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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

November 22, 1936: Lazio Sampierdarenese 1-0

FIRST!!!!!!

 

A Piola goal allows Lazio to top Serie A



Source Il Littoriale

The season so far

 

The previous season Lazio had arrived seventh, a little bit disappointing. The whole team was geared to set up Silvio Piola but not everything worked according to plan. The defence was a little weak, not protected enough by the midfield. Manager Walter Alt had resigned with three games to go and was substituted by Jozsef Viola who was confirmed for the 1936-37 season.

 

Fans expected a revolution in the summer transfer window and revolution it was. Goodbye to Attilio Ferraris IV (Bari), Anfilogino Guarisi (Corinthians), Virgillio Levratto (Savona), Egidio Turchi and Antonio Bisigato (both to Ambrosiana Inter), Odoacre Pardini (retired) and Umberto Visentin III (Treviso), welcome forwards Giovanni Costa (Vicenza), Giovanni Riccardi and Umberto Busani, plus midfielder Luigi Milano (all from Alessandria).

 

There was great optimism and the start was very good. In the first eight games of the season Lazio had beaten Milan and Juventus, alas lost the derby, but were second in the Campionato alongside Bologna and one point behind leaders Torino.

 

A win against Sampierdarenese could take them top.

 

Who were Sampierdarenese

 

The Ligurian team was from Sampierdarena, a small town just outside Genoa, founded in 1899. They had reached Serie A in 1933-34. Later on, the fascist regime forced the club to merge with Rivarolese and Corniglianese and become Associazione Calcio Liguria which lasted until 1944. After the war it went back to its old name but financial problems forced it to merge with the Serie A team Andrea Doria and form a new club: Sampdoria.

 

The match: Sunday November 22, 1936, Stadio PNF, Rome

 

Sampierdarenese started well but slowly Lazio took over with early chances for Bruno Camolese and Piola. The Ligurians tried an attack in the 10th minute with Giulio Rossi but his shot was well saved by Giacomo Blason. A moment later, the Biancocelesti scored. Following a Giuseppe Baldo throw-in, Busani passed to Riccardi who sent a long pass to Piola. The Lazio and Italy centre-forward picked up the ball and ran towards  goal. It was too easy to beat Vittorio Profumo and the Biancocelesti were in the lead.

 

Sampierdarenese reacted and the Lazio goalkeeper was brilliant in saving an Angelo Bollano volley. Piola squandered two opportunities in the 21st and 23rd minute and then again in the 30th when his shot was only just wide. A minute later the Lazio forward was again all alone in front of the goalkeeper but Profumo rushed out and scared the great Silvio, disorientating him. Giovanni Costa also had a chance in the 34th minute when Profumo saved a Riccardi shot deflected by Piola. It was an open goal chance but the ball went out. 

 

In the 42nd minute the Ligurians almost scored. Giuseppe Viani was clever in heading a Renato Bodini free kick over the crossbar.

 

Things did not change in the second half. The Biancocelesti attacked even more but Sampierdarenese parked the bus in front of their goal and it became increasingly difficult for Lazio to score their second. Piola had less freedom of movement. The Ligurians had chances with Bruno Biagini and Renato Cappellini. After a scuffle in front of the Sampierdarenese goal, Giovanni Battistoni punched Piola in the face. The referee did nothing. Later Bodini kicked Piola intentionally but even then the referee looked the other way.

 

The match ended with a couple of brilliant saves by Profumo, one of which was nothing short of miraculous on a Piola shot in the 88th minute. 

 

Lazio won, as did Bologna, and Torino lost. Lazio were top of the table, together with the Rossoblu.

 

Who played for Lazio

 

Blason, Zacconi, Monza II, Baldo, Viani I, Milano, Busani, Riccardi, Piola, Camolese, Costa

Manager: Viola

 

Who played for Sampierdarenese

 

Profumo, Rigotti, Bodini (II), Lancioni, Battistoni, Malatesta, Mascheroni, Cappellini, Bollano, Rossi, Biagini

Manager: István Mészáros

 

Referee: Salvagno

 

Goal: 10’ Piola

 

What happened next

 

At the end of the first half of the season Lazio were first with a two-point lead over Bologna. They lost the next game in Milan and were caught up  by Bologna and then, marred by a number of injuries, they lost ground  with three consecutive defeats: Fiorentina (5-1), the derby and Juventus (6-1). When all seemed lost, the injured players started to return and their performances flourished. In the last eight games of the season Lazio won six and lost only once, reaching a spectacular second place and qualification to the Central European Cup (or Mitropa Cup).

 

A great season, the best so far and the best for many, many years to come.

 

Top scorer had obviously been Silvio Piola with 31 goals in 35 matches. The player with the most appearances was Giuseppe Baldo (37).

 

In July, Lazio had played the first rounds of the Mitropa Cup. In the round of 16 they had beaten Hungaria MTK (4-3 on aggregate) and in the quarters Grasshoppers (8-4). They then should have faced the winner between Genoa and Admira Wien in the semi-final but both teams had been disqualified so the Biancocelesti went directly into the final (played in September and October against Ferencvaros which Lazio lost 9-6 on aggregate).


Lazio 1936-37

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

30

17

5

8

56

Coppa Italia

1

-

-

1

-

Mitropa Cup

4

2

1

1

12

Total

35

19

6

10

68

Top appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Mitropa Cup

Baldo

35

30

1

4

Busani

34

29

1

4

Monza

34

30

-

4

Zacconi

34

30

-

4

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Mitropa Cup

Piola

28

21

-

7

Busani

17

15

-

2

Costa

5

4

-

1

Riccardi

5

5

-

-

Camolese

4

4

-

-


Let's talk about Giuseppe Viani


Giuseppe Viani is second from left. Source Wikipedia

Giuseppe Viani is one of the most famous Italian managers of all time. He is the fifth all time coach as far as appearances are concerned (639). He was also a well-known player.

 

Viani was born in Nervesa della Battaglia, near Treviso, on September 13, 1909. He started his career with Olympia Treviso in  the third division and then with Treviso in the first division. In 1928 he signed for Ambrosiana Inter and debuted in the new Serie A on October 6, 1929 in the game won against Livorno in Milan. That year Ambrosiana won the scudetto and he made 31 appearances with one goal.

 

He stayed in Milan for six seasons before moving to Lazio in 1934. He remained until 1938 playing 125 games (114 in Serie A, 5 in Coppa Italia and six in the Mitropa Cup) with one goal. After Lazio he played for Livorno and Juventus and ended his career with Salernitana in 1943.

 

As he was finishing his active football, the secretary of the Italian Federation advised him to start a  career as a manager and he did so, becoming player manager for Siracusa in 1940-41 and then for Salernitana in 1941-43, in both stints he won the Serie C championship. After, he was head coach at Benevento in 1945 and then BDP Colleferro a year later. He had a very long managerial career with various teams: Salernitana (winning a Serie B championship), Lucchese, Palermo, Roma (in Serie B, winning the Serie B championship), Bologna, Milan, Genoa, Bologna and Udinese. With Milan he won the scudetto three times (1956-57, 1958-59, 1961-62) and the European Cup in 1962-63,beating Benfica in the final at Wembley. In 1958 he lost the final to Real Madrid.

 

He was also head coach for Italy in 1958 and in 1960 and was Technical Director for the Olympic team.

 

He was a great midfield player. He was good at defending and as a playmaker, was able to use both feet and was also tall, so good on high balls. Together with Attilio Ferraris IV and Octavio Fantoni II, he was part of  a great midfield in his years at Lazio.

 

As a manager he was a pioneer. Some consider him the inventor of the libero. His teams played differently to the others. The style of the usual classic big centre forward, with the wingers sending balls into the box was changed and he used his midfielders a lot more, creating confusion in the opposing defences. This new system of play was called Vianema in his name.

 

He died in Ferrara on January 6, 1969, from a heart attack just as he was negotiating a job at Lazio. President Umberto Lenzini had chosen him as Sports Director. Alas it never happened.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Mitropa Cup

1934-35

28

28

-

-

1935-36

32

29

3

-

1936-37

32 (1)

27 (1)

1

4

1937-38

33

30

1

2

Total

125 (1)

114 (1)

5

6

Sources


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