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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

May 13, 1979: Lazio Milan 1-1

All happy in grand finale


An enjoyable game ends in a draw that pleases everyone



Source Lazio Wiki

The season so far


The previous season Lazio had finished 10th. They had started with Brazilian Luis Vinicio as manager but ended with replacement Roberto 'Bob' Lovati.

 

This season Lovati had been confirmed. Lazio's main change was in goal with Massimo Cacciatori arriving from Sampdoria. Two midfielders were added: Aldo Nicoli from Foggia and Fernando Viola back from a loan period at Bologna. In attack Aldo Cantarutti was signed from Monza.

 

The goalkeeper making space for Cacciatori was Claudio Garella. He had committed a series of howlers at Lazio and was nicknamed 'Garella paperella' (rubber duck- a play on words with Italian papera meaning howler in football lingo). He would however go on to win league titles with Verona and Napoli. Also leaving were midfielder Luigi Boccolini to Brindisi and Ernesto Apuzzo to Foggia while Sergio Clerici had retired.

 

In Serie A, Lazio were in 8th position, on 28 points. The Biancocelesti had performed positively this season. They drew the opener Lazio 2-2 at home with Juventus and since then the Biancocelesti had won 9 (including Roma 2-1, Fiorentina 4-0 and Vicenza 4-3) drawn 10 (including derby 0-0) and lost 10 (including Milan 0-2). Bruno Giordano was top Serie A scorer with 18 league goals. The highlight had obviously been beating city rivals Roma, coming from behind and winning with an 88th minute Aldo Nicoli goal.

 

In August and September, Lazio had got through the first group stage of Coppa Italia. The Biancocelesti had won 2 (Bari 1-0 away and Vicenza 1-0 at home) and drawn 2 (Pistoiese 0-0 at home and Bologna 1-1 away). They then played Palermo in the quarterfinals in April/May but lost on penalties after two goalless draws.

 

Milan had finished 4th (UEFA Cup) the previous season, under manager Nils Liedholm. 

 

This season the Swede was still on the bench. The main new players in were midfielders Walter De Vecchi (Monza) and Walter Novellino (Perugia) plus forward Stefano Chiodi (Bologna). Leaving were defenders Giuseppe Sabadini (Catanzaro), Maurizio Turone (Catanzaro) plus forwards Egidio Calloni (Verona) and Ugo Tosetto (Avellino).

 

The season had not started well with the elimination in Coppa Italia in August/September. The Rossoneri won 2 (Lecce 3-2 away and Foggia 3-0 at home), drew 1 (Catanzaro 2-2 at home) and lost 1 (SPAL 1-3 away).

 

In the UEFA Cup Milan had been eliminated in the last 16 by Manchester City in December, losing 2-5 on aggregate.

 

Fortunately, things had gone a lot better in Serie A. Milan had won the Scudetto a week earlier. The "Diavolo" had won 17 (including Inter 1-0, Lazio 2-0) drawn 10 (including Inter 1-1) and lost 3. Top scorer was Alberto Bigon with 16 goals (11 in A).

 

Today was a celebration for Milan and it was also Gianni Rivera's last ever match. Lazio were the sparring partner who however wanted to end the season well.

 

The Match: Sunday, May 13, 1979, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


A summery day and a party atmosphere at the Olimpico. There was a full house with 80,000 fans, many Milan continuing their Scudetto celebrations.

 

Lazio were without captain Pino Wilson while Milan had Walter De Vecchi and Roberto Antonelli unavailable.

 

The game was lively from the start. Milan looked as if they wanted to enjoy themselves and pushed forward. In the 8th minute they took the lead. The move started with Alberto Bigon to Gianni Rivera, out to Stefano Chiodi, back to Bigon who went round Massimo Cacciatori and slotted it in. Great move at lightning speed and Lazio 0 Milan 1.

 

Lazio at this point showed they had no intention of passively attending Milan's show. In the 17th minute Giorgio Morini tried an improbable high back header to Enrico Albertosi and Bruno Giordano got onto it but his volley flew over the bar.

 

Milan then tested Cacciatori several times with Aldo Maldera and Bigon but Cacciatori was on top form. Milan seemed to be trying to get Maldera to score as, if he did, he would equal Giacinto Facchetti's record of 10 goals in a season for a full-back.

 

Giordano was then dangerous again but after gliding through Milan's defence he pulled his shot wide and then a little later headed a glorious chance over the bar. Vincenzo D'Amico threatened too, but Albertosi dived low and parried for a corner.

 

In the 32nd minute Lazio equalised. Morini hesitated in the area trying to clear the ball challenged by Renzo Garlaschelli, the situation was taken advantage of by Bruno Giordano who stole the ball and fired home. Lazio 1 Milan 1.

 

In the 39th minute there was a possible penalty for Milan as 18-year-old Carlo Perrone caused Chiodi to go down in the area. The Milan players in party mode did not make a fuss.

 

Just before halftime Garlaschelli could have put Lazio in front but he shot straight at Albertosi. Half time Lazio 1 Milan.

 

The game was quite open and entertaining despite neither team having much to play for.

 

In the second half Fabio Capello came on for Gianni Rivera. This would be the legendary Milan number 10's last ever game. For Lazio, Andrea Agostinelli replaced Lionello Manfredonia.

 

In the 47th minute Maldera tried again, on a Capello assist he headed the ball on and, from the penalty spot, shot towards goal but Cacciatori pulled off another excellent save. Then Maldera, after being set up by Ruben Buriani, had a shot cleared off the line by Paolo Ammoniaci.

 

Lazio responded with a chance for D'Amico from close range but Albertosi, not to be outshone by his colleague, saved well.

 

Lazio almost stole it when Garlaschelli found himself unmarked in front of Albertosi and scored but it was then disallowed. No need to spoil the party atmosphere.

 

The game then faded in intensity and with the fans starting to gather around the athletics track for the usual end of season "pitch invasion" the pact of non-belligerence was definitely sealed. The Milan keeper even played the last few minutes almost at midfield to be nearer the changing rooms. The referee blew up three minutes early and the players darted to safety while the fans swarmed onto the field for their moment of excitement.  Final score Lazio 1 Milan 1.

 

All in all, a decent game, at least for an hour. A draw was always the most likely outcome but it had been entertaining. Everyone was happy, Milan champions and Lazio with a satisfactory result and season. The only sad fact was that Gianni Rivera would never grace the Serie A fields again. Lazio legend and Scudetto winner Gigi Martini was also retiring (although he would play some games in the States).

 

Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Fantini, Cantarutti

Manager: Lovati

 

Who played for Milan


Albertosi, Collovati, Maldera, Morini, Bet, Baresi, Novellino, Bigon, Chiodi, Rivera (46' Capello), Buriani

Substitutes: Rigamonti, Boldini

Manager: Liedholm

 

Referee: Terpin


Goals: 8' Bigon, 32' Giordano

 



What happened next


Lazio finished 8th and had the satisfaction of Bruno Giordano being top Serie A scorer with 19 league goals.

 

Milan with the Scudetto won their tenth league title and could now add the "stella" (star) to their shirts (a star for every ten league championships is the rule).

 

At the opposite end it was riches to rags for Verona, Atalanta and Vicenza.


Lazio 1978-79

Competition

Played

Won

Lost

Drawn

Goals scored

Serie A

30

9

11

10

35

Coppa Italia

6

2

4

-

3

Total

36

11

15

10

38

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Cacciatori

36

30

6

Giordano

36

30

6

Cordova

34

28

6

Manfredonia

34

28

6

Wilson

33

29

4

Top goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Giordano

21

19

2

Garlaschelli

5

5

-

Wilson

2

2

-

D'Amico

2

2

-


Let's talk about Gianni Rivera


Source Wikipedia

Gianni Rivera was born in Alessandria on August 18, 1943.

 

He is considered to be one of, if not the best ever players in Italian history.

 

His father worked for the railways and his mother was a housewife. At 13 he joined Alessandria's youth academy. He made his Serie A debut only two years later. He played two seasons with the "Orso Grigio" (Grey Bear) making 26 league appearances with 6 goals (Sampdoria, Fiorentina, Milan, Vicenza, Napoli, Genoa). In the second season, Alessandria were relegated. His manager both seasons was Luciano Robotti. His performances earned him a call from A.C Milan who he joined in 1960.

 

He arrived in Milan already known as the Golden Boy and despite a first difficult year he did not disappoint. He would stay 19 highly successful seasons.

 

In the first year, under Paolo Todeschini, he struggled in a new position and physically, but played 30 league games with 6 goals (Juventus, Udinese x2, Torino, Lazio, Juventus) and 1 game in Coppa Italia. Milan finished 2nd. He played alongside Milan legend Nils Liedholm in midfield while Carlo Galli was up front.

 

In 1960-61 with the arrival of manager Nereo Rocco, he flourished. Milan won the Scudetto and Rivera played 27 league games with 10 goals (Juventus, Atalanta, Mantova, SPAL, Sampdoria, Fiorentina, Padova x2, Mantova, Torino), 1 game in Coppa Italia and 2 in the Fairs Cup. His attacking partners included José Altafini and Jimmy Greaves.

 

In 1962-63 Milan finished 3rd but won the European Cup, defeating Benfica 2-1 at Wembley. Rivera played 27 league games with 10 goals (Venezia, Napoli x2, Bologna, Mantova, Venezia, Atalanta, Bologna, Mantova, SPAL) and 7 in the European Cup with 2 goals (Union Luxembourg x2).

 

In 1963-64 the managers were first Luis Carnaglia (1-24) and then Nils Liedholm and the Rossoneri finished 3rd. Rivera played 27 league games with 7 goals (Messina x2, Modena, Inter, Messina, Genoa, Modena), 1 game in Coppa Italia and 2 in the European Cup with 1 goal (IFK Norrköping). He scored his first goal in a derby in a 2-0 win. In attack Brazilian Amarildo arrived to partner Altafini. Milan lost the Intercontinental Cup to Santos 0-1 in a playoff.

 

In 1964-65 Liedholm stayed on and Milan finished 2nd after leading for most of the season but being overtaken by Inter four games from the end. Rivera played 29 league games with 2 goals (Bologna, Messina).

 

In 1965-66 two managers alternated in charge, Liedholm (1-17, 19-24) and Giovanni Cattozzo (18, 25-30). Milan finished 7th despite the arrival of Angelo Sormani from Sampdoria as Altafini had left for Napoli. Rivera played 31 league games with 7 goals (SPAL, Napoli x2, Roma, Bologna, Torino, SPAL) and 4 in the Fairs Cup with 1 goal (Chelsea).

 

In 1966-67 the manager was Arturo Silvestri and Milan finished 8th but won the Coppa Italia. Rivera had a great season playing 34 league games with 12 goals (Venezia, Napoli, Lazio, Vicenza, Foggia, Roma, Torino, Lecco, Cagliari, Napoli, Vicenza, Roma), 6 in Coppa Italia with 7 goals (Pisa, Modena x4, Torino x2) and 3 games in other lesser European tournaments (Alps and Mitropa).

 

In 1967-68 Milan had a successful season under Nereo Rocco who had returned. The Rossoneri won the Scudetto and the Cup Winners Cup. Rivera played 29 league games with 11 goals (Mantova x2, Inter, Bologna, SPAL, Fiorentina, Napoli, Sampdoria x2, Vicenza, Brescia), 5 in Coppa Italia with 3 goals and 10 in ECWC with 1 goal (Standard Liege). In the final Milan beat SV Hamburg 2-0. One of the forwards was Kurt Hamrin and Pierino Prati had also arrived.

 

In 1968-69 Milan finished 2nd but won the European Cup, defeating Ajax 4-1 in Madrid. Rivera played 28 league games with 3 goals (Verona, Vicenza, Cagliari), 4 in Coppa Italia with 1 goal (Ternana) and 7 in EC with 2 goals (Malmö home and away). Rivera won the prestigious Golden Ball.

 

In 1969-70 Milan finished 4th but won the Intercontinental Cup beating Estudiantes 4-2 on aggregate. This was the year Cagliari surprisingly won the Scudetto. Rivera played 25 league games with 8 goals (Brescia x4, Palermo, Roma, Napoli, Vicenza), 3 in Coppa Italia with 1 goal (Como), 3 in the EC with 2 goals (Avenir Beggen home and away) and 2 in the Intercontinental final, with 1 goal in Buenos Aires.

 

In 1970-71 Milan finished runners-up up both in Serie A and Coppa Italia. Rivera played 26 league games with 6 goals (Foggia, Inter, Foggia, Verona x2, Torino) and 10 in Coppa Italia with 7 goals (Varese x2, Brescia, Livorno x3, Napoli). The final Coppa Italia playoff against Torino went to penalties and Rivera took all of them, scoring three but missing two.

 

In 1971-72 Milan finished 2nd again but won the Coppa Italia (Napoli 2-0). They also reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup but lost to Tottenham 2-3 on aggregate. Rivera played 23 league games with 3 goals (Vicenza, Sampdoria, Inter), 6 in Coppa Italia with 2 goals (Juventus x2) and 8 in the UEFA Cup with 4 goals (Digenis Akritas Morphou, Dundee, Tottenham x2). This season attacking midfielder Alberto Bigon arrived from Foggia while Giovanni Trapattoni left after 13 seasons.

 

In 1972-73 Milan battled with Lazio and Juventus for the Scudetto but threw it away in the last match losing 3-5 in “fatal Verona". Juventus won, Milan came second and Lazio 3rd. Milan however won the European Cup Winners Cup (Leeds United 1-0) and the Coppa Italia (Juventus on penalties). Rivera played 28 league games and it was his most prolific with 17 goals (Palermo x2, Atalanta x2, Juventus, Vicenza, Torino, Bologna, Palermo, Ternana, Juventus, Vicenza, Roma x2, Sampdoria, Cagliari, Lazio) plus 6 games in Coppa Italia with 3 goals (Cagliari, Napoli x2) plus 9 games in the CWC. This year striker Luciano Chiarugi arrived from Fiorentina but Prati left for Roma.

 

In 1973-74 Cesare Madini started as manager but was replaced by Giovanni Trapattoni in December. Milan finished 7th and lost the final of the Cup Winners Cup (Magdeburg 0-2) and the new European Super Cup (Ajax 1-6 on aggregate). Rivera played 26 league games with 6 goals (Sampdoria, Juventus x2, Genoa, Bologna, Roma), 5 in Coppa Italia with 1 goal (Atalanta), 6 in the CWC plus the two Super Cup games. This of course was the season Lazio won their first historic title.

 

In 1974-75 Gustavo Giagnoni was manager and Milan finished 5th (UEFA Cup) and were runners-up in Coppa Italia (Fiorentina 2-3). Rivera played 27 league games with 3 goals (Bologna, Varese, Sampdoria) and 4 games in Coppa Italia. This season striker Egidio Calloni arrived from Verona and it was also defender Karl-Heinz Schnellinger's last year after nine seasons.

 

The 1975-76 season was a difficult one for Milan. Rivera had clashes with President Albino Buticchi over a possible sale of the Golden Boy. In September River himself became the majority shareholder of the Rossoneri, only to sell them in February. On the field Milan finished 3rd under three different managers, Giagnoni, Trapattoni and then Paolo Barison. Rivera played 14 league games with 1 goal (Lazio), 5 in Coppa Italia with 1 goal (Sampdoria) and 3 games in the UEFA Cup.

 

In 1976-77 Milan started with Giuseppe Marchioro but he was replaced by Nereo Rocco in February. Milan finished 10th but won the Coppa Italia, beating Inter 2-0. Rivera played 27 league games with 4 goals (Perugia, Lazio, Cesena x2), 7 games in Coppa Italia and 4 in the UEFA Cup.

 

In 1977-78 Liedholm returned and Milan finished 4th (UEFA Cup). Rivera played 30 league games with 6 goals (Genoa, Foggia, Inter, Bologna, Perugia, Atalanta), 5 games in Coppa Italia with 1 goal (Juventus) and 1 game in the ECWC.

 

The 1978-79 season was his last but it was triumphant as Milan won the Scudetto. Rivera, at 35, played less, 13 league games with 1 goal (Verona), 4 games in Coppa Italia (Lecce) and 5 in the UEFA Cup. His last game was against Lazio on May 13 as the Rossoneri celebrated the title. The end of a wonderful career.



At international level he won 60 caps for Italy, 4 as captain, with 14 goals. He took part in four World Cups and one European Championship. Italy won the 1968 European Championship and were runners-up up in the Mexico World Cup of 1970. His winning goal in the epic 4-3 semi-final victory in 1970 is part of Italian folklore. In this period his rivalry with Inter's Sandro Mazzola reached its peak as the players were alternated on the pitch. Rivera's omission from the starting line-up against Brazil in the final caused a lot of controversy in Italy (he only played the last six minutes).


Source Wikipedia

After retiring he went into politics and has held various parliamentary and governmental roles. He has also collaborated with the Italian Football Federation as an educator.

 

Rivera is considered one of the greatest Italian players ever. He was an attacking midfielder. He was a superb assist man but scored goals too. He was elegant, creative, skilful, intelligent and also possessed leadership qualities. He was known for his correct behaviour and was never sent off although, especially the early 70's, he did have some run-ins with the referees.

 

He won 3 Serie A titles, 4 Italian Cups, 2 European Cups, 2 Cup Winners Cups, and an Intercontinental Cup all with Milan. A European Championship with Italy and, at individual level, the Ballon d'or. He played 527 league games with 128 goals, plus countless assists, and a total of 684 professional games.

 

When talking about great Italian players his name immediately comes to mind along with Silvio Piola, Giacinto Facchetti, Roberto Baggio, Gigi Riva, Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini to name a few.


Sources





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