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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

A goal in the mist

Season 1993-94

Game 26, Serie A

Sunday, March 6, 1994

Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Lazio Roma 1-0

An early goal by Beppe Signori in the haze of smoke bombs was enough for Lazio to beat Roma. Giuseppe Giannini missed a penalty.

Source Lazio Wiki

Like all of the derbies in the 90's the match was, to be honest, a brutal affair. Fifty fouls (the first after just 13 seconds) plus countless others ignored by the referee. If this game had been played today, within the first 30 minutes there would have been at least 10 red cards.

Both sides came into this derby really needing a win. Lazio to continue their quest for a place in Europe for the following season and Roma to get out of troubled waters. The previous 7 games between the two teams had all been draws (6 1-1's!!!) so there was a need for something different.

Lazio started very well and in the third minute an Aron Winter header from a corner was saved on the line by Walter Bonacina. The Biancocelesti were very aggressive, especially Alen Boksic playing his first derby, and the Giallorossi seemed a little intimidated.

The dense fog of the smoke bombs did not allow the spectators to see much but those who could were able to witness Lazio’s goal. Diego Fuser to Winter on the right, cross towards the centre of the box and Beppe Signori with a right foot volley put the ball into the top hand corner.

The only people who could see this were the ones facing Winter’s cross in Tribuna Monte Mario or looking at it from Tribuna Tevere. If you listen closely to the reaction of the fans, you will notice that the first cheers for the goal are rather quiet and that they pick up momentum once the rest of the stadium understands that Lazio has scored. A surreal moment, we were in Curva Nord and could not see a thing!!!

Roma were in shock and had enormous difficulty in mustering up any type of reaction. The fouls continued. At one point Paul Gascoigne tried to steal the ball from Bonacina slightly too dangerously. Gazza got the ball and started to run towards the Roma goal. The Roma defender got up, ran after the Englishman and fouled him. A retaliation foul. In today’s game they would have both been sent off, but not in the 90's. Gazza fell badly and injured his rib. He was forced off in the 24th minute and in came Fabrizio Di Mauro (the hero of the previous derby who had equalised for Lazio). Lazio had already lost Cristiano Bergodi through injury (and in had come Beppe Favalli), so no more substitutions possible for the Biancocelesti.

Before the end of the first half, Roma had a couple of chances. In the 23rd minute Sinisa Mihajlovic crossed from the left, Giuseppe Giannini managed to get his head to it but the ball went out. In the 31st minute Massimilliano Cappioli’s header was saved on the line by Fuser who anticipated Luca Marchegiani.

Roma had been fairly absent in the first half so Carlo Mazzone sent in youngster Francesco Totti at the beginning of the second to try and wake his team up. Roma started pushing and in the sixth minute came really close to an equaliser. Aldair sent the ball into the penalty box slightly on the left, Cappioli managed to head it towards the centre, Abel Balbo’s volley hit the woodwork.

In the 15th minute Signori dribbled past a Roma player and went into the box on the far right. Instead of crossing towards the centre he tried to shoot but the ball went over the crossbar.

Colossal chance for Roma in the 68th minute. Totti managed to get past Paolo Negro and entered the penalty box on the right, very close to the goal line. The Roma player felt the presence of the Biancoceleste defender behind him and tried his luck with the ref. He dived. It worked, penalty for Roma. As usual when it comes to the other team from Rome, the players always forget to never count your chickens before they hatch. Cappioli raised his arms in jubilation towards the Curva Sud, Totti even sent kisses. Their faith in captain Giannini was misplaced. Marchegiani became the Lazio hero of the day and saved the penalty.

Ten minutes later Amedeo Carboni, in an aerial challenge with Fuser, deliberately elbowed the Lazio winger in the face. For the ref it was not even a foul.

In the 80th minute, Lazio went on the counterattack. Signori to Boksic who ran past Aldair and entered the box but his shot was well saved by Giovanni Cervone. Six minutes later, another big chance for Roma. Totti crossed low from the right, Balbo anticipated the Lazio defence and was all alone in front of Marchegiani. His indecision on which foot to use allowed the Lazio goalkeeper to clear.

From then on Lazio safely controlled the game and Roma gave up. A very intense game, loads of fouls and not much actual playing time, just under 43 minutes. Finally a win after seven consecutive draws.

Who played for Lazio

Substitutes: Orsi, Sclosa, Casiraghi

Manager: Zoff

Who played for Roma

Cervone, Garzya, Lanna, Mihajlovic, Aldair, Carboni, Cappioli, Piacentini (46' Totti), Balbo, Giannini, Bonacina (64' Scarchilli).

Substitutes: Pazzagli, Comi, Berretta.

Manager: Mazzone.

Referee: Luci

Goal: 6’ Signori



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