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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

March 18, 2001: Lazio Juventus 4-1

Back in the race?

 

Lazio finally give a demonstration of their power and demolish Juventus.



Source Lazio Wiki

The season so far


The previous season Lazio won their second scudetto in dramatic circumstances. In the final game of the season Juventus had a two-point lead over the Biancocelesti. While Lazio had finished their match at the Olimpico beating Reggina 3-0, between the first and second half of Perugia-Juventus there was a massive storm that waterlogged the pitch. The second half started an hour later than it should have. Perugia scored with Alessandro Calori and Juve were unable to turn the game around. Lazio had won!!!

 

In the summer transfer window, President Sergio Cragnotti had decided that Lazio needed a strong centre-forward and a more reliable goalkeeper. In came Hernan Crespo (Parma), one of the best forwards in the world, and Angelo Peruzzi (Inter), one of the best goalkeepers. Other signings included forward Claudio Lopez (Valencia), midfielder Dino Baggio (Parma) and the return of Roberto Baronio from his loan at Reggina. Also bought were midfielders Stefano Fiore and Giuliano Giannichedda from Udinese but they were left to the Bianconeri on loan for an extra year. Leaving Lazio were Alen Boksic (Middlesbrough), Dario Marcolin (Sampdoria), Gianpiero Pinzi (Udinese), Marco Ballotta (Inter), Matias Almeyda and Sergio Conceição to Parma as partial payment for Crespo.

 

The problem was that Lazio had been unable to sign a right-winger. Lazio had tried to get Boudewijn Zenden from Barcelona but had failed.

 

The season was going to be a strange one since, due to the Olympic Games in Sydney, the Italian Federation decided to start the Campionato on October 1. However, Champions League would be played in September all the same so the Italian teams involved in the European competitions would play with few games in their legs. Not ideal.


After winning the Super Coppa against Inter in September, Lazio did not start too well in the campionato and by the end of the year were fourth with 21 points, way off Roma who were leading the Serie A eight points ahead. There had been a lot of problems. This first issue was that Sven-Goran Eriksson had signed a contract with the English FA to manage England starting from the summer of 2001. This meant that it was going to be his last year with Lazio. This created a negative psychological situation in the team, uncertain of what would happen in the future. Secondly, Crespo got injured early on and he was taking time to get back into form. Thirdly, the team was badly missing a right-winger since Attilio Lombardo was past his prime and Dejan Stankovic was fulfilling the task but rather reluctantly. Fourthly, Claudio Lopez, Lazio’s star summer signing, got injured early on in the season and would be out for a lengthy period.

 

There was still optimism but in the first game of the new year Lazio lost at home and Eriksson, realising that he might be the problem, resigned. The team was handed to Dino Zoff. In January Lazio finally bought Karel Poborsky and Lucas Castroman to fill the void created by selling Conceição.

 

In Coppa Italia Lazio had been eliminated by Udinese. In the champions league they managed to qualify for the second group phase but lost their first three matches, hence putting an end to the European challenge.

 

In Campionato, once Zoff arrived, things improved. They won seven, drew one and lost one, the previous week at Bologna. They were still miles away from Roma, 11 points ahead, but five from Juventus today's opponents.

 

What shall we do? Play to lose, as to not allow Roma to go +9 on Juve, or try to win to get back in the scudetto race?

 

The match: Sunday, March 18, 2001, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

 

Lazio were ready for Juventus and did everything they possibly could to win. Dino Zoff’s idea was to wait for the Bianconeri and then use Karel Poborsky and Pavel Nedved as arrows on the wings on the counter attack. But he was missing Marcelo Salas, Beppe Favalli – both injured – Fernando Couto and Sinisa Mihajlovic (suspended).

 

The Biancocelesti were immediately dangerous. A Poborsky cross was missed by Nedved, Diego Simeone tried a header but was not lucky. In the 19th minute great Angelo Peruzzi save on an Alessandro Del Piero free kick. Four minutes later Lazio scored. Poborsky stole a ball and in a fast counterattack passed to Hernan Crespo on the right. Low cross in the middle and Nedved volleyed the ball in.

 

Juve did react. In the 27th minute an Antonio Conte header beat Peruzzi but Alessandro Nesta saved on the line. The Lazio keeper again saved a Pippo Inzaghi header in the 34th. Francesco Colonnese got injured and in the 42nd minute was substituted by Emanuele Pesaresi.

 

In the 47th minute Juan Sebastian Veron raced into the Juve half and despite being pressed by Bianconeri players sent a marvellous ball from the right to Crespo on the left just outside the box. The Argentinian went into the area and beat Edwin Van der Sar.

 

The immediate Bianconero reaction produced three chances: first a Zinedine Zidane shot went just wide, then a David Trezeguet header in the 50th minute hit the crossbar and a Del Piero header again went wide. Edgar Davids in the 58th minute got a second yellow card and was sent off. But this did not stop Juventus and a minute later Zidane to Del Piero just inside the box on the left, splendid curling shot Lazio 2 Juve 1.

 

The Bianconero illusion did not last long. In the 66th minute Nedved from the left sent a ball in the box to Crespo who, back to the goal, turned around and passed back to the Czech. Nedved controlled the ball and beat Van der Sar. In the 81st minute, Dejan Stankovic to Lucas Castroman on the right, low cross for Crespo, Lazio 4 Juventus 1.

 

Are Lazio back? Maybe.

 

Who played for Lazio

 

Peruzzi, Colonnese (42’ Pesaresi), Nesta, Negro, Pancaro, Poborsky (81’ Castroman), D. Baggio, Veron (76’ Stankovic), Simeone, Nedved, Crespo

Substitutes: Marchegiani, Claudio Lopez, Baronio, Ravanelli

Manager: Zoff

 

Who played for Juventus

 

Van der Sar, Birindelli, Tudor, Montero, Pessotto, Conte (46' Zambrotta), Tacchinardi (69' O'Neill), Davids, Zidane, F. Inzaghi (46' Trezeguet), Del Piero.

Substitutes: Carini, Ferrara, Kovacevic, Iuliano.

Manager: Ancelotti

 

Referee: Collina

 

Goals: 22’ Nedved, 46’ Crespo, 59’ Del Piero, 66’ Nedved, 81’ Crespo



What happened next

 

Lazio with three games to go were second but five points behind Roma. The Giallorossi were tiring but Lazio threw away a game against Inter where they had 100 chances to score their second goal but the Nerazzurri then equalised in injury time. If Lazio had won they would have been only three points behind.

 

Coming into the final game, Roma were top, Juventus two points behind and Lazio three. In the last game Roma had to face Parma who decided not to play and allowed the Giallorossi to win their third scudetto. At that point the Biancocelesti, who were winning at Lecce, threw in the towel and lost the game.


Pavel Nedved was the player with most appearances (46) and Crespo the leading goal scorer (28). The Argentine was also the leading Serie A goalscorer with 26 goals.

 

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 Emanuele Pesaresi


Source Lazio Wiki

Emanuele Pesaresi was born in Ancona on December 1, 1976. He started his professional career with Ancona in Serie B in the 1994-95 season where he debuted in the defeat against Salernitana on September 4. He made 15 league appearances that season earning him a call from Sampdoria in Serie A for the next. He stayed in Genoa until 2000, with the exception of a year on loan to Napoli in 1998-99 in Serie B. With Samp he played 56 Serie A games with one goal and 17 appearances in the second tier with another goal.

 

In 2000 he signed for Lazio but got very limited playing time: just 9 appearances. In 2001 he was loaned to Benfica but again did not play very much. Back to Lazio, in 2002 he signed for Chievo Verona in joint ownership as part of the deal which saw Christian Manfredini come to Rome. He played very little even in Verona and after a year was sent on loan to Ternana in Serie B where at least he got 22 appearances. In 2004 he was loaned to Torino, still in the second tier, and then in 2005-06 he went to Pescara and played the whole season.

 

In 2006 he signed for Triestina. He stayed for two seasons with 65 appearances and 3 goals. At the end of his contract he played a year with Cremonese in Lega Pro First Division, the new name for Serie C1. He closed his playing career with Ancona in the minor leagues. After retirement he became a coach and was assistant for local clubs.

 

Pesaresi won a gold medal in the Mediterranean games which Italy won in 1997 and a silver in the under 19 European championship in Greece.

 

Pesaresi was a left back. At Lazio he did not make much of an impact and was used mainly as a backup player. But the Biancocelesti had Beppe Favalli and Beppe Pancaro as alternatives so there was not much space.


Lazio Career

Season

Appearances

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

2000-01

9

2

4

3

Sources




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