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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

November 15, 1959: Lazio Atalanta 1-1

Lazio have to settle for draw against "Goddess"


A goal nine minutes from time by visitors forces Lazio to give up a deserved win





The season so far


The previous season Lazio had finished 11th under Fulvio Bernardini. The Biancocelesti had however won their first ever trophy, the Coppa Italia, beating Fiorentina 1-0. Top scorer was Humberto Tozzi with 26 goals (14 in A)


This season "Fuffo" Bernardini was still manager but due to financial difficulties not much had been done on the transfer market. The only important signing was Orlando Rozzoni from SPAL while leaving were defender Umberto Pinardi (Udinese), midfielders Luigi Moltrasio (Young Fellows Zurich) and Carlo Tagnin (Bari) plus forward Renzo Burini (Cesena).


Lazio had got off to a satisfactory start in the league. They had earned two 1-1 away draws (Bologna and Inter) and beaten Udinese and Vicenza both 2-1 at home but then came two defeats (the derby 0-3 and Juventus 0-2 at home). Their most recent result was a 0-0 away draw in Naples. Lazio were currently on 7 points.


In Coppa Italia Lazio had got through the Last 16 by beating Palermo 2-1 at home after extra-time (Ugo Pozzan winner 118'). The Biancocelesti would play Bologna in the quarter finals but not until June 1960.


Atalanta were newly promoted having won Serie B the previous season. The promotion manager was Austrian Karl Adamek and top scorer was Giovanni Zavaglio with 13 league goals while future Lazio Angelo Longoni got 11.


This year the "Dea" (The Goddess) had a new manager in future Italy coach Ferruccio Valcareggi. The Nerazzurri had not changed their squad much over the summer. Arriving were midfielders Luigi Bodi (Bologna) and Humberto Maschio (Bologna) plus forward Enrico Nova (Brescia). In the squad was future Lazio midfielder Rino Marchesi.


Leaving were forwards Alfonso Dante Mion (Reggina) and Giuseppe Secchi (Triestina).


So far, the Bergamaschi had won one (a week earlier 3-0 at home against Bari), drawn 3 (Inter 1-1 and Juventus 2-2 at home, Alessandria 0-0 away) and lost 3 (the opener 0-4 to Sampdoria away, Napoli 0-1 and Fiorentina 1-4, both away). The Orobici had 5 points. Not a great start but the Nerazzurri could take heart from their recent first victory.


In Coppa Italia Atalanta had got through two rounds (Alessandria 5-0 and Genoa 2-0, both at home) and in the quarterfinals would now play Juventus at home in April.


The match: Sunday, November 15, 1959, Stadio Stadio Flaminio, Rome


It was a rainy day in Rome and the pitch was extremely wet and heavy. A crowd of about 10,000 showed up at the small Flaminio stadium, built for the 1960 Olympics.


Both sides had absences today. Lazio were without defenders Nicola Lo Buono and Adelmo Eufemi, midfielder Franco Carradori and forward Humberto Tozzi while the visitors were missing Swedish defender Bengt Gustavsson.


The Bergamaschi had the first dangerous attack when Longoni crossed, Giovanni Molino cleared but only as far as Pierluigi Ronzon whose good effort was saved by Idilio Cei.


Lazio reacted with Amos Mariani but Angelo Boccardi dived well and averted the threat.


There followed a lengthy period where nothing much happened.


Just after the half-hour things livened up. In the 32nd minute a move involving Bruno Franzini and Orlando Rozzoni was finished by Claudio Bizzarri but his shot went narrowly wide. In the 39th minute Lazio scored. It was Bizzarri again who got a strike in but Boccardi parried, the ball came back to the Maceratese forward, who this time found the target. Lazio 1 Atalanta 0.


Lazio attacked further on the waves of enthusiasm and Ugo Pozzan had two efforts blocked by defenders. However, just before halftime in the 44th minute, Cei saved the day rushing off his line and diving low to anticipate Zavaglio. Halftime score Lazio 1 Atalanta 0.


All in all, a fair score line as Lazio had more scoring opportunities.


In the second half Atalanta's Humberto Maschio was protagonist in the good and the bad when first he had a good effort go wide and then when he roughed up Franzini unseen by the referee.


Lazio then controlled the proceedings, first with a Mariani run and cross just missed by Rozzoni and Bizzarri, then in the 60th minute a lame shot by Rozzoni and then in the 63rd minute a colossal chance when Mariani had only the keeper to beat but Boccardi dived at his feet and avoided the "Dea" from capitulating.


In the 66th minute came a controversial episode. Atalanta full-back Stefano Angeleri clearly handballed in the area and while everyone was waiting for the whistle that never came, Bizzarri hesitated and Pietro Gardoni cleared.


At this point, with twenty minutes to go, the Orobici stirred and seemed to change gear. First Arturo Gentili had a shot deflected by Bizzarri that looked as if it had wrong footed Cei but the Lazio keeper sprung acrobatically and managed to get a hand to it. In the 81st minute however, the Nerazzurri scored. Angelo Longoni fed Zavaglio who went past Maurilio Prini and tried his luck, the ball somehow went through several players' legs and ended up in the back of the net. Lazio 1 Atalanta 1.


Lazio reacted furiously and pegged back the visitors in their own area. Their biggest chance came in the 84th minute and it was a double one. First Boccardi flew to parry a medium range shot by Rozzoni, the rebound fell to Oliviero Visentin who then hit the crossbar. Final score Lazio 1 Atalanta 1.


Lazio had played well, were unlucky at the end and would probably have a deserved a win more than Atalanta but the draw was not unfair at the end of the day.


Who played for Lazio


Manager: Bernardini


Who played for Atalanta


Boccardi, Angeleri, Roncoli, Bodi, Gardoni, Marchesi, Gentili, Maschio, Zavaglio, Ronzon, Longoni

Manager: Valcareggi


Referee: Righetti


Goals: 39' Bizzarri, 81' Longoni


What happened next


Lazio had a mediocre season and finished 12th, just three points above the last relegation slot. They saved themselves with 2 wins and 2 draws in the last 4 matches. The Biancocelesti won 9, drew 12 and lost 13 (including derby 0-1). Top scorer was Orlando Rozzoni with 16 goals (13 in A).


In Coppa Italia they got through the quarters beating Bologna 3-2 away in extra-time but then lost 0-3 away to Juventus in the semi-final. Lazio then came 3rd by beating Torino 2-1 in the consolation final for third place and fourth place.


Atalanta finished 11th, one point above Lazio. The Bergamaschi won 9 (including Roma 2-0 at home and Juventus 1-0 away), drew 12 (including Lazio 0-0) and lost 12. Top scorer was Humberto Maschio with 9 goals (7 in A, as Enrico Nova).


In Coppa Italia the Nerazzurri were unlucky. In the quarterfinals they drew 2-2 with Juventus, then the penalty shootout ended up 6-6 (6 by Marchesi) so they had to toss a coin, Juventus qualified and eventually won the cup (Fiorentina 3-2 after extra-time, with 2 goals by John Charles).


The Scudetto was also won by the Bianconeri from Turin. Serie B opened its unwelcoming doors to Genoa, Palermo and Alessandria (the Grey Wolves from Piedmont have not been back since).


Lazio 1959-60

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

34

9

12

13

32

Coppa Italia

3

3

-

-

5

Total

37

12

12

13

37

Top five apperances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Janich

36

33

3

Franzini

34

33

1

Carradori

28

27

1

Prini

28

27

1

Molino

27

26

1

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Rozzoni

14

13

1

Bizzarri

4

4

-

Carradori

3

2

1

Pozzan

3

1

2

Visentin

3

3

-

Let’s talk about Giovanni Molino


Giovanni Molino is second from left kneeling. Source Wikipedia

Giovanni Molino was born in Caresana (Vercelli-Piedmont), on April 3, 1931. His real name was Giancarlo but he was always known as Giovanni.


He started his career with nearby Casale, from Casale Monferrato. He played two seasons with the "Neri" (The Blacks) from 1948 to 1950. The Nerostellati were in Serie C and finished 5th and 8th. Molino played 66 league games.


In 1950 he joined Torino in Serie A. This was only a year after the tragic Superga air crash which had killed most of the "Grande Torino". Molino only played one league game under future Lazio manager Giuseppe Bigogno (with Roberto Copernico as T. D) and the Granata finished 17th.


The following year he returned to Casale on loan. He played 16 league games and the Blacks were relegated to Serie D.


In 1952 he was back at Torino. He played more regularly, getting 18 league games. Toro finished 10th under manager Oberdan Ussello (T.D was first Copernico and then, from October, future Lazio Jesse Carver).


In 1953-54 Ussello started but was replaced by Luigi Miconi in October (Carver also left for Annibale Frossi). The Granata finished 9th and Molino made 12 league appearances.


The 1954-55 season was his last in Turin. Frossi stayed on and Il Toro finished 9th again and Molino played 34 league games. He therefore finally became a first-choice defender. He also played alongside former Lazio forward Lelio Antoniotti.


In 1955 he moved to Rome and joined Lazio. The manager was Luigi Ferrero but he was replaced by Jesse Carver after 14 games. Lazio had an excellent season and came 3rd. The Biancocelesti won the return derby 1-0, beat Juventus 2-0 at home and Milan 3-1 away. Molino played 32 league games.


In 1956-57 Englishman Carver was still in his place and Lazio repeated themselves finishing 3rd again (these were the years before Arne Selmosson's "betrayal"). Lazio's best results were a 3-0 home thrashing of Milan and a 1-0 away win against Inter. Molino was a regular with 34 league appearances.


In 1957-58 Lazio had a new manager, Milovan Círić, he was replaced after 20 games by Alfredo Monza and then in June, for the Coppa Italia, Fulvio Bernardini arrived. In Serie A Lazio finished 12th and Molino again played 34 league games. The highlight was beating Roma 2-1 in March but the real historic event came in the period stretching from June to September. The Coppa Italia 1958 was played over the summer at the end of the Serie A season. In the group phase Lazio won 4 (Palermo 5-1, Napoli 3-1, 4-0 and Roma 3-2) and drew 2 (Palermo 2-2, Roma 1-1). In the quarter finals they beat Marzotto Valdagno 2-1 and in the semi-final Juventus 2-0. They then triumphed in the final in Rome on September 24, defeating Fiorentina 1-0 (Prini). Lazio lifted their first historic silverware.


In 1958-1959 Lazio were "Selmossonless " who had defected to Roma but Bernardini was still manager. Lazio finished 11th and Molino played less, 12 league games with his first goal (SPAL in 4-0 win). Lazio reached the quarterfinals of Coppa Italia but lost 0-1 to Inter.


In 1959-60 Lazio finished 12th under Bernardini. Molino made 26 league appearances. Lazio reached the semi-final of Coppa Italia but lost 0-3 to Juventus (Lazio then won the 3rd place final, Torino 2-1).


The 1960-61 season would be Molino's last with Lazio and it ended badly. Bernardini was replaced after ten matches by former player Enrique “El Flaco" Flamini (with Carver as T.D) but Lazio were unable to avoid relegation for the first time in their history. They however reached the Coppa Italia final but this time lost to Fiorentina, 0-2 in Florence. Molino played 26 league games.


With Lazio in Serie B (the Biancocelesti would be back in A two years later), Molino joined them but with Napoli. The Partenopei started with Fioravante Baldi as manager but he was soon replaced by Bruno Pesaola. Napoli were promoted but not without controversy (the Bruno Seghedoni goal/ no goal scored by Lazio, the referee claiming the ball had gone in through a hole in the net..). There was no doubt however about their first historic silverware when they surprisingly won the Coppa Italia beating SPAL 2-1. Molino made 30 league appearances and 2 in Coppa Italia (including final). He played alongside future Lazio Pierluigi Ronzon and future manager Gigi Simoni.


The 1962-63 season was not as positive. Napoli were relegated under Pesaola (and Lazio promoted ... Seghedoni was partially vindicated). Molino played 27 league games (he was suspended for 1 month for anti-doping test irregularities), 1 in Coppa Italia and made his debut in Europe, playing 8 games in the Cup Winners Cup (Napoli reached quarters, OFK Belgrade 0-2, 3-1 and then 1-3 in playoff in Marseille).


Molino then retired at the age of 32.


He then had a brief experience as manager. In 1963-64 he was assistant to Roberto Lerici at Napoli. When Lerici was sacked, after 24 games, Molino took over. In his tenure the Azzurri played 14 games with 4 wins, 6 draws and 4 defeats.


He then left football and followed one of his other passions, art. He became a collector of modern art and in 1965 opened two galleries in Rome, one in elegant Via del Babuino and the other in the artists' street, Via Margutta.


In 1992, following the premature death of his elder daughter, he sold the galleries and returned home to Caresana. In 2014 he opened another art gallery in Milan, with his other daughter.


Molino was a defender. He was a classy player with good technique but was also physically strong. He was at Lazio for six seasons and was a regular choice playing 169 games. He won a Coppa Italia in 1958, a feat he would repeat with Napoli in 1962.


Lazio Career

Season

Appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

1955-56

32

32

-

1956-57

34

34

-

1957-58

34

34

-

1958-59

13 (1)

12 (1)

1

1959-60

27

26

1

1960-61

29

26

3

Total

169 (1)

164

5

Sources




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