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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

October 17, 1937: Lazio Bologna 2-0

Lazio topple reigning champions


Two early goals and solid defence give Lazio prestigious win



The season so far


Lazio had an excellent year the previous season finishing 2nd behind Bologna under manager József Viola. Lazio also reached the prestigious Central European Cup final but lost to Ferencváros 6-9 on aggregate. Top scorer was Silvio Piola with 31 goals (21 in A).


This season, the Hungarian known as Giuseppe Viola had stayed on and the squad saw few changes. Arriving were Uruguayan defender Maximiliano Faotto (Palermo) plus forward Emilio Capri (Vicenza) and leaving were midfielder Luigi Uneddu (Vigevano) and Walter Onofrio (Torino). So not a lot to get excited about.


So far Lazio were unbeaten with 1 win (Genoa 1893 2-1) and 4 draws (Triestina 0-0, Lucchese 0-0, Milan 2-2 away and Roma 1-1 at home). The Biancocelesti were on 6 points.


Bologna were reigning champions. They had won the 1937 Scudetto under Hungarian Árpád Weisz. It was the Felsinei's 4th title. They had however drawn both games against Lazio.


This season the Hungarian was confirmed as head coach as was most of the squad, starting from goal scorer Carlo Reguzzoni. So far, the Rossoblu had won 3 (Napoli 3-2, Atalanta 2-1 and Ambrosiana Inter 1-0 at home), drawn 1 (Liguria 0-0 away) and lost 1 (Fiorentina 1-2 away). The "Petroniani" (The Petronians - from Patron San Petronio) were on 7 points.


It was a game which could go either way today. Bologna had the Scudetto sewn on their jersey but Lazio had got off to a decent start again this season.


The match: Sunday, October 17, 1937, Stadio PNF, Rome


A lovely sunny October day in Rome with a crowd of 15,000 to watch Lazio take on the Italian champions.


Lazio immediately took the game to the Petroniani and pushed forward. The Aquile had early shots by Bruno Camolese and Umberto Busani blocked by Carlo Ceresoli. In the 13th minute the Biancocelesti took the lead. Umberto Busani surged forward and played the ball back to Giovanni Riccardi whose cross was headed in by Silvio Piola. Lazio 1 Bologna 0.


The champions reacted and Giovanni Busoni missed from an extremely favourable position. They were punished in the 17th minute when Lazio scored again. They were awarded a free kick just outside the area for a foul on Emilio Capri by Dino Fiorini. Capri took it himself and found Busani who ran in from the by-line and headed past Ceresoli. Lazio 2 Bologna 0. A hesitant Bologna defence and Lazio were flying.


Bologna attempted to get back in the game straight away but Vincenzo Provera saved well into corner from a close range shot heading for the roof of the net.


Lazio then started to dominate. In the 32nd minute Busani was about to score but the referee had already blown up for a previous foul on Piola. In the 40th minute Piola fired off a powerful shot but it came off Fiorini's stomach, who stayed down for a few minutes before recovering. The visitors had one last chance with the lively Rafael Sansone but the half time score line read Lazio 2 Bologna 0. Lazio deservedly ahead against titleholders.


The second half started with Bologna on the attack and Provera had to dive to save a Mario Montesanto freekick. Then, Lazio gradually took control again. The Bologna keeper was constantly kept busy although not having to pull off any exceptional saves.


Towards the end the Rossoblu had more territorial superiority but only really produced one threat, a Carlo Reguzzoni solo effort saved low by Provera. Lazio's Bruno Camolese was suffering from cramps which limited his movement and Bologna had numerical advantage but Lazio's defence was excellent and held out until the end. The last minutes became increasingly tense and tempers flared but after a few minor scuffles the referee blew the final whistle. Lazio 2 Bologna 0.


A good and prestigious win for Lazio. Two early goals, a solid defence and Piola gradually getting back on form allowed the Biancocelesti the satisfaction of toppling the reigning champions. Three players had stood out, defenders Alfredo Monza II and Giuseppe Viani I and midfielder Bruno Camolese while for the visitors Sansone had been excellent.


Who played for Lazio


Provera, Zacconi, Monza II, Baldo, Viani I, Milano, Busani, Riccardi, Piola, Camolese, Capri

Manager: Giuseppe Viola


Who played for Bologna


Ceresoli, Fiorini, Pagotto, Montesanto, Andreolo, Corsi, Busoni, Sansone, Schiavio, Albanese, Reguzzoni

Manager: Weisz


Referee: Ciamberlini


Goals: 13' Piola, 17' Busani


What happened next


A week later Lazio beat Bari 3-1 and then drew 1-1 away with Juventus. Their season then became inconsistent with some good wins (Torino 6-0, Atalanta 4-0, Fiorentina 5-0) but also some disappointing defeats (Roma 1-2, Bari 1-5). Lazio beat Bologna again in the return fixture 2-0. In the end Lazio finished 8th after 11 wins, 10 draws and 9 defeats. The top scorer was Silvio Piola with 15 league goals.


In the Coppa Italia Lazio went out in the first round, losing 0-1 at home to Brescia.


Bologna had a decent season but were unsuccessful in defending their title. A week later they beat Roma 2-0 and then Lucchese 3-0 but then they too became inconsistent. The Rossoblu finished 5th after 14 wins, 9 draws and 7 defeats, only four points behind the winners. Their top scorer was Reguzzoni again with 17 goals (15 in A).


In Coppa Italia, Bologna reached the quarterfinals but lost 0-2 to Milan away.


One of the Bologna players, Uruguayan Michele Andreoli, would later play for Lazio during the war years (while still being owned by Bologna).


The Scudetto was won by Ambrosiana Inter for their 4th title. Serie B opened its unwelcoming doors to Atalanta and Fiorentina.


Lazio 1937-38

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals Scored

Serie A

30

11

10

9

48

Coppa Italia

1

-

-

1

-

Total

31

11

10

10

48

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Busani

31

30

1

Monza

31

30

1

Viani

31

30

1

Piola

28

28

-

Camolese

27

26

1

Milano

27

26

1

Top five goal scorers

Player

Serie A

Piola

15

Busani

12

Camolese

6

Marchini

5

Riccardi

3

Let's talk about Umberto Busani


Umberto Busani first from the left standing. Source Wikipedia

Umberto Busani was born in Naples, on February 1, 1915.


He started his football career in Verona with OND Chievo in 1931. The Clivensi at the time played in Veneto regional leagues. He played for two years with 22 appearances and 13 goals.


In 1933 he changed club but not town and joined Verona in Serie B. He only made 2 league appearances and the "Mastini" (The Mastiffs) finished 11th.


In 1934 he moved to play for Giovani Calciatori Vigevanesi (modern day ASD Vigevano) in Serie B. The Biancocelesti finished 5th and Busani played 29 league games with 6 goals.


In 1935 he moved to Piedmont and Alessandria. The "Orso Grigio" (The Grey Bear) was in Serie A. The two managers over the season were both Austrian, first Rudolf Soutschek and then Karl Stürmer. The Grigi had a good season finishing 8th (wins included Roma, Lazio, Milan 6-1, Juventus). They reached the final of Coppa Italia (beating Cremonese, Modena, Lazio 1-0, Milan) but lost to Torino 1-5. Busani played 28 league games with 7 goals (Como, Bologna, Milan, Genova 1893, Bologna, Bari, Juventus) and 4 in Coppa Italia.


In 1936 he moved to the capital and joined Lazio. The manager was Hungarian József Viola, Lazio finished 2nd and reached the final of the important Central European Cup (lost 6-9 on aggregate to Ferencváros). Busani played 29 league games with 15 goals (Triestina, Roma, Torino, Napoli x4, Genova 1893, Fiorentina, Juventus, Liguria, Alessandria x2, Bari), 1 game in Coppa Italia and 6 in the CEC with 3 goals (Grasshoppers x2, Ferencváros).


The following year Lazio finished 8th. Busani played 30 league games with 12 goals (Bologna, Livorno, Inter, Torino, Fiorentina,Triestina, Lucchese, Bologna x2, Bari, Inter, Liguria) and 1 game in Coppa Italia (out in first round to Brescia).


In 1938-39 Viola started but was replaced after 19 games by Luigi Allemandi. The Biancocelesti finished 10th. They beat Roma 2-0 away and Busani got the second goal. He played 23 league games with 6 goals (Genova 1893, Modena, Roma, Livorno, Bologna, Torino).


The 1939-40 would be his last in Rome. It was a better season for Lazio and the Biancocelesti finished 4th under Hungarian manager Géza Kertész. Lazio won the return derby 1-0 and also beat Juventus 4-0 at home and Milan 2-0 away). Busani played 24 league games with 5 goals (Fiorentina, Novara, Juventus, Bari x2) and 2 games in Coppa Italia.


In 1940 he left Lazio and joined Napoli. He would stay 8 years on the bay of Naples (including the war). The Partenopei finished 7th, 15th (relegated), 3rd in B, then got promoted after the war (during which he had played for Frattese), 8th and 21st (relegated again). His managers included Antonio Vojak, Paolo Innocenti, Raffaele Sansone and Arnaldo Sentimenti II. Busani played 171 league games with 46 goals plus 4 games in Coppa Italia. In Naples he played alongside former Lazio Michele Andreolo, Maximiliano Faotto and Giacomo Blason.


In 1948 he joined Casertana in nearby Caserta in Serie D. In his first year the "Falchetti" (The Hawks) finished 2nd and the following were promoted to Serie C.


He played 3 games for Italy B but never won a full national cap.


He then retired at 34. After his playing days he stayed on in the Naples area and opened a sports shop. He also coached a few minor teams such as Ischiaterme in the 1950's.


Busani was a winger who set up but also scored goals. He was extremely quick and very talented, one of the best wingers of his generation.


At Lazio he was a success. His first season was especially good. His debut came in a 3-0 win over Milan and he scored 15 league goals with Lazio going close to the Scudetto. He scored four goals in one game away at Napoli. In his four seasons he scored 41 league goals. In his final year he was a key player in Lazio's epic derby win, played with four reserves and without Piola. He was a regular starter with 116 appearances only missing a few games through injury such as breaking his collarbone in January 1939.


Umberto Busani died prematurely at the age of 42 in Naples from Asiatic flu.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Mitropa Cup

1936-37

34 (17)

29 (15)

1

4 (2)

1937-38

33 (13)

30 (12)

1

2 (1)

1938-39

23 (6)

23 (6)

-

-

1939-40

26 (5)

24 (5)

2

-

Total

116 (41)

106 (38)

4

6 (3)

Sources


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