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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Zeman's masterpiece

Season 1994-95

Game 22, Serie A

Sunday March 5, 1995

Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Lazio Fiorentina 8-2

A celebration of Zeman's football at its best as Lazio put eight goals past Fiorentina

The game was played on a mild, sunny, March day in front of a 45,000 crowd.

Lazio were without star striker Beppe Signori while Fiorentina were missing defender Márcio Santos and midfielder Fabrizio Di Mauro (former Lazio).

Lazio sensed the Florentine defence was in a generous mood after only four minutes. A low Alen Boksic cross was tapped in by an unmarked Gigi Casiraghi for 1-0.

Lazio were all over Fiorentina with Aron Winter, Diego Fuser and Roberto Di Matteo in absolute control of the midfield. The second goal came on the half hour mark when a Fuser corner was headed backwards by Winter and slotted in by Paolo Negro, 2-0 Lazio.

Fiorentina then had a good Gabriel Batistuta free kick saved by Luca Marchegiani, while Casiraghi also went close, but Lazio's third came only five minutes later. Boksic was pulled down in the area by Alberto Malusci and Roberto Cravero coolly put away the penalty for 3-0.

Lazio continued on the front foot and Casiraghi set up by Di Matteo almost got Lazio’s fourth, his shot going just wide. Just before halftime, however, Fiorentina had a huge chance to cut the deficit. The "Gigliati" were awarded a penalty but Batistuta's powerful blast was brilliantly saved by Marchegiani. Halftime Lazio 3 Fiorentina 0.

The second half opened with another Batistuta attempt but after going around Marchegiani, he pulled the ball wide with the goal unguarded.

Lazio were relentless, producing attack after attack and in the 49th minute scored again. This time it was Di Matteo to Negro who, with a low cross again put Casiraghi in a tap- in position for his personal brace and 4-0 Lazio.

The Zdenek Zeman goal machine marched on and struck again eight minutes later. A Roberto Rambaudi cross was nodded backwards into the heart of the area and headed in by Boksic to make it 5-0.

In the 60th minute Fiorentina saved their pride and scored. A Giovanni Tedesco shot was saved by Marchegiani but the loose ball then fell to Rui Costa who anticipated Negro and scored. The "Gol della bandiera" (literally a flag goal but an expression meaning consolation goal)? No, Fiorentina scored again in the 74th minute with Batistuta who this time fired home a second penalty.

Any idea of a crazy comeback was soon thwarted by Stefano Pioli being sent off and leaving Fiorentina with ten men in the 76th minute. Thwarted and then shattered by three more Lazio goals.

In the 82nd minute Casiraghi got his hat-trick slotting in from yet another low cross, this time by Di Matteo. Four minutes later it was Marco Di Vaio's turn for some glory with a well taken goal for the 7-2.

In the last minute Lazio decided to exaggerate and after being awarded a penalty Casiraghi scored his fourth of the afternoon from the spot kick to make it 8-2.

Total destruction and a fantastic attacking display by Lazio. Everything clicked and they could have scored another eight. Fiorentina's fragile defence just could not cope with Lazio's attacking moves, Rambaudi and Boksic in particular were like knives going through butter. Casiraghi got four but missed many more.

In the more human and less security minded years, the gates of the Olimpico were opened about fifteen minutes before full-time. This was for those who wanted to leave before and beat the traffic but it also enabled people to come in for free and watch the end of the game, even in the more expensive seats. Anyway on this particular day my brother was one of the lucky "latecomers" who saw three goals in ten minutes. We joked later that he saw more goals in ten minutes than in some whole seasons in the 80's...

Who played for Lazio

Substitutes: Orsi, Bacci, De Sio

Manager: Zeman

Who played for Fiorentina

Toldo, Sottil (46' Flachi), Luppi, Cois (46' Amerini), Pioli, Malusci, Carbone, Tedesco, Batistuta, Rui Costa, Baiano

Substitutes: Scalabrelli, Innocenti, Campolo

Manager: Ranieri

Referee: Treossi

Goals: 4' Casiraghi, 30' Negro, 35' Cravero (pen), 49' Casiraghi, 57' Boksic, 60' Rui Costa, 74' Batistuta (pen), 82' Casiraghi, 86' Di Vaio, 89' Casiraghi (pen)



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