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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

May 29, 2005: Palermo Lazio 3-3

Updated: Sep 16, 2023

Palermo and Lazio's seasons end in Cannoli and Cassate


A six-goal draw pleases both teams as they reach their respective targets



The season so far


The previous season Lazio had finished 6th and won the Coppa Italia. This year, however, everything had changed. In the midst of a financial crisis, new owner Claudio Lotito had cut costs, agreed a long term deal with state debt collectors and set up a new look team.


For a start Mancini had left for Inter. A lot of the star players also said goodbye; Jaap Stam (Milan), Stefano Fiore and Bernardo Corradi (Valencia), Sinisa Mihajlovic and Giuseppe Favalli (Inter), Demetrio Albertini (Atalanta), Claudio Lopez (América -México), Guerino Gottardi (retired) and in the winter session Simone Inzaghi (Sampdoria - loan).


Arriving at Lazio were players of a "slightly" different calibre, many unknown. Lotito became famous for signing nine players on one day. Some are best forgotten but the players worth mentioning were: defender Sebastiano Siviglia (Parma), midfielders Antonio and Emanuele Filippini (Palermo), forward Tommaso Rocchi (Empoli) and in January striker Fabio Bazzani (Sampdoria). One particularly welcome return for the fans was Paolo Di Canio after 15 years away. A move to appease the fans faced with difficult times ahead.


The new manager was former player Domenico Caso, assisted by club legend Cristiano Bergodi.


The season started with a 3-0 defeat by Milan in the Supercoppa final. In the league Lazio earned 7 points in the first 3 games but then started struggling. After 16 matches Caso was sacked and replaced by Giuseppe Papadopulo. His first match was a 3-1 derby triumph, with Di Canio scoring again 16 years later. Lazio then won in Florence but then took only a point from the next five games. Luckily wins against Atalanta, Chievo and Parma had lifted the clouds. More defeats followed but away wins at Livorno and Bologna and draws against Roma and Fiorentina (not without controversy for an unseen Luciano Zauri handball "save" on the goal line), made Lazio practically safe. Practically, as they potentially still risked a relegation play-off if they lost today and other results went against them.


In Europe, Lazio had got through the preliminary round in the Uefa Cup beating Metalurh Donetsk with a double 3-0. In the group stage, however, they were eliminated after three draws (Villareal, Partizan Belgrade and Egaleo) and one defeat (Middlesbrough).


Luckily today's opposition were in festive mode. Palermo had had an excellent season. Newly promoted (after 31 years), under Francesco Guidolin, the Rosaneri lay in 6th position, after 12 wins (including Lazio 3-1, Juventus, Roma), 8 draws and 9 defeats. Luca Toni was top scorer with 19 goals (18 in the league). Today in the Sicilian capital was a celebration of their UEFA qualification and a triumphant farewell to their manager (he would be back a couple of years later).


The match: Sunday May 29, 2005, Stadio Renzo Barbera, Palermo


A full stadium of 35,000 was ready to celebrate Palermo's positive season and give a heartfelt farewell to Guidolin. Lazio, however, could not afford to be a mere sparring partner as they still had to be careful mathematicians to avoid any nasty surprises.


The party atmosphere on a warm, sunny day took off immediately. After only three minutes the hosts were already ahead, with top scorer Luca Toni. Mario Santana put a good through ball to the big Modenese who entered the area and beat Angelo Peruzzi with a precise low shot. 1-0 Palermo and a perfect start for "Le Aquile" of Sicily.


Lazio had no intention of being bystanders and started to push forward themselves. In the 15th minute Siviglia teed up Di Canio but his close-range effort was saved instinctively by Nicola Santoni. Five minutes later, Antonio Filippini, after a one-two with Di Canio, shot but the keeper saved. The Rosanero debutant keeper repeated himself in the 28th minute on a dangerous Cesar strike.


After this twenty-minute monologue, Palermo stirred. In the 33rd minute a Santana cross took a deflection off Giuliano Giannichedda and fell to Mariano Gonzalez but his shot shaved the post.


Just before halftime Lazio equalised. In the 43rd minute Cesar's pass cut through the Rosanero defence and Tommaso Rocchi beat the offside trap, went round the keeper and slotted the ball in. 1-1 at halftime.


So far Palermo were dangerous but also carefree and had moments of distraction that Lazio could exploit. At the moment Brescia were losing, Parma and Bologna drawing so Lazio with this point would be safe.


For the second half, Papadopulo gave second keeper Fabrizio Casazza his moment of glory as he replaced Peruzzi.


Palermo came back on more determined to celebrate in style and went on the attack. After five minutes Toni threatened but Casazza made his first save. In the 61st minute, however, Palermo went in front again. A Santana shot was parried by Casazza but reached only as far as Franco Brienza who scored. 2-1 Palermo.


On the waves of enthusiasm Palermo continued to attack and only four minutes later struck again. In the 65th minute a Gonzalez cross from the left by-line was headed in by Toni. 3-1 Palermo.


Lazio were consoled by the other results' update; the fact that Fiorentina were now (66th minute) beating Brescia 3-0 away meant Lazio were virtually safe.


There were still 25 minutes to be played however, and the hope Palermo were already satisfied with their festive efforts. Lazio had already put fresh striker Roberto Muzzi on for Rocchi in the 64th minute and then five minutes later threw on another forward Fabio Bazzani for Di Canio.


The substitutions and the hosts increasing "inebriation" led to Lazio pulling a goal back in the 71st minute. A cross from the right by Antonio Filippini (that's what his shirt said anyway) was met by Bazzani who with a spectacular diving header made it 3-2.


Brienza and Eugenio Corini went off to standing ovations and Lazio sensed they could take something home from the party. In the 88th minute they did just that when Muzzi beat Santoni with a low, angled shot. 3-3 but the locals were not particularly taken aback and Palermo even took Toni off a minute later to soak up his deserved acclaim.


The match finished 3-3 with no injury time added. Everyone could now celebrate with the marvellous Sicilian pastries. Palermo a great season and 6th place, Lazio safety after a turbulent season in which at times things had looked pretty grim.


Who played for Palermo


Santoni, Ferri, Zaccardo, Barzagli, Grosso, Santana, Corini (79' Morrone), Barone, M. Gonzalez, Brienza (69' Mutarelli), Toni (89' Conteh)

Substitutes: Guardalben, Terlizzi, Raimondi

Manager: Guidolin


Who played for Lazio


Peruzzi (46' Casazza), Oddo, Siviglia, Giannichedda, Zauri, A. Filippini, Dabo, E. Filippini, Cesar, Rocchi (64' Muzzi), Di Canio (69' Bazzani)

Substitutes: Talamonti, Pandev, Seric, Lequi

Manager: Papadopulo


Referee: Rosetti


Goals: 3' Toni, 43' Rocchi, 61' Brienza, 65' Toni, 71' Bazzani, 88' Muzzi



What happened next


Lazio from risking Serie B even got into the European Intertoto tournament, due to Messina renouncing and Livorno's application coming too late.


The future would be without Papadopulo, forever the January 6 derby hero, as the Delio Rossi era was about to start.


Palermo qualified for Europe after 37 years and they too, as planned, changed manager to Luigi Del Neri (and then after 23 games to today's rival, Papadopulo). Guidolin would be back however, returning to Palermo two years later.


A curious fact is that five Palermo players on the field today would become World Champions with Italy in 2006 (Cristian Zaccardo, Andrea Barzagli, Simone Barone, Fabio Grosso and Toni) plus Angelo Peruzzi and Massimo Oddo for Lazio.


Lazio 2004-05

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

38

11

11

16

48

Coppa Italia

2

1

-

1

4

UEFA Cup

6

2

3

1

11

Super Coppa

1

-

-

1

-

Total

47

14

14

19

63

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Super Coppa

Oddo

42

35

1

5

1

A. Filippini

41

36

2

3

-

Rocchi

41

35

1

5

-

Dabo

37

29

1

6

1

Giannichedda

37

32

1

3

1

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Rocchi

17

13

2

2

Di Canio

7

6

-

1

Muzzi

6

3

-

3

Oddo

4

4

-

-

A. Filippini

4

2

2

-

4

3

-

1

Cesar

4

3

-

1


Let’s talk about Roberto Muzzi


Official SS Lazio photo

Roberto Muzzi was born in Marino (Rome), on September 21, 1971.


He started playing football with his local neighbourhood Morena. He then passed on to Pro Calcio Italia and then Roma.


His arrival at the Giallorossi was not entirely smooth. Muzzi is a lifelong Lazio fan. Legend has it that when he presented himself at the Roma training ground he was wearing a Lazio Eagle pendant, Bruno Conti, the Roma legend working in the youth sector, was not impressed and said, "you can take off that chicken for a start".


Muzzi eventually settled in and made his first team debut on February 11, 1990 against Inter. It would be his only game under Luigi Radice that year.


The following season he played more under Ottavio Bianchi. He made 15 league appearances and with 3 goals (Cesena, Lecce, Pisa), 3 in Coppa Italia and 5 in the UEFA Cup. Roma won the Coppa Italia and were UEFA Cup finalists (Inter 2-1 on aggregate).


In 1991-92 he played 10 league games with 1 goal (Verona), 2 in Coppa Italia with 1 goal (Lucchese), 1 game in the Cup Winners Cup and 1 in the Italian Supercoppa. Under manager Bianchi, Roma came 5th. They lost the Super Coppa final to Sampdoria 1-0.


The 1992-93 would be his last full season for the "Lupi". He played more regularly under new manager Vujadin Boškov, making 24 league appearances with 1 goal (Torino), 7 in Coppa Italia with 1 goal (Milan) and 4 in the UEFA Cup with 2 goals (Wacker Innsbruck, Galatasaray). Roma came 10th and were losing finalists in the Coppa Italia (Torino 5-5, on away goals).


The following season after 5 league games and 1 goal (winner against Juventus) and 1 game in Coppa Italia he left the capital. With a new manager, Carletto Mazzone, Roma had bought striker Abel Balbo so Muzzi was loaned to Pisa in Serie B.


In Tuscany played 23 league games with 8 goals. For the Pisani however it was a difficult season and they were relegated to C1 after a playoff against Sicilians Acireale, lost 4-3 on penalties.


Muzzi therefore returned to Roma but did not stay long. After 2 league games under Mazzone he made possibly the best move of his career and in 1994 joined Cagliari in Serie A. He spent five good seasons in Sardinia.


He played under Oscar Tabarez, Giovanni Trapattoni (then Bruno Giorgi), Gregorio Perez (then Mazzone) and Gianpiero Ventura for two seasons with 9th,10th,15th (relegated), 3rd in B (promoted) and finally 13th place finishes. Muzzi played 144 league games for "Casteddu" (Cagliari in Sardinian) and scored 58 goals. He also scored another 6 goals in Coppa Italia.


In 1999 he left the "Isolani" and joined Udinese. He played four seasons in Serie A with the Friulani, under Luigi De Canio, De Canio again (then Luciano Spalletti), Roy Hodgson (then Ventura) and Spalletti again. The Bianconeri came 8th (qualified for Intertoto Cup), 12th (won Intertoto Cup), 14th and 6th (qualified for UEFA Cup). Muzzi played 103 league games and scored 39 goals. He also scored 2 in the UEFA Cup (Aalborg and Polonia Warszawa), 3 in the Intertoto Cup (Aalborg, Austria Vienna, Sigma Olomouc) and 1 in Coppa Italia (Inter).


In 2003 he finally joined the club he had supported as a child. He arrived at Lazio just as the golden era of Cragnotti had finished. The Biancocelesti however still had some good players; Peruzzi, César, Mihajlovic, Stam, Favalli, Couto, Fiore, Stankovic, Claudio Lopez just to name a few. The manager was former player Roberto Mancini.


In his first season Muzzi played 22 league games with 1 goal (Udinese), 6 in Coppa Italia with 2 goals (Modena, Parma) and 6 in the UEFA Champions League with 1 goal (Beşiktaş). Lazio finished 6th in the league (UEFA qualification) but did not get through the first group phase in CL. In the last match against Beşiktaş, Muzzi scored a superb scissor kick goal. In a post match interview he was translated as saying, "my goal was useless" (obviously for worthless but it was ironic seeing the sublime quality of the goal). Lazio and Muzzi found glory however in the Coppa Italia, which they lifted to the sky on a magical Turin evening, after beating Juventus 4-2 on aggregate (2-0, 2-2).


In the 2004-05 season, first under Domenico Caso and then Giuseppe Papadopulo, he played less with 16 league appearances and 3 goals (Atalanta, Livorno, Palermo),1 game in the Coppa Italia, 4 in the UEFA Cup and 3 goals (Metalurh Donec'k, Egaleo x2) plus the Super Coppa final (lost 3-0 to Milan).


The following season he left for Torino in Serie B and stayed two seasons. The first under Gianni De Biasi and "Toro" came 3rd winning promotion. Muzzi played 29 league games plus 4 in the playoffs and scored 8 goals.


In 2006-07, first under Alberto Zaccheroni and then from the 26th game Gianni De Biasi, the Granata struggled and finished 16th. Muzzi played 28 league games with 3 goals (Siena, Messina and the winner away against Roma).


The last two years of his career he spent at Padova in C1. He played 23 league games with 4 goals. In his second year the "Biancoscudati" (The White-shielded) won promotion up to Serie B after the playoffs and so made their return after eleven years.


At this point at almost 38 he retired.


At international level he earned 5 U18 caps (3 goals), 19 U21 caps (4 goals) and played 5 games for Italy Olympic team. He won two U21 European Championships, in 1992 and 1994.


After retiring he returned to the Roma youth sector until 2015. He also had a brief spell as assistant coach to Aurelio Andreazzoli in 2013. This meant he was on the bench for Roma when they lost the Cup Final to Lazio on May 26 ... surely a strange sensation for a self professed Lazio fan.


He was then assistant coach at Panathinaikos in 2015-16, under Giovanni Stramaccioni. He then followed Stramaccioni to Sparta Prague until March 2017. In 2019 he collaborated with Empoli, in 2020 with Genoa and then on November 23, 2020 became manager at Empoli for 8 matches. On December 26 he took over at Cagliari for one match between the sacking of former Lazio Fabio Liverani and the appointment of Claudio Ranieri (Muzzi won his game 2-0 vs Cosenza).


Muzzi was a good club player. At 1.78 and 77 kilos he was strong physically but also quick and resistant. In the first part of his career especially, he was very effective on the counter attack. With age he obviously slowed down but still retained his acrobatic skills (as his goal against Beşiktaş proves). His best years were at Cagliari, in particular (he is in their Hall of Fame), and Udinese. He scored 152 career club goals in all competitions.


At Lazio he arrived having already passed his peak. He achieved the not minor satisfaction of playing for the club he supported and won a Coppa Italia. He had a good club career, maybe with a bit too much red and yellow in it, but playing for his boyhood team and lifting silverware was extra special.


Lazio career

Season

Total Games (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

UEFA Cup

Intertoto Cup

Super Coppa

2003-04

34 (4)

22 (1)

6 (2)

6 (1)

-

-

-

2004-05

23 (6)

16 (3)

2

-

4 (3)

-

1

Jul-Sep 2005

5 (1)

1

-

-

-

4 (1)

-

Total

62 (11)

39 (4)

8 (2)

6 (1)

4 (3)

4 (1)

1

Sources


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