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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Lazio clinch UEFA Cup clash

Updated: Apr 4

Game 18, Serie A

Sunday, January 31, 1993

Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Lazio Sampdoria 2-1

Lazio defeat rivals for Europe with goals by Riedle and Stroppa

Ticket owned by Dag Jenkins, photo by Dag Jenkins

The so-called "giorni della merla", traditionally the coldest days of the year in Rome, had been kind and it was a mild afternoon in the capital. A 45,000 crowd was present for this crucial clash for future European places.


Lazio started off strongly and took the lead almost immediately. In the 7th minute Paul Gascoigne floated a lovely ball over the Doria defence on the right side of the area where Beppe Signori then curled a perfect cross in for a Karl-Heinz Riedle header which blasted past Gianluca Pagliuca. The German celebrated enthusiastically as he had not scored for 1,061 minutes. Lazio 1 Sampdoria 0.


Lazio continued on the front foot for at least another quarter of an hour. A funny episode occurred in the 12th minute when, following excessive complaints from Gascoigne, the referee offered the Geordie a chewing gum to calm him down. It worked and Gazza accepted the gesture with a laugh.


After Lazio's initial forcing, Sampdoria gradually came into the game which became more balanced. Roberto Mancini had a free kick opportunity but it was comfortably saved low by Fernando Orsi.


A very controversial moment came in the 26th minute when Signori dispossessed Stefano Sacchetti in midfield, raced towards goal, entered the area and was clearly fouled by Pietro Vierchowod but not for the referee.


In the 29th minute Signori again stole possession, this time from Vierchowod, surged forward and was one-on-one with Pagliuca, who however burst off his line and saved with his feet.


In the 37th minute Gascoigne chipped a freekick over the visitors’ backline for a Riedle header but Pagliuca dived acrobatically and even managed to catch the ball.


Just before halftime Orsi was busy three times. First, he had to come off his line and clear before Mauro Bertarelli, totally unmarked, could have a free shot, then he dived low to his left and blocked a long-range Giovanni Invernizzi effort and finally he blocked a powerful but central Mancini freekick. This Sampdoria pressure was a sign of things to come. For now, halftime Lazio 1 Sampdoria 0.


For the second 45 minutes Lazio were forced to replace an injured Roberto Cravero with Cristiano Bergodi.


Sampdoria started where they had finished off. In the 49th minute, future Lazio Vladimir Jugovic shaved the post with a long-range strike.


The Blucerchiati pushed forward but were not dangerous again until the 68th minute when, on a cross from the right, Attilio Lombardo found himself a metre out in front of goal but Orsi was off his line in a flash and cleared.


In the meantime, Lazio had replaced a tired Gascoigne with Giovanni Stroppa in the 57th minute and Sampdoria had taken off Stefano Sacchetti for Serena in the 64th.


Lazio continued to defend but occasionally had space on the break. In the 80th minute Eriksson threw on another striker Renato Buso for midfielder Srecko Katanec. In the 82nd minute came a game changer. Lazio burst forward on a counterattack, Signori squared to Riedle with acres of space, Pagliuca raced out of the box to challenge him but the German lobbed him and was pulled down. Direct red card and not only ten men but without a keeper as they had already made both their substitutions, Moreno Mannini took the ungrateful task of going in the nets.


A Lazio goal was now on the cards and it came in the 86th minute. Signori found Stroppa on the left vertex of the area, the former Milan player controlled, moved forward and curled a brilliant low shot into the far corner. Mannini could do nothing but I'm not convinced even Pagliuca would have saved it. Lazio 2 Sampdoria 0. Two nil up against 10 men and no proper keeper. Game over? No.


In the 88th minute Sampdoria surprisingly pulled one back. A wonderful floated freekick by Mancini, from just outside the box, nestled itself into the top-hand left corner. Lazio 2 Sampdoria 1.


Luckily for Lazio there was not much time left to panic and they played out the remaining minutes without running any particular risks.


An important win for the Biancocelesti. It had been an evenly balanced game, the Genoese with more possession but Lazio with sharper forwards. Lazio moved up to joint 3rd with Juventus and Atalanta while Sampdoria were caught up by Torino in 6th place.


Who played for Lazio

Substitutes: Fiori, Gregucci, Neri

Manager: Zoff


Who played for Sampdoria

Pagliuca, Mannini, Sacchetti, (64' Serena), Walker, Vierchowod, Invernizzi, Lombardo, Jugovic, Bertarelli, R. Mancini, Katanec (80' Buso)

Substitutes: Nuciari, Bucchioni, Chiesa

Manager: Eriksson


Referee: Bettin

Goals: 7' Riedle, 86' Stroppa, 88' Mancini


Red card: 82' Pagliuca



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