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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

May 31, 1931: Lazio Legnano 4-0

Lazio blow away Legnano in second half


With the strong wind behind them Lazio score four goals after difficult first half





The season so far


Lazio had finished 15th the previous season. The manager was Ferenc Molnar briefly replaced by Pietro Piselli and then Molnar again. Top scorer was Luigi Ziroli with 11 league goals.

 

This season they had added Brazilian duo Octavio Fantoni II and Joāo Fantoni I (Cruzeiro), Aldo Mattei III and Giovanni Zanni (both from Juventus). Having left Lazio were Francesco Rier (Juventus) plus Luigi Saraceni and Ugo Ciabattini (both retired). The manager, Hungarian Ferenc Molnar, was confirmed but had been replaced from the 27th fixture, on May 10, by Cesare Migliorini. The new manager had won 3-1 away at Alessandria and drawn the derby 2-2.

 

Lazio were currently in joint 10th position with Brescia. The Biancocelesti therefore were in a carefree mid-table situation. They had won 11 (including Milan 1-0 and Legnano 2-0 away, Juventus 2-1 and Inter 1-0 at home), drawn 5 (including Roma 1-1 and 2-2) and lost 12. Top scorer was Pastore with 11 league goals.

 

Legnano were newly promoted. The "Lilla" (Lilacs) had finished 2nd in Serie B under manager Luigi Barbesino. Top scorer was Tullio Aliatis with 15 league goals.

 

This season the manager was still Barbesino. The summer market had not brought many changes. The new players were defender Antonio Perduca (Atalanta), midfielder Giovanni Brezzi (Lecce) plus forwards Giuseppe Baccilieri (Monfalconese) and Rodolfo Ostromann (Triestina). Leaving were forwards Giorgio Agostinelli (Salernitana) and Stefano Aigotti (GC Vigevanese).

 

So far, the Lilacs were struggling in the top flight despite winning on their debut. They were currently in joint 16th position, on 15 points with Casale, two points ahead of bottom placed Livorno and four behind Triestina. The Lombards had won 5, drawn 5 and lost 18. A week earlier however, they had thrashed Modena 6-2 at home. Top scorer was Giorgio Cidri with 8 league goals.

 

Lazio were favourites today but should not underestimate the Lilacs' hunger for points.

 

The match: Sunday, May 31, 1931, Stadio del Littorio Foligno


The match was being played in the neutral venue of Foligno, in Umbria, due to the troubles at the end of the derby a week earlier, with scuffles both on and off the pitch. Both Lazio and Roma had been banned from playing at home for one game.

 

The weather was good but very windy and there were about 3,000 spectators present, mainly from Rome.

 

The wind was a major factor. In the first half Lazio played against it and also seemed to suffer from the shorter length of the pitch compared to what they were used to.

 

The first half was balanced. Lazio attacked more but both sides had chances.

 

The Lilacs had the first shot with Giorgio Cidri but Ezio Sclavi saved. In the 5th minute Gino Lamon fired over the bar after a good combination with Mario Malatesta. The Lombards responded with an Tullio Aliatis effort but Sclavi was safe.

 

Lazio gradually gained control but did not keep the ball on the ground as the conditions dictated. Piero Pastore went extremely close when his low shot shaved the post but generally Lazio struggled to stamp their superior quality on the game.

 

Both sides had further chances, Giuseppe Baccilieri forced Sclavi into an excellent save and Aldo Spivach threatened for Lazio but the Legnano keeper got to it with the tip of his fingers. Half time Lazio 0 Legnano 0.

 

An evenly matched 45 minutes but the away side had adapted better to the small pitch and had played with the wind behind them. Things could change in the second half.

 

The second period started with Lazio looking far more determined. Malatesta was immediately dangerous with a header. In the 50th minute Lazio scored. A good cross from Lamon reached Pastore who anticipated the keeper and put the Biancocelesti in front. Lazio 1 Legnano 0.

 

Lazio were now dominant and in the 58th minute a Spivach long range strike was not far off. Lazio had a series of shots by Pastore and Joāo Fantoni I either just wide, over the bar or blocked by defenders.

 

Legnano then had a flying counterattack in the 67th minute but Sclavi came out brilliantly and dived low at Camillo Ferrė's feet to avoid the equaliser.

 

Six minutes later Lazio doubled their lead. It was a clever play by Malatesta who dummied on a Lamon cross and the ball reached Fantoni I who blasted the ball past Angelo Rotondi. Lazio 2 Legnano 0.

 

In the 79th minute Lazio were down to ten men. Pastore, on being denied a clear corner, went over the top with his protests and was given his marching orders.

 

By now however, Lazio were rampant and four minutes later scored again. Fantoni found himself with only the keeper to beat and did so with a surgical, low shot. Lazio 3 Legnano 0.

 

The wind in their faces must have felt like a hurricane by now for the hapless Lombards. Lazio had more chances with Malatesta and Spivach before, in the 86th minute, the striker from Friuli hammered in a mid-height shot from about 25 metres. Lazio 4 Legnano 0.

 

There was time for one more chance each, Sclavi saved well on Vittorio Rizzi and Spivach went close to getting a brace. Final score 4-0.

 

After some initial difficulties Lazio had put on a fine performance. Once Odoacre Pardini, Marino Furlani and Fantoni I came to life and with the wind behind them Lazio had swept away Legnano. The Lombards had their chances but had come up against an excellent Sclavi.

 

Who played for Lazio


Sclavi, Tognotti, Mattei II, Pardini, Furlani, Fantoni II, Spivach, Fantoni I, Pastore, Malatesta, Lamon I

Manager: Migliorini

 

Who played for Legnano


Rotondi, Canziani, Perduca, Severi, Bigogno, Gerola, Cidri, Aliatis, Ferrė, Baccilieri, Rizzi

Manager: Barbesino

 

Referee: Lenti


Goals: 50' Pastore, 73' Fantoni I, 83' Fantoni I, 86' Spivach

 

What happened next


A week later Lazio lost 1-3 away to Juventus. The Biancocelesti then won three out of the last four games and finished a respectable 8th. For the last three matches Amilcar had become player-manager. Top scorer was Piero Pastore with 13 league goals.

 

Legnano were relegated. The Lilacs changed manager for the last three games to Hungarian Otto Krappan but finished 18th. In the last five games they won 1 (Napoli 2-0 at home), drew 2 (Roma 0-0 and Triestina 1-1, both at home) and lost 2 (Inter 0-3 and Livorno 1-2, both away). Top scorer was Giorgio Cidri with 8 league goals. The Lilacs would not return to Serie A until 1951.

 

The Legnano manager Barbesino would then coach Roma between 1933 and 1937 going close to, but fortunately not winning, a Scudetto in 1936.

 

One of Legnano's players, Giuseppe Bigogno, would many years later be Lazio's manager (1951-53).

 

The Scudetto was won by Juventus for the 3rd time. Legnano went down with Livorno.


Lazio 1930-31

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

34

15

5

14

45

Top Five Appearances

Players

Serie A

Mattei II

34

Sclavi

33

Pardini

32

Tognotti

32

Pastore

29

Top Five Goal Scorers

Players

Serie A

Pastore

13

Malatesta

6

Fantoni

6

Cevenini V

5

Spivach

4

Let's talk about Marino Furlani


Marino Furlani is fourth from left standing. Source Wikipedia

Marino Furlani was born in Gorizia, Friuli, on November 2, 1904.

 

His first club was Pro Gorizia where he played in 1927-28. The Biancazzurri were in the Seconda Divisione Nord and finished 2nd.

 

In 1928 he joined Lazio. The Romans were in the Divisione Nazionale (top flight) and finished joint 8th with Napoli in the B group. The top 8 from each group would go into the following year's single Serie A league so Lazio and Napoli went to a playoff. The game ended 2-2 after extra time but before they got round to a replay the Federation decided to expand the new format to 18 teams, so they were both in.

Lazio got through four managers; Franz Sedlacek (1-3), Fernando Saraceni (4-14), Augusto Rangone (15-23) and Ferenc Molnar (24-34).

Furlani played 27 league games with 4 goals (Fiorentina, Biellese, Brescia, Verona) plus the playoff. Lazio's best results were beating Inter 1-0 and Fiorentina 5-1 at home plus Juventus 1-0 away.

 

In 1929-30 in Serie A the manager was Ferenc Molnar with an interlude with Pietro Piselli and then Molnar again. Lazio struggled and finished 15th. Furlani played 26 league games.

 

In 1930-31, Lazio started with Molnar (1-26) then Cesare Migliorini (27-31) and finally Amilcar as player/manager (32-34). Lazio finished 8th, they beat Milan 1-0 away, Juventus 2-1 and Inter 1-0 at home while both derbies were draws. Furlani played 26 league games.

 

In 1931-32, Lazio definitely became "Brasilazio" adding seven more Brazilians to the two Fantoni's. The manager was Amilcar and Lazio finished 13th. The highlight was beating Juventus 2-1 away. Furlani played 24 league games.

 

In 1932-33 the manager was Austrian Karl Stürmer and Lazio finished 10th. The Biancocelesti beat Inter 2-1 away, Roma 2-1, Juventus 1-0 and Milan 2-0 at home. Furlani played 11 league games.

 

The 1933-34 season was his last with Lazio. Stürmer stayed on and Lazio finished 10th again. They beat Milan 4-0 at home and drew a derby 3-3 after being 0-3 down. Furlani played 8 league games.

 

Furlani then played two more seasons with Bagnolese (Napoli) in Serie C.

 

At 33 he retired. After retiring he had some coaching spells at amateur level.

 

Furlani was a midfielder. Between 1928 and 1932 he was a pillar of Lazio's midfield, then played less in his last two seasons. His main midfield companions were Leopoldo Caimmi (1928-31), Silvio Griggio (1928-29), Mario Malatesta (1929-32), Francesco Rier (1928-30), Odoacre Pardini (1928-33), Aldo Spivach (1928-32), Octavio Fantoni II (1930-34), Gino Lamon I (1928-29 and 1930-31), José Castelli (1931-34), Mario Tonali (1930-34), Pietro Buscaglia (1932-34), Francesco Gabriotti (1932-34), Raggio Montanari (1933-34) and Duilio Salatin (1933-34).

 

Furlani played 122 league games for Lazio with 4 goals, over six seasons. In his Lazio period he played two games for the Italy B side.

 

He died on July 15, 1975, in Verona.


Lazio Career

Season

Total

National Division

Serie A

1928-29

28 (4)

28 (4)

-

1929-30

26

-

26

1930-31

26

-

26

1931-32

24

-

24

1932-33

11

-

11

1933-34

8

-

8

Total

123 (4)

28 (4)

95


Sources



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