhal, centre-forward Rolando Bianchi and the return of Ousmane Dado. But these signings should have been made six months earlier.


In the Champions League, Lazio were knocked out in the group stage, but put on a brave effort, beating Werder Bremen and drawing at home against Real Madrid. In the Coppa Italia Lazio reached the semi-finals and were knocked out by Inter.


Lazio 2007-08

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

38

11

13

14

47

Coppa Italia

6

3

2

1

7

Champions League

8

2

3

3

12

Total

52

16

18

18

66

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

Rocchi

48

36

4

8

Pandev

44

32

5

7

Ledesma

43

32

4

7

Cribari

42

31

5

6

Ballotta

39

29

2

8

Top goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

Rocchi

19

14

1

4

Pandev

19

14

-

5

Bianchi

4

4

-

-

Let's talk about Lionel Scaloni


Official SS Lazio photo

A number of players have worn both the Lazio and the West Ham United jerseys: Paolo Di Canio, Mauro Zarate, Valon Behrami, Ravel Morrison, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Felipe Anderson and Lionel Scaloni.


Scaloni was born in Pujato in Argentina on May 16, 1978. He started his football career with Newell’s Old Boys and debuted in the first team when he was just 16 years old. In 1995 he signed for Estudiantes and stayed a couple of seasons before moving to Europe and playing for Deportivo La Coruna. He stayed for nine years with Depo in probably their best period in their history. He won a Championship in 1999-00, a Copa del Rey in 2001-02 and the Supercopa de Espana twice, in 2000 and 2002. He played 371 games and scored 27 goals.


In January 2006 he signed for West Ham and appeared in 17 matches. Not a great contribution but he did play the FA Cup final against Liverpool in Cardiff. From his cross in the 21st minute came Jamie Carragher’s own goal which put the Hammers ahead. Dean Ashton made it two but Liverpool came back and equalised with goals from Djibril Cissé and Steven Gerrard. West Ham went ahead again with Paul Konchesky but a last second, incredible goal from Gerrad took the final to extra time. West Ham lost on penalties.


In the summer of 2006 he signed for Racing Santander and played the whole season before joining Lazio on a free transfer. After six months he was loaned to Real Maiorca and stayed for a season and a half before coming back to Lazio. He stayed with the Biancocelesti until January 2013, not playing very much, but giving a very helpful hand when necessary. He was past his prime but became very attached to the club and was a fan favourite. He played 67 games and scored one goal.


He then signed for Atalanta and in two and a half seasons played only 17 times. He quit active football at the end of the 2014-15 season.


Scaloni played 7 times for Argentina including the 2006 World Cup tie against Mexico.


After retirement he became a scout for Atalanta. In 2016 he joined Jorge Sampaoli at Sevilla and became his assistant. He followed Sampaoli also when he became head coach for Argentina. After a couple of years Sampaoli was sacked and the job was temporarily given to Scaloni but he was confirmed and took the team to third place in Copa America 2019. In 2021, the Seleccion won the Copa America for the first time in 28 years beating Brazil in the final in Rio de Janeiro.


In 2022, despite losing the first game, Argentina won their third World Cup beating France on penalties. A marvellous achievement for Lionel.



Lazio Career

Season

Total games (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

Europa League

2007-Jan 2008

19

12

-

7

-

2009-10

6

5

1

-

-

2010-11

14

12

2

-

-

2011-12

21 (1)

19 (1)

-

-

2

2012-Jan 2013

7

4

-

-

3

Total

67 (1)

52 (1)

3

7

5

Sources


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