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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Lazio deserve more but have to settle for draw

Season 1939-40

Game 13, Serie A

Sunday, December 31, 1939

Stadio PNF, Rome

Lazio Ambrosiana Inter 1-1

Biancocelesti unlucky and not helped by distracted referee

Source Wikipedia

Lazio had started the season well. After 12 matches the Biancocelesti were on 15 points. They had won 6 (including Juventus 4-0 at home and Milan 2-0 away), drawn 3 and lost 3. Inter was also on 15 points so, an important high table clash today between two good sides.


The match

A very cold period in Rome as there had been snow and the pitch was slightly icy. Today, however, it was still cold but sunny and the crowd was about 20,000 for an eagerly anticipated game.


The pitch was very heavy but both teams tried to keep the ball on the ground and play decent football.


Ambrosiana Inter, boosted by the return of Giovanni Ferrari had more of the game in the first half. The Nerazzurri attacked more while Lazio's counter attacks were not effective. Lazio’s defence with Alfredo Monza and Maximiliano Faotto in particular did a great job fending off the visitors' threats until a minute before halftime when the "Biscione scored.


In the 44th minute Attilio Demaria surged forward from midfield and reaching the by-line near the corner flag put in a powerful high cross which Giacomo Blason caught, but the ball slipped from his hands, hit the post and went in. Lazio 0 Ambrosiana 1. An altogether deserved lead for the Milanese who had done more.


The second half started more balanced with both sides having chances. First Silvio Piola uncharacteristically missed an easy opportunity from a corner and then Ferrari had a shot saved by Blason. In the 52nd minute a Piola backward header forced a difficult save from the keeper. 


In the 54th minute, however, Ambrosiana had a colossal chance to double their lead. Blason rushed off his line to save from an outstretched Ferrari but the ball then reached Annibale Frossi, unmarked about five metres from the open goal, but he incredibly blasted it over the bar.


Lazio then stirred after the scare and Piola in particular seemed to liven up. In the 56th minute he dribbled past four defenders and from about ten metres out hammered the ball past Giuseppe Peruchetti. A wonderful goal and Lazio 1 Ambrosiana 1.


The game changed and Lazio were now in the driving seat while Ambrosiana looked tired. Lazio pushed forward for the next thirty minutes looking for a winner.


They almost got it in the 70th minute. Silvestro Pisa freed Evaristo Barrera down the wing and he crossed for Piola whose acrobatic header shaved the post.


In the 72nd minute Peruchetti saved another Piola header.


In the 76th minute Ambrosiana, after soaking up so much pressure, had a chance of their own. Umberto Guarnieri, despite being clearly in offside, was played on by the referee and had only Blason to beat but the Lazio keeper came off his line and denied the forward. The fans were not happy but they would soon be furious.


In the 82nd minute Barrera hit the post and on the rebound Giuseppe Ballerio blatantly touched the ball with his hand but the referee did not notice.


Then in the 85th minute, a Pisa effort was not held onto by Peruchetti but neither Luigi Vettraino nor Enrique Flamini managed to finish off the rebound. In the 86th minute from a corner the ball was again handled in the area this time by Ugo Locatelli but the referee was still distracted and saw nothing. Final score Lazio 1 Ambrosiana 1, but some controversy towards the end. The Lazio fans did not have to look far for ammunition as they bombarded the referee with snowballs. Harmless stuff compared to modern times.


The crowd however, despite the referee, showed their appreciation to both sides' performances. It had been an entertaining game and played well considering the conditions. Lazio in the end would have deserved to win but a draw was an acceptable result.


Who played for Lazio 

Manager: Kertesz


Who played for Ambrosiana Inter

Peruchetti, Poli, Ballerio, Locatelli, Olmi, Campatelli, Frossi, Demaria I, Guarnieri, Ferrari, Ferraris II

Referee: Galeati

Goals: 44' Demaria, 56' Piola




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