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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

March 13, 1988: Cremonese Lazio 0-0

Mission accomplished


An unadventurous Lazio wanted a draw and got it in uneventful game





The season so far


The previous season Lazio had dramatically avoided relegation to Serie C. They started the season with a nine-point docking due to one of their player's involvement in the Totonero bis scandal. The manager was Eugenio Fascetti and only a Giuliano Fiorini goal eight minutes from time in the last game of the season and a subsequent win over Campobasso in a three-team playoff allowed them to stay up. The squad were heroes for life at Lazio but another season was about to begin.

 

Fascetti stayed on and the objective was clearly promotion. The Biancocelesti made some changes to the squad. Arriving were keeper Silvano Martina (Torino), defender Paolo Beruatto (Torino), midfielders Ciro Muro (Napoli), Gabriele Savino (Vicenza) plus forwards Giuseppe Galderisi (Milan-on loan) and Paolo Monelli (Fiorentina).

 

Leaving were keepers Mario Ielpo (Cagliari) and Giuliano Terraneo (Lecce), defenders Ernesto Calisti (Fiorentina), Gabriele Podavini (Genoa), Daniele Filisetti (Venezia-Mestre) plus forwards Giuliano Fiorini (Venezia-Mestre), Paolo Mandelli (Inter-end of loan), Fabio Poli (Bologna) and Giampaolo Saurini (Cagliari-on loan). In the autumn Giorgio Magnocavallo also left (Barletta). Some painful departures, especially Podavini, Poli and Fiorini.

 

So far, Lazio were in the heart of the promotion race. The Biancocelesti had won 8 (including Cremonese 1-0), drawn 11 and lost 4, so on 27 points. They had started off reasonably well (14 points in first 12 matches) but then had seven consecutive draws (not the end of the world but not promotion pace). They had then won three out of the last four and were back on track. Lazio were joint 3rd, one point ahead of Bari 5th and two of Lecce and Catanzaro joint 6th. A week earlier the Biancocelesti had beaten Modena 3-0 at home.

 

In Coppa Italia in August/September they had been eliminated in the group phase. They won 3 (Pisa on penalties, Lecce 1-0, Casertana 2-0) and lost 2 (Juventus on penalties after a 1-1 draw and Catanzaro 0-5).

 

Cremonese had finished 3rd the previous season, under Bruno Mazzia. The Grigiorossi had only missed out on promotion in the playoffs, losing to Lecce and Cesena. In a Lazio connection, the squad included former Lazio Filippo Citterio (1979-81) and future Lazio Attilio Lombardo (1999-2001).

 

This season Mazzia was still on the bench and the squad was pretty much unchanged. So far, the "Tigri" had won 7, drawn 13 and lost 3, so on 27 points just like Lazio, in 3rd place. A week earlier "La Cremo" had won 1-0 away at Piacenza.

 

In Coppa Italia they too had been eliminated in the summer. They had won 3 (Centese 1-0, Sambenedettese and Avellino on penalties) and lost 2 (Empoli 2-3 away and Piacenza on penalties).

 

Today's game was a promotion clash.

 

The match: Sunday, March 13, 1988, Stadio Giovanni Zini, Cremona


A nice, sunny day in the beautiful town of Cremona brought 10,000 spectators to the small Zini ground.

 

Lazio without Giancarlo Camolese and Antonio Rizzolo, but Cremonese were worse off and without defenders Filippo Citterio, Ivan Rizzardi and Mario Montorfano, midfielder Marco Merlo and striker Alviero Chiorri was just back from injury.

 

Lazio made it clear from the start they would happily settle for a point. Their tactical formation was defensive and their approach cautious.

 

Cremonese attacked but were never really dangerous. Their players who were supposed to cause Lazio problems had an off day, in particular Attilio Lombardo. The two Grigiorossi forwards, Chiorri and Marco Nicoletti were constantly beaten by Lazio's defenders.

 

The home side were reduced to trying shots from the long range which were always off target.

 

Silvano Martina had to be on his toes on various crosses and corners but otherwise was unthreatened. He only had to make one save and it was a straightforward one on a Chiorri freekick, far too central and lame.

 

Lazio, however, did even less, but that seemed to be their game plan. Their only half chance came for Paolo Monelli but he messed up his first touch on an inviting cross and lost control of the ball.

 

The game was only livened up by the numerous bookings, six in the end, probably excessive for the bland level of the game. Massimo Piscedda accumulated two bookings and in the 78th minute was sent for an early shower. The remaining 21 players however were already looking forward to theirs and did very little to liven the game up.

 

One would have expected a final furious Cremonese onslaught but it never arrived and Lazio's defence stood firm and brought home the desired point.

 

Lazio were more pleased than the Lombard "Violini" who confirmed their scoring difficulties, only 19 goals in 24 matches but still had the best defence with 11 goals conceded.

 

Who played for Cremonese


Rampulla, Garzilli, Gualco, Piccioni (85' Pelosi), Torri, Galletti, Lombardo, Avanzi, Nicoletti, Bencina, Chiorri

Substitutes: Violini, Baragno, Paini, Feliciani

Manager: Mazzia

 

Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Salafia, Esposito, Biagioni

Manager: Fascetti

 

Referee: Luci



What happened next


Lazio managed to finally conquer promotion, finishing joint 3rd. It was not easy. A week later Lazio lost 0-2 at Padova but then in the next 12, won 6, drew 5 and lost 1. They then came into the last game of the season, against Taranto at home, needing a win. In a packed Olimpico, already under heavy reconstruction for Italia '90 the Biancocelesti won 3-1 and booked their place back in the top flight after three difficult years. Lazio have been in Serie A ever since. Top scorer was Paolo Monelli with 14 goals (13 in B).

 

Cremonese did not make it and finished 6th, 6 points off 3rd place. They drew the next three games and earned 5 points in the following two but then collapsed. In the last 8 games they lost 4, drew 3 and only won 1. The top scorer in total was Alviero Chiorri with 7 while in the league it was Marco Nicoletti with 5 (out of 26 in 38 matches). They ended up with the least beaten defence (only 18 times).

 

Lazio went up with league winners Bologna plus Lecce and Atalanta. At the other end Arezzo, Triestina and Modena slipped down to Serie C.


Lazio 1987-88

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie B

38

15

17

6

42

Coppa Italia

5

2

2

1

4

Total

43

17

19

7

46

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Monelli

42

37

5

Marino

41

36

5

Martina

41

36

5

Pin

41

36

5

Beruatto

40

35

5

Savino

40

35

5

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Monelli

14

13

1

Savino

10

8

2

Muro

4

4

-

Gregucci

3

3

-

Rizzolo

3

3

-

Let's talk about Luca Brunetti


Source Lazio Wiki

Luca Brunetti was born in Cecina (Livorno), on November 10, 1964.

 

His youth career was spent in his hometown club and Sampdoria.

 

In 1979-80 he was part of the Cecina first team squad in Serie D but did not make his debut. The Rossoblu finished 5th.

 

In 1980 he went back to Sampdoria where he stayed for three years. He made his Serie A debut on March 13, 1983, in a victorious 2-0 win at Cesena. This would remain his only first team appearance. The manager was Renzo Ulivieri and the Blucerchiati finished 7th. One of his teammates was Roberto Mancini (Lazio, 1997-2000 and then 2002-04 as manager).

 

In 1983 he joined Rondinella (Florence) in Serie C1. The "Rondine" finished 7th and Brunetti played 22 league games.

 

In 1984 he moved to Perugia in Serie B. The manager was Aldo Agroppi and the Umbri went close to promotion, finishing 4th. Brunetti played 30 league games. The squad included former Lazio, Massimo De Stefanis (1975-79).

 

The following year Brunetti stayed at Perugia, first under Massimo Giacomini (Lazio 1963-64) and then Giampiero Molinari. It was a terrible year for the Biancorossi, first relegated on the pitch with an 18th place and then further relegated in the courts to C2 for their involvement in the Totonero bis match fixing scandal. Brunetti had played 32 league games with 1 goal.

 

In 1986 he joined Lazio in Serie B. Lazio too were punished for the Totonero affair and docked nine points. The manager was Eugenio Fascetti and the Biancocelesti managed in the minor miracle of avoiding relegation in dramatic style. First scoring eight minutes from time in the last game of the season (Giuliano Fiorini's epic goal against Vicenza) and then in a three-team playoff beating Campobasso 1-0 (with Fabio Poli's header). Brunetti played 17 league games plus the 2 playoff games and 5 in Coppa Italia.

 

The following year both Brunetti and Fascetti stayed on. Lazio finally won promotion back to Serie A. Brunetti played 21 league games and 4 in Coppa Italia.

 

In 1988 he joined Taranto in Serie B. He stayed four years. They finished 19th (relegated), 1st (promoted), 9th and 16th (safe via a playoff). His managers were Fernando Veneranda and then Roberto Clagluna (Lazio 1970-83) the first year, Clagluna the second, Walter Nicoletti the third and Nicoletti and then Giampiero Vitali in the fourth. Brunetti played 130 league games with 9 goals. His teammates included Francesco Dell' Anno (Lazio 1983-86) and Ciro Muro (Lazio 1987-89).

 

In 1992 Brunetti joined Brescia in Serie A. The manager was Adelio Moro with Mircea Lucescu as technical director. The Biancazzurri were relegated and Brunetti played 32 league games with 1 goal (84th minute equaliser in 1-1 away draw to Milan).

 

The following year the Rondinelle bounced straight back up. Brunetti played 12 league games. They also won the Anglo-Italian Cup beating Notts County 1-0 in the final.

 

In 1994 -95 he spent his last year in Brescia. The Leonessa was relegated, first under Lucescu (1-20), then Luigi Maifredi and finally Moro again. Brunetti played 6 league games and 1 in Coppa Italia.

 

In his time at Brescia he played with Lazio connections Luciano De Paola (1993), Giampaolo Saurini (1988-89, 1990-91, 1993), Paolo Negro (1993-2005), Sergio Domini (1990-91), Marco Piovanelli (1995-97), Maurizio Neri (1981-93), Marco Ballotta (1997-2000, 2005-08) and Luigi Corini (1991-94) plus, in his final year, a young Andrea Pirlo (future Milan and Juventus legend and World Champion in 2006) and the great Gheorghe Hagi.

 

In 1995-96 Brunetti played a season at Lucchese in Serie B. The manager was Bruno Bolchi and the Pantere finished 6th. Brunetti however only played 2 league games.

 

In 1996-97 he was with Pontedera (Pisa) in C2. The Granata finished 15th under manager Piero Braglia. Brunetti played 16 league games with 2 goals.

 

In 1997-98 he played for Sangiovannese (San Giovanni Valdarno-Arezzo) in Serie D. The Azzurri finished 8th and Brunetti played 15 league games.

 

His final four years of playing career were spent with his local Cecina team in Serie D. He then retired in 2003, at 38.

 

Since retiring he has remained in the football world especially at youth level. He started with Rosignano Sei Rose (Livorno) in the 5th tier, then had a year in the Pisa youth set up, in 2007-08 he was Lecce U19's manager, in 2009 he collaborated with Bologna and in 20011 with Torino. His last job was in 2015-16 in the Livorno youth academy. He also worked as a talent scout for Padova.

 

Brunetti was a defender. As a player he was physically strong at 1.82 and 80 kilos. He played 33 games in Serie A and had the satisfaction of scoring at San Siro. Most of his career however was spent in Serie B and C. He won promotions to A with Brescia and Lazio and won C1 with Taranto.

 

At Lazio he is part of one of the most popular squads ever, the -9 team of 1986-87 that avoided Serie C and possibly the end of the club. The following year he was part of the promotion squad. He played a total of 49 games for the Biancocelesti.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances

Serie B

Coppa Italia

1986-87

24

19

5

1987-88

25

21

4

Total

49

40

9

Sources




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