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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

July 6, 1958: Napoli Lazio 0-4 Coppa Italia

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

Easy win


Lazio beat Napoli thanks to three goals in the first half



The season so far


The 1957-58 season had been really tough. There was literally no money and Lazio was in deep financial difficulty. As a consequence, little could be done to improve the team and Ugo Pozzan was the only player to be signed. The club could have sold their best player Arne Selmosson, but managed to avoid it. Manager Jesse Carver moved to Inter so the Biancocelesti had a new manager: Milovan Ciric.


The Asian flu swept through Lazio like a cold wind and many players were out of action. Goalkeeper Bob Lovati suffered a serious injury in the second game and came back at the end of October.


At the end of the first half of the season Lazio were 13th, just three points above the relegation zone (two teams would go down to Serie B). Ciric was sacked in February and the team was handed to Dino Canestri, technical director, and Alfredo Monza, manager. Things started to improve and Lazio beat Inter and Roma. But in the next 8 games Lazio got just three points so with one game to go the situation was dramatic. Genoa, Sampdoria, Lazio, Atalanta and Spal on 28 points, Verona last on 26. A 4-0 win in the last game against Verona allowed the Biancocelesti to avoid relegation.


Giovanni Molino was the player with most appearances (34), Selmosson the top goal scorer (9).


Coppa Italia


The Coppa Italia was played in the solar year and for the first time since the end of World War II. The Serie A, as usual when there was a World Cup, had been anticipated by three weeks to allow the Nazionale to train before the competition. However, without Italy’s participation, there was a need to “invent” something for the Italians to think about, so, instead of launching the Coppa Italia in the 1958-59 season as initially planned, they decided to fill the June gap with the new cup.


All Serie A teams were invited with the exception of Atalanta, involved in a case of possible corruption, and Verona, who had a playoff with Bari, plus the best 8 of Serie B and Serie C. The 32 teams were divided into 8 groups of four. The winners would play the quarterfinals in September and automatically qualify for the first knockout round in the next Coppa Italia.


Lazio started the cup with a number of changes. Fulvio Bernardini, former 1920s Lazio player, returned to manage the team. Only a couple of years earlier he had won a historic scudetto with Fiorentina so there was great hope that the new boss could take Lazio to a higher level.


Unfortunately, the club was forced to sell their star player, Arne Selmosson. Alas, the highest bidders were Roma and despite various attempts to boycott the transfer, plus the fact that the Swede was not really that happy to play for the other Rome team, Selmosson was sold to Roma.


New players arrived and were immediately thrown in the team to play the Coppa Italia: Idilio Cei (goalkeeper from Foligno), Claudio Bizzari (forward, Fiorentina), Carlo Tagnin (midfielder, Alessandria), Maurilio Prini (forward, Fiorentina), Giacomo Del Gratta (defender, Zenit Modena) and Egidio Fumagalli (midfielder, Novese).


Lazio were in Group H together with Roma, Palermo and Napoli. Whoever came top proceeded to the quarterfinals.


In the first game Lazio demolished Palermo 5-1 with a Humberto Tozzi hat trick and goals from Renzo Burini and Alfredo Napoleoni. Game two saw the Biancocelesti beat Napoli 3-1 (Tozzi double plus Tagnin). Game three was the derby which saw Lazio win away 3-2 (another Tozzi double and Bizzarri). In game four Lazio drew at Palermo 2-2 (Tozzi, Burini).


So with two games to go to the end of the first round Lazio were first with 7 points, Roma 4, Palermo 3 and Napoli 2.


The fifth game was against Napoli away from home. A win would secure the quarterfinals.


The match: Sunday July 6, 1958, Stadio del Vomero, Naples


Napoli were out of the tournament and came into the match with a very negative approach and for Lazio the game became a stroll in the park.


Lazio scored their first in the 13th minute. Fumagalli, following a great pass from Tozzi, was fouled in the box by Salvatore Assardo. Burini took the spot kick and put Lazio in the lead.


Five minutes later there was a free kick for the Biancocelesti, awarded for a foul on Tozzi. Prini sent in a fantastic cross which Ugo Pozzan headed into the net.


After a number of chances missed by Tozzi and Fumagalli plus a Prini post, Lazio scored their third in the 40th minute. Bizzarri put Tozzi in a goal scoring position, but the Brazilian instead of shooting passed the ball to Burini who beat Mauro Benvenuti.


The match practically ended here. In the second half there were only three things worth mentioning. Lazio scored their fourth with a powerful shot from Bizzarri from outside the box in the 59th minute. Napoli had a penalty for a possible consolation goal but Luciano Giglietti, who had substituted Cei in the interval, playing his first professional match, saved the Bruno Pesaola spot kick. In the 87th minute the ball was kicked into the stands by a Lazio defender. The Napoli supporters refused to give it back so referee Rosario Lo Bello called it a day.


Great win and Lazio through to the next stage.


Who played for Napoli


Benvenuti (46' Palestini), Comaschi, Del Bene, Assardo, Greco (II), Posio, Storchi, Bertucco, Molinari, Pesaola, Gasperini.

Manager: Amadei.


Who played for Lazio


Cei (46’ Giglietti), Lo Buono, Del Gratta, Carradori, Pinardi, Pozzan, Bizzari, Burini, Tozzi, Fumagalli, Prini

Manager: Bernardini


Referee: Lo Bello


Goals: 13’ Burini (pen), 18’ Pozzan, 42’ Burini, 59’ Bizzarri


What happened next


In the last game of group stage Lazio drew 1-1 with Roma (Tozzi the scorer). Lazio won their group and proceeded to the next stage which was played in September.


The quarterfinals, semis and final were played in single games with the team with the biggest stadium having the home advantage.


In the quarterfinals Lazio beat the only Serie B side to qualify, Marzotto, 2-1 with goals from Fumagalli and Tozzi. In the other games, Bologna won against Milan away 4-2, Fiorentina beat Padova 2-1 and Juventus won at Genoa against Sampdoria 3-2 after extra time.


In the semis, Lazio had to play against Juventus, a very difficult game. Juventus had a stellar attack with Giampiero Boniperti, John Charles and Omar Sivori, but the Biancocelesti won 2-0, again with goals from Fumagalli and Tozzi. In the other semi-final Fiorentina beat Bologna 4-2.


The final was hence between Lazio and Fiorentina at the Stadio Olimpico. The Biancocelesti won their first historic silverware thanks to a Prini goal in the first half. A magical, long awaited triumph for the oldest club of the capital.


Lazio 1957-58

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

34

10

10

14

45

Coppa Italia

6

4

2

-

18

Total

40

14

12

14

63

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Pinardi

35

30

5

Molino

34

34

-

Selmosson

33

33

-

Muccinelli

32

32

-

Pozzan

32

27

5

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Tozzi

16

7

9

Burini

12

7

5

Selmosson

9

9

-

Pozzan

6

5

1

Muccinelli

5

5

-

Let's talk about Claudio Bizzarri


Cladio Bizzarri is second from right kneeling. Source Wikipedia

Claudio Bizzari was born at Portacivitanova near Macerata on December 21 1933. He started his career at Civitanovese in 1951-52 and the year after he signed for Venezia in Serie C. He stayed there two years before he made the big jump to Fiorentina in Serie A that at the time was one of the biggest clubs in Italy. Thanks to manager Fulvio Bernardini, he improved considerably appearing in 67 league games with 19 goals. In Florence he won a scudetto in 1955-56 (though he only played 6 matches) and reached the European Cup final in 1957 lost to Real Madrid.


In the summer of 1958 he signed for Lazio and was immediately thrown in the team for the 1958 Coppa Italia which they would win in September. He was a powerful right winger, good dribbler, agile, and he scored quite a number of goals for the time. He stayed at Lazio until 1963 appearing in 65 games in Serie A (8 goals), 44 in Serie B (11 goals) and 15 in Coppa Italia with three goals.


In 1963-64 he moved back to Civitanovese for a year and then signed for Maceratese the year after. His last professional season was again at Civitanovese in 1965-66.


He died at Porto Sant’Elpidio on November 6 2016.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Serie B

Coppa Italia

1957-58

6 (2)

-

-

6 (2)

1958-59

29 (3)

25 (3)

-

4

1959-60

20 (4)

19 (4)

-

1

1960-61

23 (1)

21 (1)

-

2

1961-62

28 (11)

-

26 (10)

2 (1)

1962-63

18 (1)

-

18 (1)

-

Total

124 (22)

65 (8)

44 (11)

15 (3)

Source


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