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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

March 4, 1990: Lazio Inter 2-1

Malgioglio’s sad return


The Biancocelesti beat Inter on the day when Malgioglio returned to Rome, years after spitting on the Lazio jersey




Source SS Lazio Museum

The season so far


The summer transfer window of 1989 saw the sale of the players that had been chosen by Eugenio Fascetti the previous year, just before his shock dismissal from Lazio. Manager Giuseppe Materazzi was therefore finally able to choose his own players, or at least propose them.


 

Lazio were forced to play in the small Flaminio stadium because the Olimpico was undergoing a heavy restructuring for the 1990 World Cup.


After the first home defeat against a much stronger Sampdoria, Lazio then surprisingly won in Milan against the invincible Arrigo Sacchi team  thanks to a Paolo Maldini own-goal and lots of defending. It would take Lazio 30 years to repeat the feat. They also beat Diego Maradona’s Napoli 3-0 towards the end of 1989.


In Coppa Italia Lazio had passed the first round but lost in extra time against Bologna in the second.


Lazio were playing with dignity, but lacking the spark that could ignite hopes and fans' enthusiasm. They were ninth, five points above the relegation zone and five points away from a potential UEFA Cup qualification.


The match: Sunday, March 4, 1990, Stadio Flaminio, Rome


Lazio started the game strongly and after a couple of minutes a Gabriele Pin-Ruben Sosa one-two gave the Biancoceleste captain the opportunity to shoot from outside the box, Astutillo Malgioglio parried. But the substitute goalkeeper, probably nervous about returning to Rome after having spat on the Lazio jersey some years ago, gave away a penalty in the 14th minute. Pin passed a splendid ball to Ruben Sosa, Malgioglio came out of his goal way too energetically and stopped the Uruguayan with a foul. Ruben Sosa took the spot kick and put Lazio ahead.


Inter reacted with a Corrado Verdelli header off a corner kick that was comfortably saved by Nando Orsi. Lazio controlled the game but in the 43rd minute Inter equalised. A corner allowed Alessandro Bianchi to send a low cross in the box from the right, the ball went right across the area, the Biancoceleste defenders were completely immobile and Andrea Mandorlini volleyed the ball into the net. Lazio could have scored one minute later. Cross from the left by Ruben Sosa, Amarildo headed the ball towards the goal but Malgioglio saved.


In the 50th minute the Biancocelesti scored their second. Raffaele Sergio passed on the left to Ruben Sosa, cross to the middle for Amarildo, ball to Pin in the box and 2-1 for Lazio.


From then on it became the festival of missed opportunities for Lazio. Amarildo twice and then Ruben Sosa had splendid chances to score a third goal for the hosts but they wasted the opportunities. Amarildo also hit a crossbar with a header off a corner. In the 76th minute Sosa went off on the left, moved to the middle and just outside the box tried a shot, Malgioglio managed to save into corner. Towards the end of the game, Lothar Matthaus gave a splendid ball to Dario Morello but his shot was weak and Orsi saved.


Great win for Lazio. Inter’s quest for the scudetto was now probably over.


Who played for Lazio

 

Orsi, Nardecchia, Sergio, Pin, Gregucci, Soldà, Bertoni, Icardi (14’ Monti), Amarildo (78’ Troglio), Sclosa, Ruben Sosa

Substitutes: Sassanelli, Beruatto, Piscedda

Manager: Materazzi

 

Who played for Inter

 

Malgioglio, Bergomi, Brehme, Matteoli, Mandorlini, Verdelli (23' Ferri I), A.Bianchi, Berti (59' Cucchi), Klinsmann, Matthaus, Morello.

Substitutes: Mondini, Baresi I, Di Già.

Manager: Trapattoni.

 

Referee: Lanese

 

Goals: 11 Ruben Sosa (pen), 43’ Mandorlini, 50’ Pin



What happened next


The previous season Lazio had won just five games and drawn 19 times. This season there was a slight improvement: 8 wins and 15 draws!!! Nineteen goalless draws in two seasons were way too many and Materazzi started being called Mr. 0-0. And it was a shame because Lazio ended up just three points behind Bologna who, due to Milan winning the European Cup and Sampdoria winning the Cup Winners Cup, were able to qualify for the 1990-91 UEFA Cup. A real missed opportunity that cost Materazzi his job at the end of the season.


Soldà was the player with most appearances (33 in Serie A and 2 in Coppa Italia) whereas the top goal scorer was Amarildo with 9 goals (8 in Serie A and one in Coppa Italia).


Lazio 1989-90

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

34

8

15

11

34

Coppa Italia

2

1

-

1

2

Total

36

9

15

12

36

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Soldà

35

33

2

Bergodi

34

32

2

Pin

33

31

2

Amarildo

31

29

2

Sclosa

31

29

2

Sergio

31

31

-

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Amarildo

9

8

1

Ruben Sosa

8

8

-

Pin

6

6

-

Di Canio

4

3

1

Bertoni

2

2

-


Let’s talk about Astutilio Malgioglio


Source Lazio Wiki

Astutillo Malgioglio is probably one of the most hated players ever to have played for Lazio. He committed an unforgivable sin: he spat on his jersey.


Born on May 3 1958 in Piacenza, he started playing football in the San Lazzaro amateur team before joining the youth teams of Cremonese. In 1975 he moved to Bologna and debuted in Serie A in the match against Roma on May 22 1977. He then signed for Brescia where he stayed for five years. In the 1979-80 season the Rondinelle were promoted to Serie A and he was considered one of the best goalkeepers of Serie B. Brescia did not stay in the first tier long and in 1981-82 he was put on the bench and the year later he signed for Pistoiese in Serie B.


In 1983 he went to play for the wrong side of the Tiber. He was chosen as number 12 since Franco Tancredi was the Giallorosso number one. In two years, he made just six appearances and only one in Serie A. He was promised to be on a par with Tancredi but that never happened. He did win a Coppa Italia in 1983-84 but he really wanted to play so he accepted to cross the river and play for Lazio. The Biancocelesti had just been relegated and were seeking an immediate return to Serie A. But the situation at the club was disastrous. President Giorgio Chinalgia had no more money and the club was on the verge of bankruptcy.


It was a complicated season. After the first half of the campionato Lazio were 10th. They were doing OK at home (7 wins and two draws) but away from home they were terrible with just 3 draws and seven losses. The fans, who had no idea what was going on behind the scenes, could not understand why a team that was built to go back to Serie A with potentially good players, could perform so badly. Malgioglio was nervous. He had been sent off at Catania after Carlo Borghi had scored a penalty and he kicked the player out of frustration. By March 2, Serie A was 5 points away. But Lazio had one more possibility. If they beat Vicenza (who were third) in the next game, there was still a chance.


The Biancocelesti started well and after half an hour they were winning 2-0. But Vicenza managed to equalise in the second half. Lazio went ahead again with a penalty but another spot kick this time for Vicenza settled the score on 3-3. Ten minutes from the end there was an innocuous shot from Montani, Malgioglio fumbled and Lazio lost.


The rage of the fans was directed at the keeper, who reacted by spitting on his jersey. Then, as is often the case when it comes to the Biancocelesti, during the course of the years a parallel story was concocted and this is the one that has stayed in the eyes of the media.


Malgioglio’s work with the disabled


The goalkeeper had opened a centre for the disabled where he offered free rehabilitation for children with dystrophy. He was shocked at what he saw at Brescia when he went to visit a centre for the disabled and decided to act. He founded an association, Era77, with his wife and this activity was well known. The association was closed in 2001 but his work continued and in 2021 he was awarded an Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.


Fake news


Why did Malgioglio react that way after Lazio Vicenza? Here we have two parallel stories. The first one, which almost all can read if you google Malgioglio, is that after his fumble, a banner appeared in curva nord with the words “go back to your monsters”. That is why he reacted like he did.


There is no proof that that happened. No mention of it at the time, he never spoke about it at the time, nobody present at the stadium actually saw this banner, none of the media reported the fact. Malgioglio was nervous, he had lost his father during the week, he was playing badly, had been insulted, his wife had also been insulted. Since he was a former Roma player and he had not really played too well that season, he had become a target of the fans' dissatisfaction. Possibly one person, in the Monte Mario stand (where the seats are more expensive), shouted a phrase similar to the mystery banner and that made him lose it.


During the course of the years, the banner appeared as justification for what he did. Nobody knows why this came out, but this version has stayed.


Inter


He was sacked straight after Lazio-Vicenza. At the end of the season Giovanni Trappatoni, Inter manager, offered him the number 12 role at Inter. He stayed five years in Milan making 19 appearances.


Walter Zenga the week before the away game against Lazio, suffered an injury and Malgioglio had to play against his former club. The game was played at the Flaminio Stadium because the Olimpico was under restructuring for the World Cup. He thought it would be OK and decided to play. The Lazio fans were ready for him. Despite leaving a bunch of flowers under Curva Sud, he was, predictably, insulted throughout the entire game.


With Inter he won, from the bench, a scudetto and a Super Coppa. In 1991 he joined Atalanta, but physical problems did not allow him to play and he retired at the end of the season.


Since then, he has continued to work with the disabled which has earned him a lot of respect both outside and inside the football world. But the Lazio fans have never forgotten.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances

Serie B

Coppa Italia

1985-86

25

20

5

Sources




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