top of page
  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

March 21, 1976: Lazio Ascoli 3-1

Possibly crucial survival win


Lazio beat relegation rivals to lift hopes of staying up



Source Lazio Wiki

The season so far


The previous season Lazio had failed to defend their title but had finished an honourable 4th. More disappointing, was not being able to represent Italy in the European Cup, due to a one-year ban after the previous year's Lazio vs Ipswich incidents (pitch invasion, brawls etc). Another problem was Tommaso Maestrelli's health which caused him to miss the last five games, replaced of course by Bob Lovati.

 

There had not been many new signings to the squad this year. The main entries were defender Paolo Ammoniaci (Cesena) and midfielder Antonio "Totò" Lopez (Pescara). Sadly, some Scudetto winners and fan favourites were leaving; Mario Frustalupi "The Wolf Thrasher" (Cesena), local lad Giancarlo Oddi (Cesena), Franco "Bombardino” Nanni (Bologna) and Paolo Franzoni (Avellino).

 

This season Lazio had started with Giulio Corsini on the bench. Corsini had problems with the "old guard" and especially Giorgio Chinaglia, so the climate was not ideal. Things in the league had not gone great and after 7 matches Lazio had lost 3, drawn 3 (including Roma 1-1) and won only 1 (first game away to Sampdoria with a goal by Bruno Giordano on his debut). Then Tommaso Maestrelli returned, seemingly having resolved his health problems. Things however did not improve and Lazio lost the next match at home to Napoli and then drew 2-2 away at Verona after being two nil up. Lazio then beat Cagliari 3-0 but followed it with a 2-2 draw at home with Cesena and lost the next three (Torino 1-2 away, Fiorentina 1-2 at home and Milan 0-3 away). In the last 7 games Lazio had won 2, drawn 2 and lost 3. In total the Biancocelesti had won 4, drawn 7 and lost 10. The most recent match had been a 0-0 draw in the derby.

 

Lazio were currently in 12th position (out of 16), on 15 points, just one above the relegation zone (Sampdoria on 14). The Biancocelesti desperately needed a win today.

 

In Coppa Italia, Lazio had qualified for the second group stage to be played in May/June. The Biancocelesti had won two (Varese 1-0and Avellino 2-0, at home) and drawn two (Ascoli and Brescia both 0-0 away).

 

In the UEFA Cup Lazio had got through the first round beating Černomorec (Ukraine) 3-1 on aggregate. Then someone at Lazio had obviously been missing during history lessons and in the round of 64 Lazio refused to play against Barcelona in protest against the Franco regime. Lazio were punished by UEFA with a 0-3 defeat and then made to play the return leg which they lost 0-4. A shambles.

 

Today's opposition Ascoli had finished 12th the previous season under Carlo Mazzone. The highlight had been defeating Inter 1-0 at San Siro. The Bianconeri had won one and lost one against Lazio. Top scorer was Massimo Silva with 5 league goals.

 

This season the manager was Enzo Riccomini. Their main players were Antonio Logozzo, Eugenio Perico and Giuliano Castoldi in defence, Mario Morello and Steno Gola in midfield plus, former Lazio, Massimo Silva and Flaviano Zandoli up front. The "Picchio" (The Woodpecker) also had another former Lazio player, defender Gaetano Legnaro (1970-72).

 

So far Ascoli were in 11th position, on 16 points (just one above Lazio). The Bianconeri had won 3 (including Lazio 2-1), drawn 10   and lost 8. Their most recent game was a 2-0 home win against Verona.

 

In Coppa Italia, Ascoli were eliminated in August/September after 1 win (Avellino 1-0 away) and 3 goalless draws (Lazio and Brescia at home and Varese away).

 

Today in the league it was a crucial relegation clash.

 

The match: Sunday, March 21, 1976, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


A lovely, sunny March day and a 40,000 crowd was the pleasant context in which this survival clash was played.

 

Lazio had no important absences while Ascoli had to do without forward Pietro Ghetti.

 

The first half saw Lazio attack constantly but without profit. In fact, despite Lazio’s territorial dominance the two sides had one real chance each.

 

The first was for the Marchigiani but Flaviano Zandoli from a favourable position was unable to coordinate himself properly and his shot was palmed away by Felice Pulici.

 

Lazio pushed forward but all they had to show for it was a Renzo Garlaschelli shot just over the bar from a Gigi Martini cross to the front post. Halftime Lazio 0 Ascoli 0.

 

The second half had just got underway when Lazio scored. Giorgio Chinaglia was the assist man but from the unusual position of inside his own half. He sent a long ball to Martini who chested it down ran forward and from the edge of the box hammered in a low right foot. Great goal and Lazio 1 Ascoli 0.

 

Lazio started playing a lot more freely and almost doubled immediately. Luciano Re Cecconi powered past a defender and cut in along the by-line before putting in a cross which came off the keeper's shoulder and continued onto the far post where Roberto Badiani arrived a fraction too late.

 

The second goal came anyway in the 61st minute. Re Cecconi won the ball and gave it to Chinaglia who set up Vincenzo D'Amico inside the area on the left, the Golden Boy sent a low left foot which went in on the far post after a slight deflection by Francesco Scorsa. Lazio 2 Ascoli 0.

 

Ascoli had a chance to get back in the contest but Pulici dived low at Zandoli's feet and saved into corner.

 

In the 74th minute Chinaglia decided it was fine being an assist man but it was even better getting back to scoring goals. He received the ball from Totò Lopez and from the edge of the box sent a cracking shot into the top right-hand corner. Lazio 3 Ascoli 0.

 

A minute later Garlaschelli came off for Ferrari and in the 82nd the visitors replaced Zandoli with Angelo Calisti.

 

In the 83rd minute the Piceni reduced the deficit. The Lazio defence headed away a cross but only as far as Steno Gola who chested it down and after the bounce hammered a left foot under the roof of the net. Lazio 3 Ascoli 1.

 

Lazio then controlled the last few minutes without running any risks. Fulltime 3-1. An important win for Lazio against a direct rival in the survival battle. Ascoli had not played badly but once Chinaglia stirred they stood little chance.

 

Lazio moved up to 12th, overtaking Ascoli. The Biancocelesti now had a two-point cushion on the 3rd from bottom team, now Verona and no longer Sampdoria. The Bianconeri from Ascoli Piceno meanwhile saw their lead on the drop zone reduced to a single point.

 

Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Moriggi, Manfredonia

Manager: Maestrelli

 

Who played for Ascoli


Grassi, Perico, Logozzo, Scorsa, Castoldi, Morello, Minigutti, Salvori, Silva, Gola, Zandoli (82' Calisti)

Substitutes: Recchi, Legnaro

Manager: Riccomini

 

Referee: Ciacci


Goals: 46' Martini, 60' Scorsa (og), 74' Chinaglia, 83'Gola



What happened next


In April charismatic leader Giorgio Chinaglia left to play for New York Cosmos. From the Ascoli game on, Lazio only drew 3 and lost 3 before the penultimate game against Milan. The Biancocelesti were in deep trouble but thrashed the "Diavolo" 4-0 to give themselves some hope. The table read Cagliari 17 (relegated), Como 20 (relegated), Ascoli 22, Lazio 22, Sampdoria 22, Verona 23. Four teams for one last relegation place.

 

So, it was all down to the last match of the season. 5,000 Lazio fans travelled up to Como near the Swiss border to cheer on the Biancocelesti. Among them were my Roman neighbours who I, as a young boy, was very impressed seeing driving off with flags flying from the windows.

 

The match did not start well, to put it mildly. Lazio were 2-0 down after 17 minutes but luckily Giordano pulled one back almost immediately, in the 20th minute. Another serious worry, for once, came from the news that Roma were losing 1-0 at home to Ascoli. Halftime table for the third relegation slot; Lazio 22, Verona 23, Ascoli 24, Sampdoria 24. At the moment Lazio were down.

 

In the second half Lazio equalised in the 53rd minute with Badiani. A Re Cecconi pass put Badiani through on the left side of the area and with the outside of his foot he put the ball under the crossbar. 2-2, better and Lazio momentarily safe as Verona were losing 2-0 in Florence.

 

Lazio continued to push forward as they were still at risk but squandered chances with Re Cecconi and Giordano. Meanwhile by the 60th minute Verona had pulled two goals back and levelled against Fiorentina but then in the same moment came the news that Roma too had equalised against Ascoli. Never have Lazio fans celebrated a Roma goal as much.

 

The results stayed the same and Lazio were safe on goal difference. What a few months ago seemed impossible had materialised, Lazio had survived. The fans invaded the pitch in Como and hoisted Maestrelli up triumphantly. It was Ascoli who joined Como and Cagliari on the dreaded road to B-land.

 

Meanwhile in Rome I eagerly awaited my neighbours equally triumphant return from their long but well worthwhile drive in defence of the promised land, Serie A!!

 

Lazio’s top scorer was Chinaglia with 11 (8 in A) while young Bruno Giordano got 6 (5 in A). Both derbies ended in draws.

 

In Coppa Italia, Lazio went out in the second group phase, in May/June, after 3 wins (Inter and Genoa, both 1-0 at home and Genoa 3-0 away), 1 draw  Verona 0-0 at home) and 2 defeats (Verona 0-3 and Inter 2-3 both away).

 

Ascoli as mentioned ended up relegated. In the remaining games the Piceni won 1 (Inter 2-0 at home), drew 5 and lost 2. The "Regina delle Marche" dropped to Serie B. Top scorer was Steno Gola with 6 league goals.

 

The Scudetto was won by Torino for their 7th title. A great team with Paolo Pulici and Francesco Graziani up front, Claudio Sala, Eraldo Pecci and Renato Zaccarelli in midfield, Roberto Mozzini and Roberto Salvadori in defence and Luciano Castellini in goal, leda by manager Gigi Radice.


Lazio 1975-76

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

30

6

11

13

35

Coppa Italia

10

5

3

2

10

UEFA Cup

4

1

-

3

3

Total

44

12

14

18

48

Top five appearances

Players

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Badiani

43

30

10

3

Pulici

42

30

9

3

Wilson

40

28

10

2

Ammoniaci

36

25

9

2

Garlaschelli

36

29

5

2

Top five goal scorers

Players

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Chinaglia

11

8

-

3

Garlaschelli

9

7

2

-

D'Amico

6

4

2

-

Giordano

6

5

1

-

Re Cecconi

3

1

2

-

Let's talk about Avelino Moriggi


Source Wikipedia

Avelino Moriggi was born in Cinisello Balsamo (Milan), on November 10, 1946.

 

He started his football career with Novese (Novi Ligure-Alessandria and Italian champions in 1922) in 1965-66. The Bianco-azzurri were in Serie D and were relegated. Moriggi played 13 league games.

 

In 1966 he joined Alessandria in Serie B. The "Orso Grigio" (The Grey Bear) had three managers; Ettore Puricelli, then Giulio Capelli and finally László Székely and were relegated. Moriggi played 7 league games. One of his teammates was, future Lazio, Gaetano Legnaro (1970-72).

 

Moriggi then stayed three more seasons with the Grigi finishing 9th, 7th and 9th. His managers were Mario Pietruzzi the first two years and then Sergio Manente in the third. Moriggi played another 95 league games.

 

In 1970-71 he joined Lazio in Serie A. The Biancocelesti were relegated under Juan Carlos Lorenzo. The main keeper were Rosario Di Vincenzo and Michelangelo Sulfaro and Moriggi only played 2 league games. Lazio had some consolation winning the Alps Cup.

 

In 1971-72 he went to Arezzo on loan for a season. The Aretini were in Serie B and finished 15th under Dino Ballacci. Moriggi played 26 league games. His teammates included future World Champion in Spain 1982, Francesco "Ciccio" Graziani.

 

In 1972 he returned to Lazio. He would remain four more seasons as reserve keeper behind Felice Pulici. The manager was Tommaso Maestrelli and Lazio went close to the Scudetto but finished 3rd. Moriggi played games in the Anglo-Italian Cup.

 

The following year, in 1973-74, Lazio won the Scudetto. Pulici played every league game but Moriggi played 5 games in Coppa Italia.

 

In 1974-75 Maestrelli's health started deteriorating and Lazio finished 4th. The Biancocelesti were not allowed to take part in the European Cup due to the on and off field incidents against Ipswich Town the previous year. Moriggi made no first team appearances but played 13 games for the U23's (Lazio won the league title)

 

The 1975-76 season was his last with Lazio. The Biancocelesti started with Giulio Corsini as manager but after seven games Maestrelli returned, seemingly having improved his health issues. Lazio struggled all season but ultimately avoided relegation in the last game of the season away at Como. Moriggi finally played another league game plus one in Coppa Italia.

 

In 1976-77 he played one last season with Novara. The Azzurri were in Serie B and were relegated. The manager was first Lamberto Giorgis (1-26) and then Vittorino Calloni (17-38). Moriggi only played 3 league games.

 

At 30 he retired.

 

He played 3 games in Serie A, 36 in Serie B and 95 in C. He only played regularly at Alessandria and Arezzo.

 

At Lazio he was reserve keeper. He however had the satisfaction of being in the scudetto winning squad and living those wonderful years with Maestrelli's crazy gang.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Anglo Italian Cup

1970-71

2

2

-

-

1972-73

2

-

-

2

1973-74

5

-

5

-

1975-76

2

1

1

-

Total

11

3

6

2

Source









Comments


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page