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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Signori freekick hat-trick spares Lazio’s blushes and it's Europe again

Updated: Apr 10

Season 1993-94

Game 31, Serie A

Sunday April 10, 1994

Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Lazio Atalanta 3-1

Three Signori goals, all on freekick, in the last 25 minutes give uninspired Lazio decisive European points

A crowd of 45,000 turned up to push Lazio towards Europe.


A lot of the support was for Paul Gascoigne, with several banners of encouragement, after his recent serious injury in training. The Biancocelesti were also missing Cristiano Bergodi, Diego Fuser, Roberto Di Matteo and Beppe Favalli.


Atalanta predictably shuffled things up a bit after the previous week's final verdict. Their fate had been sealed a week earlier when they were officially relegated as they were now  9 points from safety with four games left (still two points for victory). Fabrizio Ferron, Alemão, Giuseppe Minaudo and Maurizio Ganz were out.


The first half was a tedious affair. Lazio seemed to take the victory for granted, convinced they would score sooner or later. Atalanta battled with pride, trying to enjoy some last top flight satisfactions.


Atalanta defended well and Lazio had very few chances despite attacking constantly. The closest was a Fabrizio Di Mauro header from Beppe Signori freekick, instinctively tipped over the bar by Davide Pinato.  The visitors defence was tight, organised and the keeper was quick off his line when his defenders were beaten. A lot of pressure but few threats and above all no goals. Halftime Lazio 0 Atalanta 0.


Lazio started the second half with more sense of purpose and twice  went close to taking the lead, both with Aron Winter. First Di Mauro put in a precise cross from the right but the Dutchman ummarked incredibly put his header wide. Then Winter found himself in front of goal but clumsily tried to lob the keeper and the chance was wasted.


The crowd at this point thought and hoped a goal would come soon and it did but for Atalanta. In the 50th minute the ever present Pierluigi Orlandini on the right crossed high to the far post where Mauro Valentini headed down into the opposite corner, Lazio 0 Atalanta 1.


Shock and horror at the Olimpico but it almost got worse a minute later. Atalanta orchestrated an efficient counter attack with Orlandini who teed up Giampaolo Saurini, the former Lazio striker was then blocked by a last gasp Roberto Bacci tackle and then Luca Marchegiani was quick to just beat Roberto Rambaudi to the loose ball.


At this point Dino Zoff realised he had to change something and he took off Roberto Cravero, placing Bacci as "libero" and bringing on another striker Pierluigi Casiraghi.


Lazio attacked desperately, pegging Atalanta almost in their own area for prolonged periods.


In the 64th minute the Orobci made a tactical substitution, bringing on a midfielder, Locatelli, for a striker, Saurini.


The tactic hardly had time to be tested that Lazio equalised. The Biancocelesti were awarded a free at the edge of the box, for a foul on Di Mauro, and Signori blasted a low shot which went through the wall and into the right hand corner. Lazio 1 Atalanta 1.


Lazio continued to hammer away and exactly ten minutes later had another identical freekick opportunity, this time for a foul on Paolo Negro. Signori struck again. Lazio 2 Atalanta 1.


The home side were both relieved and galvanised and almost made it three but Montero managed to clear the ball off the goalline.


 In the 86th minute there was time for 17-year old Domenico Cristiano to get his Lazio and Serie A debut, replacing Claudio Sclosa.


Lazio’s third eventually came in the 90th minute and no prizes for guessing how it came… from a Signori freekick. This time the goal was more spectacular, curling round the wall into the top left corner. Lazio 3 Atalanta 1.


An important but unflattering win for Lazio. An underpar performance had been salvaged by Signori's magic left foot from set pieces. The dimininutive blond striker had now scored 20 goals and rumour had it the Lazio owner Sergio Cragnotti owed him some extra prize money.


The embarassment of losing to an already relegated side had been avoided but the two points came in handy too, the table now read; Milan 48, Juventus 42, Sampdoria 41, Lazio 40, Parma 38, Torino 33.

With three games to go Lazio were in Europe again but could now even eye second place.


Who played for Lazio 

Substitutes: Orsi, Corino, Nesta

Manager: Zoff


Who played for Atalanta 

Pinato, Valentini, Codispoti, Magoni, Pavan, Montero, Rambaudi (82' Morfeo), Sgrò, Saurini (64' Locatelli), Scapolo, Orlandini

Substitutes: Ambrosio, Assennato, Perrone

Manager: Valdinoci (Prandelli was without manager's license)


Referee: Franceschini

Goals: 50' Valentini, 66' Signori, 76' Signori, 90' Signori



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