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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

October 22, 1961: Lazio Simmenthal Monza 4-0

Biancocelesti make mincemeat of Monza


Pinti, Governato, Morrone and Carosi annihilate the Lombardy team




The season so far


In the 1960-61 season Lazio finished last in Serie A and were relegated to Serie B for the first time in their history. There were however hopes of an immediate return back to the Italian football elite. To do so, the club revolutionised the squad: among many, Lazio said goodbye to Franco Carradori (Brescia), Franco Janich (Bologna), Bruno Franzini (Bologna), Egidio Fumagalli (Novara), Ugo Pozzan (Pisa), Giacomo Del Gratta (Arezzo) and Bob Lovati who had retired. In the autumn, Orlando Rozzoni (Udinese), Nicolò Lo Buono (Pescara) and Giovanni Molino (Napoli) had also left. New players were defenders Gianni Seghedoni (Bari), Diego Zanetti (Novara), Nello Governato (Como) and Graziano Landoni (Messina). The new manager was Paolo Todeschini.


The first game of the season was the first round of the Coppa Italia and Lazio had beaten Genoa 3-1. In October they eliminated Palermo.


In Serie B Lazio had drawn the first three games but then won two in a row and were now top together with Napoli, Alessandria and Genoa.


The match: Sunday, October 22, 1961, Stadio Flaminio, Rome


The fans were worried and angry. In the autumn transfer window Lazio had sold their centre-forward and fan favourite Orlando Rozzoni to Udinese. The supporters were not happy. What are we going to do on heavy Serie B pitches without our big Orlando? All eyes on his substitute Nello Governato.


Governato was obviously not helped by the fact that Monza had decided to park the bus in front of the goal and the Biancocelesti had a lot of difficulty in trying to score. The big chance arrived in the 37th minute when the Lazio new centre forward was fouled in the box by Livio Ghioni and the referee gave the Biancocelesti a penalty. The spot kick was squandered with a terrible attempt by Dimitri Pinti.


The boos heard at the end of the first half got even louder during the interval when the crowd learnt that Rozzoni had scored for Udinese.


But in the second half it was a different Lazio. In the 56th minute Paolo Carosi crossed into the box; Vincenzo Rigamonti cleared but Pinti was there to head the ball into the goal. Lazio ahead and all was forgiven. Monza tried a comeback but 11 minutes later the Biancocelesti doubled. Pinti crossed into the box and Governato with a great volley scored. The third goal arrived in the 83rd minute when Giancarlo Morrone dribbled most of the Monza team and made it three. Four minutes later it was four-zero when Pinti, on his second assist of the day, found the gap for Carosi who did not miss.


A good win for Lazio who maintained the lead with Genoa.


Who played for Lazio


Manager: Todeschini


Who played for Monza


Rigamonti, Ramusani, Adorni, Melonari, Ghioni, Latini, Brugola, Stefanini I, Fantini, Bersellini, Dal Molin.

Manager: Lamanna.


Referee: Angonese


Goals: 56’ Pinti, 77’ Governato, 83’ Morrone, 87’ Carosi


What happened next


Lazio took on a decent pace and finished the first half of the season in third place, just one point behind second place Modena (NB. The first three teams were promoted). The Biancocelesti had stayed second for a long time but then four draws and one loss in the last five matches had slowed them down.


The first match of the second half of the season seemed to solve everything but the defeat at Lucca in early February was fatal for Todeschini who was temporarily replaced by Alfonso Ricciardi (with Lovati on the bench). In the three matches before the game against Napoli, Lazio had lost two and won one and were now fourth, two points off the promotion zone.


Lazio Napoli on March 4 was a big match, if Lazio won the immediate return in Serie A would be downhill from then on. In the 76th minute the referee, Iginio Rigato, gave a free kick to Lazio. Gianni Seghedoni with a splendid shot put the ball in the back of the net. The Lazio players and fans celebrated; the Napoli players despaired. Rigato laughed. “It’s not a goal, the ball went out”. There was a hole in the net and he claimed the ball went right through it. Lazio protested but there was nothing the players could do.


All Lazio wanted was the repetition of the match. They had won the game in the first half of the season in Naples so they felt rather confident they could beat Napoli again. But the appeal was uphill right from the start. RAI, the Italian state television, refused to hand over the footage, the Federal Appeal Commission (CAF) refused to examine the TV images and the Rome-based media who should have raised hell went very quiet.


There was another scandal involving Napoli that year. With three matches to go there was Verona Napoli. Two people associated with Napoli tried to bribe the Verona goalkeeper and got caught in doing so. This should have automatically meant that Napoli at least got a penalisation, or worse. But two things happened: firstly, there was a massive storm over Verona on the Sunday and the match got postponed, and secondly Napoli’s lawyer managed to “convince” the judges that it was a personal initiative of those two people and that Napoli were not involved. This should have anyway brought a deduction of some points for strict liability, but Napoli got away with it.


In the magnificent book “Controstoria della Lazio”, the author, journalist Vincenzo Cerracchio, underlined the political importance of the then Napoli President, Achille Lauro, former mayor of Naples and very important political figure (if you ever get the chance to see the 1963 movie 'Hands over the City' directed by Francesco Rosi you will understand what type of person Achille Lauro was). Lazio had been commissioned due to very high debts and from a political point of view did not stand a chance.


The game was not repeated. Lazio Napoli 0-0.


With two games to go, Lazio were third in the company of Verona, Napoli and Modena and one point behind Pro Patria, second. Genoa, first, were miles ahead.


Lazio had to face Verona away and lost, killing any chances of promotion, Napoli and Modena drew and Pro Patria surprisingly lost at home. With one game to go, Verona were one point ahead of Napoli, Pro Patria and Modena and two ahead of Lazio. In the last game Napoli and Modena won, Pro Patria and Verona lost so promotion went to the Neapolitans and the Emiliani.


Lazio won their last game and missed promotion by one point. Napoli were promoted by one point. If that goal had been given …


Idilio Cei was the player with most appearances that season (41) and Juan Carlo Morrone the leading goal scorer with 15 goals.


Lazio 1961-62

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie B

38

14

14

10

50

Coppa Italia

3

2

1

-

4

Total

41

16

15

10

54

Top 5 appearances

Player

Total

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Cei

41

38

3

Zanetti

37

35

2

Seghedoni

36

33

3

Morrone

35

33

2

Gasperi

32

29

3

Landoni

32

30

2

Top 5 Goal Scorers

Player

Total

Serie B

Coppa Italia

Morrone

15

14

1

Bizzarri

11

10

1

Longoni

9

9

-

Pinti

5

4

1

Maraschi

3

3

-


Let's talk about Dimitri Pinti


Dimitri Pinti is third from right kneeling. Source Wikipedia

Dimitri Pinti was born in Pescara on October 26 1932. After having played in Serie D with Foligno, Massese and Vittorio Veneto, in 1958 he signed for Reggiana in Serie B playing two seasons with 53 league appearances and 24 goals.


In 1960 he had his big chance in top tier football and signed for Vicenza. He appeared in 18 games and scored 7 goals, one of which became very famous. On January 29, 1961, Vicenza faced the mighty AC Milan. Mighty perhaps does not really describe how strong the Rossoneri were with Cesare Maldini, Nils Liedholm, Giovanni Trapattoni, José Altafini and Gianni Rivera. With seven minutes to the end of the game a header from Pinti gave Vicenza a historic win.


In 1961 he signed for Lazio. The Biancocelesti had just been relegated to Serie B for the first time in their long history and were hoping for a prompt return to Serie A. Lazio failed to get promotion but Pinti appeared 20 times with four goals plus two in Coppa Italia with one goal. In the autumn transfer window of 1962, he was sold to Udinese as part of the deal to get Orlando Rozzoni back to Rome. He stayed a year in Udine and then finished his career playing for Parma from 1963 to 1966.


Once he stopped playing, he became a columnist for il Gazzettino di Venezia. He was in charge of the editorial administration and relationships with the printer. Much loved by his colleagues, he worked there until 1997. Excellent golfer, he was nicknamed the King of the put and even wrote about golf for the newspaper. He died in Venice on October 8 2018.


He was unlucky in his stay at Lazio. Excellent forward, if it were not for the referee who did not see that the ball had gone into the goal in Lazio Napoli, his stay could have been memorable.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie B

Coppa Italia

1961-62

22 (5)

20 (4)

2 (1)

1962-63

1

1

-

Total

23 (5)

21 (4)

2 (1)

Sources


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