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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

March 14, 2001: Leeds Lazio 3-3, Champions League

Updated: Mar 15

Nothing at stake but spectacular draw


Both teams had weakened sides but it turned out to be a six-goal, entertaining game





The season so far


Lazio had qualified for the competition by winning their historic second Scudetto. The Biancocelesti had also won the Coppa Italia to clinch the double. They had then followed these up by winning the Italian Supercoppa in September beating Inter 4-3.

 

The summer market seemed to have further strengthened the Romans. Arriving were keeper Angelo Peruzzi (Inter), midfielders Dino Baggio (Parma), Lucas Castromán (Vélez Sarsfield), Karel Poborský (Benfica) plus forwards Hernán Crespo (Parma) and Claudio Lopez (Valencia).

 

Some sacrifices were obviously necessary and leaving were keeper Marco Ballotta (Inter), defender Nestor Sensini, midfielders Matias Almeyda (Parma), Attilio Lombardo (Sampdoria), Sergio Conceição (Parma) and forwards Alen Boksic (Middlesbrough) and Roberto Mancini (retiring). Some great players who would be missed.

 

In Serie A things had not gone as hoped and Lazio were currently in 3rd position but well-off leaders Roma. In early January Sven-Goran Eriksson had resigned due to Lazio's difficulties and a 5th position but also as he had already agreed to become England national coach from June 2001 and thought it was the right thing to do. Dino Zoff took over and things had improved with 7 wins and a draw. Three days before today's match however Lazio had lost 0-2 in Bologna.

 

In today's competition, the Champions League, Lazio were in the second group phase but already out.

 

They had started the tournament in September in the first group phase. The Biancocelesti had won 4 (Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0 away and 5-1 at home, Sparta Prague 3-0 at home and 1-0 away), drawn 1 (Arsenal 1-1 at home) and lost 1 (Arsenal 0-2 away).

 

In the second group phase things had started badly with 3 defeats (Anderlecht 0-1 away, Leeds United 0-1 at home and Real Madrid 2-3 away, with a dubious last-minute penalty). They then held Real Madrid to a 2-2 home draw and beat Anderlecht 2-1 at home but it was too little too late and Lazio were going up to West Yorkshire already eliminated.

 

Leeds United, on the other hand, were already through to the quarter-finals. The Whites had started in the qualifying round in August by beating 1860 Munich 3-1 on aggregate.

 

In the first group stage they had started badly losing 0-4 at Barcelona but then picked up winning 2 (Milan 1-0 and Beşiktaş 6-0, both at home) and drawing 3 (Beşiktaş 0-0 away, Barcelona 1-1 at home and Milan 1-1 away).

 

In the second-round group stage Leeds had won 3 (Lazio 1-0 away, Anderlecht home and away, 2-1 and 4-1) and lost 2 (Real Madrid 0-2 at home and 2-3 away). The Peacocks were already guaranteed second place in the group behind the Merengues.

 

Leeds were a great team. The manager was Irishman David O'Leary and the previous season had finished 3rd in the Premier League and reached the UEFA Cup semi-finals (lost to Galatasaray 2-4 on aggregate). They had players such as Rio Ferdinand, David Batty, Lee Bowyer, Harry Kewell, Mark Viduka and Dominic Matteo just to name a few.

 

In the current Premier League, the Whites were again in the CL positions, challenging Arsenal, Liverpool and Ipswich Town. In the league they were unbeaten since January 20 and their most recent game was a 1-1 home draw against arch-rivals and top of the table Manchester United from across the Pennines.

 

Tonight's game therefore was not important for qualification but it was still a Champions League game. There was pride involved, plus European reputation and of course economic incentive.

 

In my opinion, Lazio and Leeds have a lot in common, apart from from having five letters and beginning with L. Great highs and great lows in their history including glory days in the 1970's, a slump in the 80's, a revival in the 90's, a wonderful and loyal fan base. They are also unfashionable clubs, ones people love to hate for various reasons (although Leeds have strong support in Norway due to the televised games in the 70's). They will never be darlings of the press or liked by the masses. Leeds have two big successful clubs nearby (now three with Manchester City), Liverpool and Manchester United. Lazio have Roma on their doorsteps (a merger of several local teams in 1927 while Lazio decided to remain fiercely independent), a more fashionable club, with more support and pumped by the media.

 

Tonight, however, they were rivals at Elland Road.


The match: Wednesday, March 14, 2001, Elland Road Stadium, Leeds


A big crowd turned up at Elland Road, 37,000. There was only pride at stake but it was a Champions League night and when you have been through what Leeds and Lazio have, you don't snub these occasions.

 

Both sides however logically put out slightly weakened line-ups. Leeds had an away game against Charlton on the Saturday and Lazio had a big match against Juventus on the Sunday.

 

Leeds were without Alan Smith and Eirik Bakke suspended, Radebe was injured and they rested Rio Ferdinand, Jonathan Woodgate and Robbie Keane while Nigel Martyn, David Batty and Olivier Dacourt were on the bench. Lazio decided to play without Angelo Peruzzi, Alessandro Nesta, Giuseppe Favalli, Diego Simeone and Karel Poborský while Paolo Negro, Beppe Pancaro and Hernan Crespo were on the bench.

 

The game started with Lazio shaky at the back and in the 2nd and 3rd minutes mistakes by Emanuele Pesaresi and then Fernando Couto almost cost them early goals but Leeds were off target with Bowyer.

 

After this dodgy start Lazio grew into the game especially thanks to Pavel Nedved who was one of the livelier players. In the 21st minute he charged down the right wing and put in a perfect cross which Fabrizio Ravanelli headed in. Leeds 0 Lazio 1. Ravanelli was already far from popular in Leeds for having played for rivals Middlesbrough.

 

Lazio's lead only lasted seven minutes as Lee Bowyer equalised. Kewell crossed in from the right, Lazio cleared badly with Pesaresi and the ball fell to Bowyer who struck a wonderful curling lob on the half volley into the far post corner. Leeds 1 Lazio 1.

 

Lazio, however, took only a minute to take back the lead. In the 29th minute Ravanelli latched on to a long ball into the area and was pulled down by his back for a penalty. The specialist Sinisa Mihajlovic made no mistake with a powerful mid-height strike to Paul Robinson's left. Leeds 1 Lazio 2.

 

The game was entertaining as neither team really had anything to lose. Bowyer threatened again with a header from a corner but Luca Marchegiani blocked centrally. In the 44th minute the home side won a corner despite heavy protests from the Italians who were adamant it had come off a Leeds player. Anyway, the corner was swung in and went over the defence to Jason Wilcox who drilled in a low left foot for the Peacocks' equaliser. Leeds 2 Lazio 2.

 

The second half started with no changes but was less balanced, with Leeds more dominant. Lazio struggled to get out of their own half with Ravanelli and Claudio Lopez far too isolated up front. Leeds had shots by Wilcox, Kewell and Bowyer but were either off target or not clinical enough in front of goal.

 

The Leeds goal came however in the 62nd minute. Kewell floated in a freekick from the right and Viduka beat Mihajlovic and twisting his body sent a strong, low header past Marchegiani. Leeds 3 Lazio 2.

 

A deserved lead for the Yorkshire side who then took the Australian striker off and brought on 20-year-old Anthony Hackworth. Lazio did not have much of a reaction and it was Leeds who went closer with a Kewell header well saved by Marchegiani.

 

In the 73rd minute Lazio threw on Marcelo "Matador" Salas for Claudio Lopez. Lazio almost equalised with a curling freekick by Mihajlovic from about 27-28 metres out but Robinson did well to dive to his right and parry for a corner, especially as the ball had taken a slight deflection.

 

Lazio then seemed to have half given up when they put on a youth player in the 88th minute, Daniele Ruggiu for Lucas Castromán.

 

In the 90th minute however Leeds made the mistake (although they did contest the decision) of giving Mihajlovic another chance on a freekick from a similar position, possibly slightly closer, about 25 metres out centrally. This time Sinisa curled it over the wall but towards the other post and into the right corner. Leeds 3 Lazio 3.

 

There was only time for a final substitution as in the 92nd minute David Batty replaced Alan Maybury.

 

A fair draw in the end. Lazio had led twice but Leeds would have won on points. An enjoyable game, possibly more than could have been expected under the circumstances.

 

So, Leeds were marching on together in the Champions League while Lazio had to turn to Sunday's big game against Juventus.

 

Who played for Leeds


Robinson, Maybury (92' Batty), Mills, Matteo, Harte, Kelly, Bowyer, Burns, Wilcox, Kewell, Viduka (63' Hackworth)

Substitutes: Martyn, Dacourt, Hay

Manager: O'Leary

 

Who played Lazio


Substitutes: Orlandoni, Negro, Pancaro, Luciani, Crespo

Manager: Zoff

 

Referee: Plautz (Austria)


Goals: 21' Ravanelli, 28' Bowyer, 29' Mihajlovic (pen), 43' Wicox, 62' Viduka, 90' Mihajlovic



What happened next


Lazio crushed Juventus 4-1 on the Sunday. They finished the season well and came 3rd (CL qualification). In the last 11 matches, the Biancocelesti won 7, drew 2 (including derby equalising in 95th minute after being 0-2 down) and lost 2 (including last game at Lecce where they basically gave up once they heard other scores). Top scorer was Hernan Crespo with 28 goals (26 in A and top scorer).

 

Leeds went on to reach the semi-finals. In the quarter finals they eliminated Deportivo La Coruña 3-2 on aggregate but then lost 0-3 on aggregate to another Spanish club, Valencia.

 

In the Premier League, the Whites won the next 6 games in a row (including Liverpool 2-1 away) but then lost at Arsenal 1-2 so, despite then winning the last two (including local derby with Bradford City 6-1), had to settle for 4th place (only one point from CL qualification). All in all, a good season however for Leeds. Top scorer was Mark Viduka with 22 goals (17 in EPL)

 

The Champions League was won by Bayern Munich who beat Valencia on penalties in Milan after a 1-1 draw (two penalties). Serie A was won by Roma while Manchester United clinched the Premier League.

 

On a personal note, I have to confess I have a soft spot for Leeds United. My sister is married to a Leeds fan and lives in Leeds with her family. I have been to Elland Road a couple of times and always look out for their result hoping they have won (except against Lazio, Cardiff City and, if it ever happens, Brann Bergen).


Lazio 2000-01

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

34

21

6

7

65

Coppa Italia

4

2

1

1

9

Champions League

12

5

3

4

22

Super Coppa

1

1

-

-

4

Total

51

29

10

12

100

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

Super Coppa

Nedved

46

31

4

10

1

Pancaro

43

31

1

10

1

Simeone

41

30

2

8

1

Crespo

40

32

1

6

1

Nesta

39

29

1

8

1

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

Super Coppa

Crespo

28

26

-

2

-

Nedved

13

9

1

3

-

Salas

8

7

1

-

-

Mihajlovic

8

4

1

2

1

Inzaghi

7

4

-

3

-

Lopez

7

-

-

5

2

Let's talk about Francesco Colonnese


Source Lazio Wiki

Francesco Colonnese was born in Potenza, on August 10, 1971. He has always been known as "Ciccio".

 

His first footballing was with small local team Avigliano and then in 1988 he joined main local team Potenza.

 

In 1989 he joined the first team, in Serie C2. He played two seasons, finishing 14th and 10th. His managers were Luciano Aristei and Salvatore Di Somma. He played 39 league games for the Leoni from Basilicata.

 

In 1991 he moved to Sicily and joined Giarre in C1. The Etnei finished 4th under Angelo Orazi and Colonnese played 22 league games.

 

In 1992 he joined Cremonese in Serie B. It was a great year for the "Violini" who won promotion in 2nd place under, former Lazio, Gigi Simoni (1985-86). One of his teammates was former Lazio Gustavo Abel Dezotti (1988-89). They also won the Anglo-Italian Cup beating Derby County 3-1 at Wembley.

 

In 1993-94 in Serie A the Grigiorossi finished a positive 10th. In his two seasons in Cremona, he played 66 league games.

 

In 1994-95 he moved to the capital but to Roma. The manager was Carlo Mazzone and the Giallorossi finished 5th (UEFA Cup). Colonnese only played 5 league games and 2 in Coppa Italia. One of his teammates was, future Lazio and fan, Roberto Muzzi (2003-05).

 

In 1995-96 he moved slightly further south to Naples. The Partenopei's manager was Vujadin Boškov and they finished 10th. Colonnese played 16 league games. A future Lazio connection in the squad was Renato Buso (1996-97).

 

The following season Colonnese stayed with Napoli, first under Gigi Simoni (1-28) and then Vincenzo Montefusco (29-34) and the Azzurri finished 13th. Napoli reached the final of Coppa Italia but lost 1-3 on aggregate to Vicenza. Colonnese played 31 league games and 7 in Coppa Italia.

 

In 1997 he returned to Zeman's Roma but only briefly and before making any appearances he went north and joined Inter.

 

He stayed with the Nerazzurri for three seasons.

 

In his first he was reunited with Gigi Simoni and the "Beneamata" finished 2nd (with huge controversy for refereeing decisions against Juve) and won the UEFA Cup, beating Lazio 3-0 in Paris. He played 21 league games with 1 goal (Empoli), 3 games in Coppa Italia and 5 in the UEFA Cup. One of his teammates was future Lazio legend Diego Simeone (1999-2003)

 

In his second season the manager was Simoni, then Mircea Lucescu (12-26), Luciano Castellini (27-30) and Roy Hodgson. A chaotic season and Inter finished 8th. They reached the Champions League quarter finals but lost 1-3 on aggregate to Manchester United. Colonnese played 28 league games with 1 goal (Bari), 5 games in Coppa Italia and 6 in the Champions League. His teammates included Ousmane Dabo (Lazio 2003-06, 2008-10), Aron Winter (Lazio 1992-96) plus Brazilian great Ronaldo, Andrea Pirlo and Roberto Baggio.

 

In his third and last season the manager was, future World Champion, Marcello Lippi. The Nerazzurri finished 4th (CL after playoff against Parma and were runners up in Coppa Italia (Lazio 1-2 on aggregate). Colonnese played less, only 7 league games and 4 in Coppa Italia. His teammates included, former Lazio, Vladimir Jugovic (1997-98) and Christian Vieri (1998-99) plus, future Lazio, Angelo Peruzzi (2000-07).

 

In 2000 Colonnese joined Italian Champions Lazio. The manager was Sven-Goran Eriksson and then, from January, Dino Zoff. Lazio won the Supercoppa in August beating Inter 4-3 and then finished 3rd in Serie A. Colonnese played 4 league games, 4 in Coppa Italia and 4 in Champions League (out in second group stage).

 

In 2001-02 Zoff stayed on but was replaced by Alberto Zaccheroni after only three games. The Biancocelesti finished 6th (UEFA Cup) after a mediocre season. Colonnese played 8 league games, 1 in Coppa Italia and 2 in Champions League (out in first group stage).

 

In 2002-03 Roberto Mancini returned to Lazio as manager. It was a good year with 4th place in A (Champions League preliminary), a UEFA Cup semi-final (Porto 1-4 aggregate) and Coppa Italia semi-final (Roma 1-3 aggregate). Colonnese played 3 games in Coppa Italia and 3 in the UEFA Cup.

 

In 2003-04 Mancini stayed on. Lazio finished 6th (UEFA Cup) and participated in the Champions League after beating Benfica 4-1 on aggregate (Lazio then went out in the group phase). The real triumph came in Coppa Italia which Lazio won, defeating Juventus 4-2 on aggregate. Colonnese was part of the squad but made no appearances in any competition.

 

In 2004 he left Rome, went up the Cassia and joined Siena in Serie A. The manager was Gigi Simoni and then, from January, Luigi De Canio. The Robur finished 14th. His teammates included former Lazio Enrico Chiesa (2002-03) plus several future managers: Igor Tudor, Davide Nicola, Fabio Pecchia, Roberto D'Aversa. The squad also included Norwegian striker Tore André Flo "Flonaldo" (his teams included Brann, Chelsea, Rangers, Sunderland and after Siena, Leeds United).

 

In 2005-06 Colonnese stayed in Siena and the Bianconeri finished 15th under De Canio with Antonio Conte as his assistant. One match to remember was the 3-2 away win against Roma with all three goals scored by former Lazio players (Paolo Negro, Enrico Chiesa and Colonnese's last minute winner). Negro had joined Siena after 12 seasons with Lazio. Colonnese played 34 league games over his two years in Siena with 1 goal (Roma) and 4 in Coppa Italia.

 

At almost 35 he then retired.

 

At International level he played 4 games for the Italy Olympic team in 1993 at the Mediterranean Games and won 6 caps for Italy U21's, winning the European Championship in France 1994.

 

Since retiring he has stayed in the football world. In 2013-14 he was an assistant to Bortolo Mutti and then Michele Serena at Padova in Serie B (ending in relegation). In 2015-16 he was then assistant manager to Mutti at Livorno in Serie B from November to January and then assistant manager to Christian Panucci, Franco Colomba and finally Ezio Gelain. The Amaranto unsurprisingly were relegated.

 

He has also worked in punditry for various networks and in 2014-15 was part of the national RAI television's historic football program "90’ minuto".

 

Colonnese was a defender who could play both as right full-back and central defender. He was a tough, strong and physical player known for his man-marking abilities. He was nicknamed "Ciccio Colonna", a mix between his surname and colonna (pillar) in reference to his playing style. He played 183 games in Serie A, 37 in Coppa Italia and 20 in Europe. He won a UEFA Cup in 1998 with Inter.

 

At Lazio he played a total of 29 games in four seasons. He won an Italian Supercoppa and a Coppa Italia. In his first two he was a reserve to Alessandro Nesta, Jaap Stam, Sinisa Mihajlovic, Fernando Couto and Paolo Negro. In his second two seasons he played less and less and then not all due to him not signing the "Baraldi Deal", an agreement with the players to receive their wages spread over more years than their contracts were valid for and/or accept payment in Lazio shares, in order to help the club's difficult financial situation. His relationship with Lazio therefore did not end well.


Lazio Career

Season

Total games

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

UEFA Cup

2000-01

12

4

4

4

-

2001-02

11

8

1

2

-

2002-03

6

-

3

-

3

Total

29

12

8

6

3

Sources




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