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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

One further step towards glory

Updated: May 4

Game 25, Serie A

Sunday, April 14, 1974

Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Lazio Verona 4-2

Lazio come from behind to beat Verona and gain another point on Juventus

Source Lazio Wiki

The game should have been an easy one. Verona were third from bottom and even if they had beaten Milan the previous week, there was no way they could stop the mighty Lazio.

The belief was strengthened in the 4th minute when Mario Frustalupi sent a ball in the box and Aldo Bet, in an attempt to anticipate Giorgio Chinaglia, headed the ball into his own net.

The immediate lead did not stop the Biancocelesti who had chances with Chinaglia, Franco Nanni, Renzo Garlaschelli, Luciano Re Cecconi and Vincenzo D’Amico, either wide by a whisker or miraculously saved by the Verona goalkeeper Mario Giacomi in a state of grace.

But in the 25th minute the match changed. Walter Franzot passed the ball in the box to Gianfranco Zigoni who turned around and scored on the far post where Felice Pulici could do nothing.

If Lazio had been pushing before the equaliser, they certainly would not stop now. A Chinaglia header anticipated Giacomi but the ball was wide. A D’Amico cross went right across the penalty box and out of the blue came Garlaschelli but his header was also wide.

Two minutes from the end of the first half, Verona doubled. Livio Luppi crossed from the right, the ball reached Zigoni on the left who crossed again. Giancarlo Oddi wanted to clear into corner but unfortunately he put it in his own net. Verona surprisingly ahead at the end of the first half.

The crowd did not know where to look. Never in a million years would the fans have thought that Lazio would be in this state after 45 minutes. The Biancocelesti had not played badly but had been terribly unlucky.

The players headed for the changing rooms but there they found Tommaso Maestrelli at the door. “Where do you think you are going? Get back out there and think of how you are going to win this match”. The players turned around and went back on the pitch.

The crowd could not believe it. Why had they come back on to play so early? There were more than 10 minutes to go until the beginning of the second half. After a few minutes of bewilderment, the fans got it and started to shout Lazio Lazio. They did that for the entire interval so when Verona came back onto the pitch, they saw the Lazio players ready, the crowd all wound up, it was like walking into a den unarmed against 50,000 lions. In the second half the Biancocelesti ripped them apart.

In the 49th minute Frustalupi took a free kick Giacomi went to catch the ball but dropped it and Garlaschelli tapped it in. Lazio besieged poor Giacomi who did what he could against Chinaglia, Garlaschelli and Re Cecconi. When Zigoni had to be substituted due to injury, even Oddi went forward and one of his shots was masterfully saved by the Verona keeper.

In the 74th there was the umpteenth Frustalupi cross in the box. Too high for Chinaglia but in came Nanni who with a spectacular volley gave Lazio the lead. Two minutes later D’Amico received the ball on the half way line, went past two Verona defenders on the right, reached the goal line and passed it in the box to Chinaglia. Long John controlled it and with a left shot scored Lazio’s fourth. Game over.

Juve could not go further than a draw, the Biancocelesti now had a four point lead.

A fantastic psychological move by Maestrelli.

Who played for Lazio

Substitutes: Moriggi, Polentes, Franzoni

Manager: Maestrelli

Who played for Verona

Giacomi, F.Nanni, Sirena, Bachlechner, Bet, Mascalaito, Franzot, Maddè, Luppi, Zaccarelli, Zigoni (56' Pace).

Substitutes: 12 Porrino, 13 Ranghino.

Manager: Cadè.

Referee: Giunti

Goals: 4’ Bet (og), 25’ Zigoni, 43’ Oddi (og), 49’ Garlaschelli, 76’ Nanni, 78’ Chinaglia



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