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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Young Dane Laudrup and "Lazarus" Giordano give Lazio hope

Updated: Apr 1

Game 27, Serie A

Sunday, April 21, 1984

Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Lazio Napoli 3-2

A lightning strike by Bruno-Gol and a brace by "Michelino" steer Lazio to possibly crucial win

Ticket owned by Dag Jenkins, photo by Dag Jenkins

This delicate relegation clash was played on a hot, sunny day in front of 55,000 spectators. It was played on a Saturday as the following day was Easter Sunday.

Lazio got off to a dream start. After only thirty seconds Joao Batista fed Michael Laudrup on the right, the Dane put a high ball into the area where Bruno Giordano's uncertain left footed low strike somehow went under Luciano Castellini’s body and found the net. Still inside the first minute and Lazio 1 Napoli 0.

The visitors reacted with a chance for Claudio Pellegrini but his left-footed strike went wide. Then came a comedy of errors. On a Vincenzo D'Amico free kick the referee Agnolin saw a handball by Costanzo Celestini and awarded Lazio a penalty. Giordano took it but Castellini saved and then the Trasteverino striker scored on the rebound. 2-0? No, the referee ordered it to be retaken as some players had entered the area too early. Giordano stepped up again and it was saved again. End of story? No, the penalty had to be repeated for the same reason as before. This time D'Amico took the responsibility...and missed.

At this point Lazio pulled back to protect their slender lead and Napoli's midfield of Dirceu-Paolo Dal Fiume-Celestini took control. Napoli had one big chance but Pasquale Casale's shot was saved well by Nando Orsi.

In the 33rd minute Lazio struck with a perfect counterattack. Claudio Vinazzani gained possession and gave the ball to Giordano who put Laudrup through on the right, "Michelino's" famous acceleration was too much for Simone Boldini and he beat Castellini coming off his line. Lazio 2 Napoli 0.

Napoli immediately had a chance to get back in the game but a Casale header went high. They did however pull one back just before halftime. In the 42nd minute Dal Fiume went round Gabriele Podavini and beat Orsi with a right-footed shot. The score at the break Lazio 2 Napoli 1.

So far the visitors had played more as a team but Lazio's fighting spirit and two superior level players in Giordano and Laudrup had made the difference.

The second half started with one change, Luigi Caffarelli coming on for Casale. Napoli attacked looking for an equaliser and had chances with Gianni De Rosa and Pellegrini but it was Lazio who scored again. In the 62nd minute Giordano was again the assist man with a cross for Laudrup whose speed got the better of Napoli's backline and his outstretched left-footed strike beat a hesitant Castellini. 3-1 Lazio.

It seemed time to relax and listen out for the other relegation rivals scores on the radio but then with just under 15 minutes to go Napoli reopened the contest. In the 77th minute a Moreno Ferrario free kick was cleared off the line by Giancarlo Marini but only as far as Celestini who scored from the rebound. Lazio 3 Napoli 2 and a tense last 13 minutes approaching.

Napoli obviously piled forward until the end but Lazio managed to hold on and bring home a potentially vital two points.

On a personal note the game was so important that I left a family holiday on the Amalfi coast early to rush back for today. I'm not sure I would still do that nowadays but I would like to think so ...

Who played for Lazio

Substitutes: Cacciatori, Piscedda, Piraccini

Manager: Carosi

Who played for Napoli

Castellini, Boldini, Frapampina, Celestini, Krol, Ferrario, Casale (46' Caffarelli), Dal Fiume, C. Pellegrini (81' Palanca), Dirceu, De Rosa

Substitutes: Di Fusco, Masi, Della Pietra

Manager: Marchesi

Referee: Agnolin

Goals: 1' Giordano, 33' Laudrup, 42' Dal Fiume, 62' Laudrup, 77' Celestini



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