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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Lightning start and Gazza show break Atalanta curse

Updated: Apr 4

Game 7, Serie A

Sunday, October 25, 1992

Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Lazio Atalanta 3-0

A goal by Signori after one minute and a good attacking performance give Lazio good win

A 40,000 crowd on a grey October day. Atalanta are one of Lazio’s "bestie nere" (bogey teams) and the Biancocelesti in this period had not beaten the Bergamaschi at home for almost twenty years.

Angelo Gregucci had been dropped after the previous week's nightmare in Milan when the Rossoneri scored four goals in just over half an hour. Mauro Bonomi came in at right back and Luca Luzardi was in the middle.

The match could not have started better for Lazio. Beppe Favalli crossed in from the left, Paul Gascoigne jumped between two defenders who clashed and the ball fell to Gazza's feet, he then pushed it back to incoming Beppe Signori who smashed it into the net with his famous left foot. Lazio 1 Atalanta 0. A dream start for the Biancocelesti.

Atalanta reacted tactically by moving Montero to the left, Mauro Valentini into the middle and Giuseppe Minaudo into midfield. They also had a few chances but their long range shots by Stefano De Agostini and Roberto Rambaudi were comfortably saved by Valerio Fiori.

Atalanta were rarely dangerous and their build up play was slow and lacked fluidity. Lazio with Gascoigne pulling the strings in midfield, Thomas Doll and Signori were far more electric and threatening. Gascoigne at times was unstoppable, apart from with fouls that is. Half time Lazio 1 Atalanta 0.

The second half started in similar, if not as lightning fashion as the first. In the 51st minute Lazio scored a second. Doll fed Signori down the left and the striker became an assist man, his first cross was blocked but his second attempt was a perfect low cross which Aron Winter only had to make contact with to score. Lazio 2 Atalanta 0.

At this point Lazio's superior quality really started to show and they had several more chances to score. First a low Signori left foot shaved the post and then Signori again was clean through but Fabrizio Ferron got the tips of his fingers to the shot and saved into corner. Some minutes later Doll went close to closing the game too.

The match until now had been clean and fair. An example was when Gazza went down after a challenge in the area he immediately got up and gestured to the referee that it was nothing. All this changed in the 68th minute. Gascoigne jiggled his way past Alemao and cut in from the right corner flag, the Brazilian then was excessively physical, pushing and pulling the Englishman who reacted by energetically shoving Alemao away from him. All hell broke loose with several players getting involved in the ensuing scuffle. The result was Luzardi and Alemao were shown red cards.

From then on it became increasingly tense with unnecessary fouls and off ball provocations such as when Minaudo kicked Signori while waiting for a freekick to be floated into the area (ironically it was only the Laziale who got booked). In the 76th minute Gascoigne, who was being targeted by the Bergamaschi, was replaced by Gigi Corino to avoid further trouble (or maybe it was payback time...).

Luckily in the 80th minute Atalanta were put out of their misery and Lazio scored a third. A Diego Fuser freekick curled round the wall and slotted in mid-height, giving Ferron no chance. Lazio 3 Atalanta 0.

The Dea had one late chance to reduce the deficit but a Sergio Porrini lob was miraculously bicycle kicked off the line by Roberto Cravero. Final score Lazio 3 Atalanta 0.

A good win for Lazio who had impressed, especially up front. When Gascoigne, Doll and Signori clicked they were a pleasure to watch. If Lazio could find the right balance in midfield to support their attacking spirit it could be an interesting season.

Atalanta had not played badly, especially in midfield but were toothless up front. The goal after a minute obviously did not help their game plan either.

Who played for Lazio

Substitutes: Orsi, Stroppa, Neri

Manager: Zoff

Who played for Atalanta

Ferron, Porrini, Minaudo (73' Mascheretti), Valentini, Alemao, Montero, Rambaudi, Bordin, Ganz, De Agostini (58' Rodriguez), Perrone

Substitutes: Pinato, Pasciullo, Tresoldi

Manager: Lippi

Referee: Ceccarini

Goals: 1' Signori, 51' Winter, 80' Fuser

Red cards: 68' Luzardi and Alemao



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