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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

March 16, 1941: Lazio Roma 2-0

In the name of Piola


Piola scored a brace and gave Lazio a much-needed derby win




Source Lazio Wiki

The season so far


Lazio came 4th the previous season. They had been very consistent and that had been the key to the excellent campionato. There was hope that the position could be repeated since there had been quite a number of new signings: future legend Uber Gradella (goalkeeper from Verona), defender Italo Romagnoli II (Napoli), Argentinian midfielders Alberto Fazio and Salvador Gualtieri (both from San Lorenzo) plus Anselmo Pisa (Banfield), and forwards Aldo Puccinelli (Pontedera) and Otello Zironi (Modena). Lazio said goodbye to Umberto Busani, Luigi Milano, Maximiliano Faotto, Bruno Camolese, Giovanni Costa, Alessandro Capponi and Evaristo Barrera.

 

The beginning of the season had not been a good one and after 6 games they were second from last. Manager Geza Kertesz relied too heavily on Silvio Piola but did not organise a game plan, so the players found themselves lost. He was sacked and replaced by compatriot Ferenc Molnar but in the next 11 matches Lazio earned just 8 points and were still in 15th place. They had only won three games. Molnar too was sacked and in came Dino Canestri, former player. In the next five games the Biancocelesti won two and drew three and were now third from last which would mean survival since only two teams were relegated.


But today there was a big match: the derby


The match: Sunday, March 16 1941, Stadio PNF, Rome


Compared to a couple of months ago, this was a completely different Lazio. With Romagnoli at midfield, Renato Ferrarese as right back and the better physical conditions of Alfredo Monza, Gradella and Luigi Vettraino, the team had played magnificently since being taken over by Canestri. Could they continue the good work today?


The match went immediately uphill as Silvio Piola in the 18th minute in a head-to-head with Mario Acerbi suffered a deep cut (four centimetres) and had to leave the pitch. He came back on in the 29th minute. The Giallorossi should have taken advantage of the situation but did not. In the 22nd minute Michelangelo Pantò tried a shot but Gradella saved marvellously. It was the most spectacular save of the entire game.


Lazio controlled the match but were not dangerous in attack. In those 11 minutes Roma passed the ball among themselves, tried a few crosses, but nothing more. With Piola back on, heavily bandaged, the Biancocelesti became more dangerous even if it was Roma who had the first chance. In the 40th minute, long ball from Ermes Borsetti to Amadeo Amadei, good shot, Gradella parried. A minute later Piola missed a chance but not in the 43rd. Otello Zironi crossed into the box and Piola, despite his new headwear, headed the ball in. Lazio 1 Roma 0.


In the beginning of the second half Guido Masetti was forced to save three Lazio shots from Flamini, Vettraino and Zironi. Roma tried an offensive but just hit the Biancoceleste defensive wall. In the 66th Piola had the chance to double the score but his shot was deflected into corner by Acerbi. In the 75th minute Piola dribbled past a couple of Roma defenders and offered a simple chance to Vettraino but his shot was weak and Masetti saved. Five minutes later, on a high cross, Ferrarese cleared with a bicycle kick. Vettraino raced forward, reached the ball and ran towards the Roma goal. A Giallorosso defender tried to stop him so he passed to Piola. Violent shot, 2-0 for Lazio.


Two minutes later Vettraino had the chance to make it three but missed. Not to worry. Fundamental two points for Lazio who played really well today.


Who played for Lazio


Manager: Canestri.

 

Who played for Roma

 

Masetti, Brunella, Acerbi, Jacobini, Donati, Bonomi, Krieziu, Pantò, Amadei, Coscia, Borsetti.

Manager: Schaffer

 

Referee: Scorzoni

 

Goals: 43’ Piola, 80’ Piola


What happened next


The positive run continued until five matches to the end. Then a loss against Venezia, a disastrous home draw with bottom placed Bari and defeat in Milan, meant that Lazio were back to square one again. With two games to go, Lazio were 15th on 24 points (goal difference -7), preceded by Novara on 25 (-8) together with Torino (-1), Genoa (-3) and Venezia (-8) while Livorno were on 26 (-13). In case of a tie between two or more teams, goal difference counted. Bari were already relegated.


The last dramatic match at the Olimpico saw Lazio beat Fiorentina 4-1. Two fantastic points and a major improvement in goal difference, now -4. But they were still 15th on 26 points and were preceded by Venezia (-8) and Novara on 27 (they had won 5-1 therefore on -4).


Lazio had to play at Bologna, who had just won the title, and there was the big clash between Venezia and Novara.


A win would have meant survival for Lazio, but even a draw could have been enough.


In Bologna the Biancocelesti went 2-0 up but in the second half Bologna equalised. Despair for Lazio, but then Venezia scored. Lazio and Novara had 27 points but the Biancocelesti had a better goal difference. All they needed to do was to hang on to the draw and hope. And this is exactly what happened. Venezia then scored a third and Lazio avoided relegation.


Lazio 1939-40

Comeptition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

30

12

11

7

36

Coppa Italia

3

2

-

1

5

Total

33

14

11

8

49

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Monza

33

30

3

Ramella

33

30

3

Baldo

31

28

3

Milano

30

28

2

Vettraino

30

27

3

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Piola

10

9

1

Pisa

9

9

-

Vettraino

8

7

1

Barrera

7

6

1

Flamini

5

5

-

Busani

5

5

-

Lets talk about Otello Zironi



Source Lazio Wiki

Otello Zironi was born on January 2, 1917 in Sassuolo. He started playing football with Scandianese and in 1934 began playing for Reggiana in Serie C. After a couple of years, he did not move far but upwards as he signed for Modena in Serie B. In 1937-38 the Canarini got promoted to Serie A.


Together with Novara and Alessandria they were all on 43 points at the end of the season but since only two got promoted they needed a play off. In the first match Modena beat Alessandria 3-0 and in the second game Novara beat the Piedmontese too so they were both promoted. Zironi debuted in Serie A on September 18, 1938 against Liguria. In their first year they managed to avoid relegation but not in their second so Zironi moved to the capital to play for Lazio.


In his first year he was a first eleven choice but not in his second. He was a right winger, fast and strong, good dribbler and excellent with crosses. He made 24 appearances for Lazio with 4 goals before going back to Modena in 1942. He stayed there during the war and then played for Piacenza and Parma. His last years of active football were spent in the minor leagues with Scandianese and Bondenese.


He played two games for Italy B scoring one goal against France in Marseilles.


Zironi died on March 28, 1990, in Sassuolo.


Lazio Career

Season

Total Serie A appearances (goals)

1940-41

23 (4)

1941-42

1

Total

24 (4)

Sources









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