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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

May 14, 1989: Lazio Pisa 1-0

Gregucci to the rescue

 

Lazio manage to end the winning drought with a Gregucci goal in the second half



Source Lazio Wiki

The season so far

 

The previous season Lazio had finally been promoted to Serie A after three very problematic years. Manager Eugenio Fascetti had quarrelled with President Gian Marco Calleri and had been sacked in July. Giuseppe Materazzi was called in to replace him.

 

In the summer transfer window, the club had gone through a mini revolution. In came three foreign players: forwards Ruben Sosa (Real Saragozza) and Gustavo Dezotti (Newell’s Old Boys) plus defender Nelson Gutierrez (River Plate). Other arrivals included midfielders Andrea Icardi (Atalanta) and Claudio Sclosa (Pisa), as well as defender Marco Monti (Virescit Bergamo). Leaving Lazio were Paolo Monelli (Bari), Domenico Caso (Latina), Vincenzo Esposito (Atalanta), Antonio Schillaci (Messina) and Giuseppe Galderisi (Milan, end of loan). In the autumn Luca Brunetti (Taranto), Giancarlo Camolese (Padova) and Gabriele Savino (Brescia) also left.

 

Serie A started late due to the Seoul Olympic Games, so in order to fill up the calendar there were two Coppa Italia group stages. Lazio were grouped with Milan, Pescara, Messina, Campobasso and Licata. The Biancocelesti lost their first game to Pescara and their last to Milan, but won the middle three, arriving third and qualifying for the next round. In this second phase they had to play Fiorentina, Inter and Udinese. They won with the former and the latter and drew against the Nerazzurri, topping their group ahead of Fiorentina. A very good start to the season.

 

The good initial work continued and after six games they were still unbeaten (five draws and a win against Verona). But then they started to struggle and despite beating Roma for the first time since 1979, at the end of the first half of the season they were 10th, one point above the relegation zone. In reality there were many teams fighting to stay in Serie A. Ten clubs in the space of just four points.

 

The Biancocelesti before this game were 13th, still with that one-point advantage. A must win today despite the fact that they had serious difficulties in scoring recently. In the last five games they had drawn four times 0-0 and lost 3-1 against Atalanta. And they had not won since the derby.

 

The match: Sunday, May 14, 1988, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

 

Pisa came for a point and erected a wall in front of their goal which Lazio had trouble breaking down. Gian Paolo Grudina in the 12th minute saved on a double Ruben Sosa attempt and parried two Ciro Muro free kicks into corner in the 21st and 25th minute. The Tuscans did have their chances. In the 27th minute a free kick taken by Davide Lucarelli was saved by Valerio Fiori and three minutes later a Francis Severeyns deflected attempt shaved the post. In the 31st minute the Belgian took advantage of a Marco Monti mistake and arrived in front of Fiori but the Lazio defender made amends and managed to get back and intervene, avoiding any peril. To be honest it looked like a penalty but there was also a strong chance that Monti did manage to hit the ball. An Antonio Acerbis shot in the 35th minute was again saved by Grudina and then Ruben Sosa from outside the box in the 44th minute shot just wide.

 

The second half was boring and nothing much happened until the 74th minute. Paolo Di Canio from the right crossed low in the middle, Angelo Gregucci was quicker than anyone and volleyed the ball in. Pisa attempted a comeback but it was Lazio who went closer to their second when a coast-to-coast from Muro allowed the Neapolitan to be vis-à-vis with Grudina but, yet again, the Pisa goalkeeper parried into corner.

 

A fundamental victory for Lazio, but there was still work to do to avoid relegation.

 

Who played for Lazio

 

Fiori, Monti, Piscedda (69’ A.Greco), Acerbis, Gregucci, Gutierrez, Di Canio (81’ Beruatto), Dezotti, Muro, Sclosa, Sosa

Substitutes: Martina, Marino, Rizzolo

Manager: Materazzi

 

Who played for Pisa

 

Grudina, Cavallo, Lucarelli, Boccafresca, Elliott, Bernazzani, Piovanelli, Cuoghi, Severeyns, Been, Fiorentini (79' Martini)

Substitutes: M.Bolognesi, Dianda, Dolcetti, Gazzaneo

Manager: Giorgis

 

Referee: Pezzella

 

Goal: 72’ Gregucci



What happened next

 

With two games to the end of the Campionato they were one point clear of Torino and Pescara. The three teams were fighting to stay in Serie A, two of them would go down. Lazio needed to beat Sampdoria at home to have any chance of avoiding the drop. A rare goal from Dezotti allowed the Biancocelesti to go and play for a draw in the last game at Ascoli. Since the Bianconeri also needed a point to avoid relegation, a predictable goalless draw allowed both teams to survive.

 

Lazio had potential, but had an over defensive attitude. This translated into 19 draws (11 0-0s!!!) and Materazzi started to be called Mr. 0-0. With only 23 goals scored one really could not ask for more.

 

Dezotti had the most appearances (38), Ruben Sosa was the top goal scorer (12).


Lazio 1988-89

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

34

5

19

10

23

Coppa Italia

10

6

1

3

17

Total

44

11

20

13

40

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Ruben Sosa

43

33

10

Dezotti

38

29

9

Beruatto

37

28

9

Di Canio

37

30

7

Monti

36

29

7

Pin

36

27

9

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Ruben Sosa

12

8

4

Dezotti

9

3

6

Gregucci

5

4

1

Rizzolo

5

3

2

Pin

3

2

1

Let's talk about Nelson Gutiérrez


Source Lazio Wiki

Nelson Daniel Gutiérrez Luongo was born on April 13 1962 in Montevideo (Uruguay). He began his footballing career with Peñarol. In his four years there he won the league twice (1981 and 1982), the Copa Libertadores of 1982 (Gutiérrez played in the second leg of the final) and the Intercontinental Cup that same year against Aston Villa, which Gutiérrez also played.

 

In 1985 he signed for Atlético Nacional of Colombia but did not settle, so later that year he moved to Argentina to play for River Plate. He stayed two years, won the Championship in 1985-86, and again in 1986 the double Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup in the final against Steaua București. River also won the Copa Interamericana.

 

In 1988 he signed for Lazio. The Biancocelesti had just been promoted after three rather dramatic years, and had purchased three South American players to strengthen their team: Gutiérrez and Ruben Sosa from Uruguay plus Gustavo Dezotti from Argentina.

 

It was not an exceptional season for Lazio, who only managed to avoid relegation in the last game. Of the three South Americans only Ruben Sosa stood out as Dezotti started well but then faded and Gutiérrez proved not to be not Serie A material. He made 25 appearances with one goal.

 

In 1989 he signed for Verona but they were relegated at the end of the season. In 1991 he moved to Spain and played a couple of years for Logroñés. In 1993 he returned to Peñarol and won the Championship in 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996. He retired after one final year with Defensor Sporting Club in 1997.

 

Gutiérrez had a long successful international career starting with the bronze medal at the Under-20 World Cup in Japan in 1979. He won the Copa América twice in 1983 and 1987 and came second in 1989. He has 57 caps with Uruguay. He was part of the Uruguay squad in the World Cup of 1986 (where he played all three games) and in 1990 where Uruguay were knocked out by Italy in the round of 16 (four appearances).

 

Despite the great success at Latin American level, in Europe he had problems in adapting. It was a pity because judging by his silverware there must have been some quality there.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

1988-89

25 (1)

17 (1)

8

Sources





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