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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Missed opportunity

Game 18, Serie A

Sunday, February 4, 1940

Stadio PNF, Rome

Lazio Fiorentina 1-1

A missed opportunity for Lazio who had created numerous chances

Source Wikipedia

Lazio did pretty well in the first half of the season, beating Milan, Napoli and Juventus and drawing against the formidable Ambrosiana Inter. They were currently third together with Inter, two points behind Genoa and three from Bologna.

The match

Silvio Piola was placed at midfield and he started the game very well, giving a hand in defence too. Enrique Flamini however, moved to the right wing, blatantly made it clear that he was not happy with this new position. After thirty minutes great chance for Lazio. Piola crossed for Evaristo Barrera who passed to Silvestro Pisa. The powerful shot was deflected by Arrigo Morselli and spun up in the air. Luigi Vettraino decided it was too risky to volley it towards the goal and passed back to Barrera who had to decide with which foot he would attempt to score. Once he decided he angled it too much and the ball shaved the post. The applause however indicated that the fans appreciated the attempt.

Five minutes later Piola put Barrera in front of the goalkeeper but the new centre forward shot over the crossbar. Piola then missed an easy chance when Barrera headed a perfect assist to him. Towards the end of the first half, first Pisa and then Giuseppe Baldo had shots well saved by Luigi Griffanti.

In the second half manager Geza Kertesz put Piola at the centre of the attack again and in the first ten minutes the Viola keeper was called to action four times to parry shots and headers from Barrera, Vettraino, Flamini and Pisa. But in the 59th minute he could do very little on a marvellous acrobatic bicycle kick from the great Silvio, but the ball hit the crossbar. A minute later penalty for Lazio. Morselli fouled Piola in the box and the referee indicated the spot kick. Who was going to take it? Surprisingly Pisa collected the ball and took the penalty. His powerful but central shot hit the goalkeeper and bounced back to him. It was an easy chance but Pisa made the same mistake again and Griffanti managed to save.

At this point Fiorentina thought that this was a good omen and started to attack even if it was Pisa again who only just missed the target in the 67th minute.

Kertesz in the 70th minute changed everything in attack once more. Vettraino was moved to centre forward and Piola left winger. In the 72nd minute Giacomo Blason had to save a Morselli freekick into corner but two minutes later it was the Biancocelesti who scored. Splendid cross from the left from Piola and Vettraino headed the ball in.

Piola and Vettraino changed roles again but Fiorentina scored the equaliser. In the 80th minute Romano Penzo, with a foul, stole the ball off Luciano Ramella and passed to Giuliano Tagliasacchi who with a slow but precise shot beat Blason.

Kertesz changed the attack again but to no avail. On the contrary, if there was one team that could have scored it was Fiorentina who with Morselli and Mario Celoria gave Blason work to do.

A missed opportunity for Lazio who had created numerous chances. But there had been too many changes in attack which, instead of creating confusion in the Viola defence, only created confusion in the Biancoceleste attack.

Who played for Lazio


Manager: Kertesz

Who played for Fiorentina

Griffanti, Simontacchi, Piccardi, Ellena, Bigogno, Morselli, Frigo, Grolli, Penzo I, Celoria, Tagliasacchi

Manager: Galluzzi


Referee: Bertolio


Goals: 74’ Vettraino, 80’ Tagliasacchi




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