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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Saint Cholo Simeone performs miracle in Turin and suddenly Lazio are believers

Updated: Nov 25, 2023

Game 28

Saturday, April 1, 2000

Stadio Delle Alpi, Turin

Juventus Lazio 0-1

A Simeone second half header gives Lazio victory and cuts Juventus' lead to 3 points ... it's still possible

This match in Turin was considered the "mother of all matches" especially for Lazio. Juventus were accustomed to winning scudetti but for the Biancocelesti, who had gone so close the previous season, this was a historic chance.

The main line up doubt for Lazio in the build-up had been Juan Sebastian Veron, but the "Brujita" was deemed fit and took his place on the field. Lazio however were without goalkeeper Luca Marchegiani and captain Alessandro Nesta. Juventus had no injury worries and played with their usual starting XI.

There was a big crowd tonight, 55,000, on a chilly, humid evening.

Lazio started aggressively and immediately put Juventus on the back foot. The " Zebras" had two results out of three to go for so were understandably more cautious. Lazio attacked and showed more initiative but had no major chances, only corners and crosses. The first half chances fell to Filippo Inzaghi who however had touched the ball with his hand and Alessandro Del Piero but Marco Ballotta was safe. Lazio then had a good opportunity with Paolo Negro but from a favourable position his shot was central.

The game was very physical but clean. In the 25th minute a Pavel Nedved shot went close to the post and then a minute later Del Piero had a seemingly easy close range header but put it over the bar. The last chance came again to Nedved but his powerful strike was deflected into corner by Mark Iuliano. Half time Juventus 0 Lazio 0.

It had been a hard fought, balanced first 45 minutes but the score at the moment satisfied Juventus more than Lazio.

In the second half Juventus started to push forward more, going for their match point. After three minutes a Zinedine Zidane shot was deflected into corner by Giuseppe Pancaro, then Edgar Davids forced Ballotta into a good save and Inzaghi had a lob go over the bar.

In the 65th minute came a game changer. Juventus defender Ferrara was forced to pull down Simone Inzaghi going towards goal and he received an inevitable second booking. The "Old Lady" had to play the last 25 minutes with 10 men.

Lazio wasted no time in exploiting the numerical advantage and the reshuffling of the Juventus defence. Veron put a perfect vertical chipped high pass into the area where Diego "El Cholo" Simeone headed it past Edwin van der Sar. Crazy celebrations followed on the pitch and in the packed away fans sector. Juventus 0 Lazio 1.

Lazio one zero up against 10 men, but against Juventus nothing could be taken for granted and the game was far from over. Just after the half hour, Zidane threatened with a freekick but Ballotta was ready. Ten minutes after Lazio's goal both managers made changes; for Lazio Attilio Lombardo replaced Nedved (Dejan Stankovic had already come on for Sergio Conceição in the 56th minute) and Juventus put on striker Darko Kovacevic and Alessandro Birindelli for Antonio Conte and Gianluca Pessotto (Gianluca Zambrotta had already replaced Alessio Tacchinardi in the 53rd minute).

With 10 men Juventus threw caution to the wind and attacked desperately. Lazio however did not pull back and gave as good as they got. It became a tense battle albeit without major goal scoring chances. There was time for Fabrizio Ravanelli to be whistled by his former fans when he replaced Simone Inzaghi with five minutes to go. Juventus' last chance came on a dangerous free kick by Del Piero but Ballotta saved well. After three endless minutes of injury time the final whistle blew. Juventus 0 Lazio 1.

Lazio had done it. The miracle of Turin had come off. They had taken their chance against a ten man Juventus and defended well. The Scudetto fight was definitely on, three points behind today's defeated opponents with six games to go. Juventus were still favourites but there was the feeling anything could happen now.

Who played for Juventus

Van der Sar, Ferrara, Montero, Iuliano, A.Conte (77' Kovacevic) Tacchinardi (53' Zambrotta), Davids, Pessotto (76' Birindelli), Zidane, Del Piero, F. Inzaghi

Substitutes: Rampulla, Tudor, Bachini, Oliseh

Manager: Ancelotti

Who played for Lazio

Substitutes: Concetti, Gottardi, Sensini, Boksic

Manager: Eriksson

Referee: Farina

Goals: 66' Simeone



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