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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Lazio let Vicenza off lightly despite 4 goal thrashing

Updated: Feb 7

Game 13, Serie A

Sunday, December 21, 1997

Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Lazio Vicenza 4-0

Lazio buried Vicenza with 4 goals but it could have been more, many more.

Ticket owned by Dag Jenkins, photo by Dag Jenkins

With both teams tied on 18 points the game had an important feel to it. This direct clash would perhaps give a clearer idea on the two teams realistic aspirations for the season.

Lazio had only earned 4 Points in the last 4 games and were without Pavel Nedved. Vicenza also had some absences, especially in defence and came from a bruising 5-1 home defeat against Fiorentina. It is fair to say neither team came into the match buzzing with confidence.

Lazio came out strongly backed by a good home crowd. They were already ahead after six minutes. A precise Roberto Mancini cross from a free kick was headed in by Pierluigi Casiraghi, not without some help from a hesitant Vicenza keeper. This however would be Pierluigi Brivio's only mistake of an otherwise excellent performance.

Lazio had several more opportunities especially with Croatian Alen Boksic while Vicenza had their only real chance of the game with Viviano but his shot was blocked by Giuseppe Favalli. A key game changer came just before halftime when Vicenza defender Lorenzo Stovini (ex Roma youth player) was shown a second yellow card (the first it must be said had been rather harsh) for hacking down Mancini in midfield. So, after 45 minutes Lazio were 1-0 up and the Veneti were down to 10 men.

The second half was predictably dominated by Lazio who had a series of close efforts with Casiraghi, Mancini and twice Boksic. A goal was in the air and it came in the form of a bullet by Diego Fuser. In the 63rd minute he hammered the ball into the roof of the net from just inside the box. If Fuser's was a bullet, what came seven minutes later can only be described as a cannonball. Giorgio Venturin, who had only just come on the field, tried his luck from an unearthly distance (locals would say " da sotto casa", from outside his house), his powerful shot flew at an incredible speed and ended up in the top hand corner. A cracking goal, what Italians call a "Euro gol" and it was 3-0.

After a Mancini free kick, brilliantly saved by Brivio, there was still time for another goal. In the first minute of stoppage time Giuseppe Pancaro's perfectly dosed cross was headed in by Boksic to make it 4-0.

A convincing win for Lazio. The fact that Vicenza's keeper was by far their best player says it all about Lazio’s superiority on the day. It was a big win for Lazio but it could have been worse for Vicenza, a lot worse.

Lazio looked to the future with more optimism. The defensive duo Alessandro Nesta and Paolo Negro was combining well and the attack was creating chances and scoring. For Vicenza meanwhile, it was a bit of a reality check and confirmed the alarm bells still echoing from a week earlier.

Who played for Lazio

Substitutes: Ballotta, G.Lopez, Chamot, Gottardi

Who played for Vicenza

Brivio, Stovini, Dicara, Canals, Beghetto, Schenardi (82' Firmani), Di Carlo, Ambrosini, Ambrosetti (72' Maspero), Viviani, Luiso (85' Di Napoli)

Substitutes: Falcioni, Baronio, Zauli, Otero

Manager: Guidolin

Referee: Bolognino

Goals: 6' Casiraghi, 63' Fuser, 70' Venturin, 91' Boksic



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