top of page
  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

October 26, 2003: Lazio Bologna 2-1

Everything in ten minutes


Heaven, hell and heaven again in the last ten minutes.





The season so far


The previous season Lazio had done well reaching a Champions League qualification. But, knowing Roberto Mancini, he must have been very disappointed when the Lazio management told him there was no money for transfers. Goodbye scudetto heroes Luca Marchegiani, Giuseppe Pancaro and Diego Simeone as well as Enrico Chiesa, Dino Baggio and Lucas Castroman. Welcome Roberto Muzzi, Ousmane Dabo, Demetrio Albertini, Luciano Zauri and Matteo Sereni. Not exactly what ambitious Mancini would have wanted.


But this is what a deeply financially troubled Lazio could afford and there was nothing one could do about it. Impossible to extend Dejan Stankovic’s contract so he was going to have to go but he stayed, at least for the moment.


The season started with the Champion’s League qualifying round against Benfica. A comfortable 3-1 win at home was money in the bank for Lazio who also won the away match. In the group stage the Biancocelesti had started well winning away to Besiktas, but a draw at home against Sparta Prague and a loss in London against Chelsea was putting a possible round of 16 in peril.


In Campionato Lazio were fifth, slightly off the frontrunners. A win today would be very useful.


The match: Sunday, October 26, 2003, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


After an Andres Guglieminpietro header which went very high over the crossbar, Lazio started to create chances. From a Sinisa Mihajlovic free kick, ball in the Bologna box, Jaap Stam probably tried to volley it in but in the end, it was a pass for Dejan Stankovic who could not make decent contact. In the 20th minute Fabio Liverani to Bernardo Corradi who, unmarked in front of the goalkeeper, tried a shot but Gianluca Pagliuca managed to parry. Immediately after Mihajlovic tried his speciality from 40 metres on a free kick but his shot shaved the post. In the 30th minute a Claudio Bellucci attempt was comfortably saved by Angelo Peruzzi.


Another big chance for Lazio in the 41st minute. Liverani for Stefano Fiore on the right, great cross, but Roberto Muzzi headed the ball wide from a favourable position. Towards the end of the half free kick for Bologna. Bellucci to Cesare Natali whose header was again saved by Peruzzi.


In the second half, after 15 minutes Stankovic from the left just inside the box tried a curling shot that was well saved by Pagliuca. In came Simone Inzaghi and Claudio Lopez for Stankovic and Muzzi and the game changed.


After a couple of protests, one for a last man foul on Inzaghi outside the box and one for a foul on Corradi in the box which did not persuade the referee, Lazio finally scored. In the 82nd minute Ousmane Dado headed the ball towards the box, Marco Zanchi fumbled, ball for Inzaghi who avoided the return of Teixera Juarez and volleyed over Pagliuca for Lazio’s lead.


Game over? Nope. In the 87th minute there was a free kick for Bologna. Fabio Pecchia crossed in the middle and Dabo, in an attempt to head the ball out for a corner, mistakenly beat Peruzzi for the Rossoblu’s equaliser.


Game over? Nope. In the second minute of injury time, Claudio Lopez from the left sent a perfect cross for Corradi who headed it in.


Game over? It was now.


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Sereni, Zauri, Albertini, Giannichedda

Manager: Mancini


Who played for Bologna


Pagliuca, Juarez, Natali, Moretti (54' Troise), Zaccardo, Nervo, Pecchia, Dalla Bona (61' L. Colucci), Guglielminpietro, Bellucci (80' Zanchi), Tare.

Substitutes: Manninger, Amoroso, Rossini, Signori

Manager: Mazzone.


Referee: Bolognino


Goals: 82’ Inzaghi, 87’ Dabo (og), 92’ Corradi



What happened next


In the Champions League a further loss against Chelsea and a draw against Besiktas meant that the Biancocelesti needed to win away against Sparta Prague. Despite Lazio having numerous chances, they lost in injury time and were last in the group, hence no UEFA Cup consolation.


The Campionato should have given a different verdict. Lazio were constantly very close to a Champions League qualification but missed out in the end. Too many injuries, too much uncertainty and too many controversial refereeing decisions to be able to achieve the objective. The team managed to play some extremely spectacular games but also put in some dismal performances. Too inconsistent to hope for anything better than a UEFA Cup qualification.


The financial difficulties left the players and the manager with a degree of uncertainty about their future and many used the season to plan for the next one. Mancini started secret talks with Inter and tempted most of Lazio’s players to go with him. Stam told the club that he had no intention of staying once his contract was over but was not interested in following Mancini. Dejan Stankovic was sold to Inter six months before his contract expired so at least Lazio got a little bit of money plus half of Goran Pandev.


The real Lazio could be admired in Coppa Italia. After easily brushing off Modena, in January Lazio had to face Parma in the quarter finals. Stankovic scored both at home and away and gave Lazio the qualification pass for the semi-final against Milan. These were his final games for Lazio.


The Biancocelesti surprisingly won in Milan in the first leg and in the second leg at home put on a wonderful display, perhaps one the best games Lazio have ever played, at least in their recent history, and won 4-0.


The final was against Juventus with the first leg at home. Lazio won 2-0 but it could have been even better as the Biancocelesti played at a similar level as against Milan and even missed a penalty. The return match was complicated and Lazio went down 2-0, but a splendid header by Corradi, the worst player on the pitch up to that moment and a Stefano Fiore equaliser gave Lazio their fourth Coppa Italia.


The 2003-2004 season was the end of an era. Nothing would ever be the same. Claudio Lotito was on his way.


Lazio 2003-04

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals Scored

Serie A

34

16

8

10

52

Coppa Italia

8

6

2

-

16

Champions League

8

3

2

3

10

Total

50

25

12

13

76

Top Five Appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

Fiore

47

32

7

8

Corradi

46

32

6

8

Oddo

44

31

7

6

Favalli

43

29

6

8

Stam

42

29

6

7

Top Goal Scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

Fiore

16

8

6

2

Corradi

12

10

1

1

Inzaghi

10

6

1

3

Cesar

8

6

1

1


Let’s talk about Bernardo Corradi


Official SS Lazio photo

Bernardo Corradi was born in Siena on March 30 1976. He started playing professionally for Poggibonsi in Serie C2 and D between 1994 and 1996. He then signed for Ponsacco, again in Serie C2. In August 1997 his big break when he joined Cagliari. He was immediately loaned to Montevarchi in C1 for the 1997-98 season and the year after he played for Fidelis Andria in Serie B. He did not do too badly, scoring 8 goals in 33 appearances so Cagliari took him back. He debuted in Serie A against Lazio on August 30 1999. That year he did not score, never good for a centre forward, but he attracted the attention of Inter and moved to Milan in 2000. The Nerazzurri loaned him to Chievo Verona and in two years he made his mark: 23 goals in 74 appearances. In his second year Chievo qualified for the UEFA Cup, an amazing feat for the small club.


Back at Inter in 2002 he remained just in time to appear in the Champions League qualification match against Sporting Lisbon before he was sold to Lazio in the deal that saw Hernan Crespo move to Milan.


At Lazio he became one of the best centre forwards in Serie A. In two years, he made 82 appearances with 22 goals under Roberto Mancini. Lazio qualified for the Champions League in his first year and won the Coppa Italia in his second. In the return final against Juventus, Lazio were in trouble. They had won the first leg at home 2-0 but were losing in Turin 2-0 so it was all square. A spectacular header allowed the Biancocelesti to get the necessary away goal to bring the trophy back to Rome. The game then ended 2-2.


Lazio were however in great financial difficulty. The disastrous signing of Gaizka Mendieta left a huge debt with Valencia. When Claudio Lotito took over the club, he sold Corradi and Stefano Fiore to the Spanish club in order to cover the debt. Neither of the two wanted to go but it was in the club's best interest. In Spain he did not do very well, even if he did win a UEFA Super Cup, and after a year he was loaned to Parma. The good year (39 appearances with 10 goals) led him to go on loan to Manchester City but he had a pretty poor season (just 3 goals in 25 appearances). In 2007 he was back at Parma, again on loan but he continued to score little. At the end of his contract, he signed for Reggina where he started to score again (11 goals). In 2009 he signed for Udinese but in two years his contribution was minimal. In 2012 he moved to Canada to play for Montreal Impact. It would be his last year in active football.


At International level he played 13 times for Italy with one goal. He was part of the Italian squad at Euro 2004 and played in the opening match against Bulgaria.


Since he stopped active football, he has been involved with the Italian National team. He has been head coach of the Under 16s, Under 17s and Under 18s and is currently in charge of the Under 19s. He has also done punditry for Mediaset.


Corradi was an excellent centre forward. His time at Lazio was his probable highlight and the maximum level of football he achieved. Very dangerous on headers, he often missed easy chances with his feet, but a cross in the box was always a good idea when one had Corradi in one’s team.


Lazio Career

Season

Total games (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

2002-03

36 (10)

32 (10)

4

2003-04

46 (12)

32 (10)

6 (1)

8 (1)

Total

82 (22)

64 (20)

10 (1)

8 (1)

Sources


Comments


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page