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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

October 27, 2004: Lazio Messina 2-0

Lazio win crucial game and ease worries


Lazio with a good 2-0 win move away from troubled waters




The season so far


The previous season Lazio had finished 6th and won the Coppa Italia. This year however everything had changed. In the midst of a financial crisis new owner Claudio Lotito had cut costs, agreed a long-term deal with state debt collectors and set up a new look team.


For a start Roberto Mancini had left for Inter. A lot of the star players also said goodbye: Jaap Stam (Milan), Stefano Fiore and Bernardo Corradi (Valencia), Sinisa Mihajlovic and Giuseppe Favalli (Inter), Demetrio Albertini (Atalanta), Claudio Lopez (América -México) and Guerino Gottardi (retired).


Arriving at Lazio were players of a "slightly" different calibre, many unknown. Lotito became famous for signing nine players on one day. Some are best forgotten but the players worth mentioning were defender Sebastiano Siviglia (Parma), midfielders Antonio and Emanuele Filippini (Palermo) and forward Tommaso Rocchi (Empoli). One particularly welcome return for the fans was Paolo Di Canio after 15 years away. A move to appease the fans faced with difficult times ahead.


The new manager was former player Domenico Caso, assisted by club legend Cristiano Bergodi.


The season started with a 3-0 defeat by Milan in the Supercoppa final. In the league Lazio earned 7 points in the first 3 games, with two away wins, but then started struggling. In the next four games the Biancocelesti only managed to muster one point (away draw at Bergamo). Lazio were on 8 points. The game this evening was a must win.


In the UEFA Cup Lazio had got through the first round defeating Ukrainians Metalurh Donetsk 6-0 on aggregate. They were now in a group with Villareal, Middlesbrough, Egaleo and Partizan Belgrade. So far, the Biancocelesti had drawn 1-1 at home to the Spaniards.


Messina were newly promoted. The previous season, first under Vincenzo Patania (1-6) and then Bortolo Mutti (7-46), the Giallorossi had finished 3rd. It would be Messina's first season in the top flight since 1964-65. Top scorer had been Arturo Di Napoli with 19 league goals.


This season Mutti was confirmed. The Biancoscudati had some new signings to face the top level of Italian football. In came keeper Dimitrios Eleftheropoulos (Olympiakos), defender Marco Zanchi (Bologna), midfielders Massimo Donati (Sampdoria) and Domenico Giampà (Ternana), forwards Riccardo Zampagna (Ternana), Ivica Iliev (Partizan Belgrade) and Nicola Amoruso (Como).


Leaving were midfielders Luigi Lavecchia (Arezzo-on loan) and Sergio Campolo (Catanzaro), forwards Roberto Sosa (Napoli) and Tomás Guzmán (Crotone -on loan, he was owned by Juventus).


The squad seemed stronger than the previous season. So far, the Sicilians had won three (Roma 4-3 at home, Milan 2-1 away and Siena 4-1 at home), drawn two (Parma 0-0 away and Chievo 0-0 at home) and lost two (Juventus 1-2 away and Lecce 1-4 at home). A good start but luckily for Lazio the two defeats had come in the last two games. The Pelotoriani were currently on 11 points.


In Coppa Italia, in the summer, Messina had got through the first group stage with three wins (Bari 2-1 away, Acireale 4-0 at home and Crotone 1-0 away). In the second knockout round however, they were eliminated 1-2 on aggregate by Siena.


The match: Wednesday, October 27, 2004, Stadio Olimpico, Rome


A crowd of 35,000 for this midweek league game on a humid night in Rome.


Both sides had absences. Lazio were without César, E. Filippini, Fabio Liverani, Luciano Zauri and Simone Inzaghi while Paolo Negro was left out in favour of debutant Leonardo Talamonti. Messina had to do without Mark Zoro suspended and injured José Mamede, Rafael, Luca Fusco, Mirko Conte, Raffaele Ametrano and Domenico Giampà. The Messinesi also left out Di Napoli in favour of Iliev.


Messina with their cautious line-up made their intentions clear from the start, with a buttoned up set up and without Di Napoli.


Lazio started aggressively and after only 45 seconds Roberto Muzzi had a shot walled into corner by a defender. From the subsequent corner Lazio then hit a post with a Christian Manfredini header. The Italian, with Ivory Coast origins, then had another header go just wide in the 16th minute.


Messina rarely got out of their own half and in the 18th minute from a corner Manfredini again got a header in but it hit a defender and went over the bar.


In the 31st minute another header, this time by Fernando Couto was cleared near the goalline by Zanchi.


In the 35th minute Lazio went ahead with their best player so far, Manfredini. Following moments of confused defending by the visitors the ball bounced loose at the edge of the box, Manfredini did not think twice and hammered a low left-footed strike into the bottom right corner. A cracking goal, Lazio 1 Messina 0.


Lazio deservedly in front at halftime in a one-way traffic game so far.


For the second 45 minutes Messina obviously had to risk a bit more and they logically brought on Arturo Di Napoli for the Greek Gonias.


Lazio too were soon forced to make a change in the 51st minute when Muzzi pulled up with a muscular problem and was replaced by young Claudio De Sousa.


In the 53rd minute Messina had their first real shot on goal with a low Alessandro Parisi freekick safely blocked by Matteo Sereni.


In the 57th minute a colossal chance for the Giallorossi. A low free kick by Di Napoli from the right side of the box was turned towards goal by Rahman Rezaei and parried on the line by Sereni, the ball came back to Salvatore Aronica but his close-range attempt was cleared off the line by Ousmane Dabo.


In the 59th minute Lazio lost another player to injury as Sebastiano Siviglia was carried off on a stretcher and replaced by Spaniard Oscar Lopez.


Messina, from being too defensive, now were the opposite and Lazio had acres of space on the counter attack. In the 64th minute messina put another striker on, Nicola Amoruso for Alessandro Cucciari. In the 65th minute Lazio scored their second. In Lazio's half Rocchi fed Goran Pandev on the left wing, he skilfully dribbled Parisi and Salvatore Sullo just before the halfway line and suddenly he was alone, so raced towards the area and squared to De Sousa, who had followed, the youngster with only the keeper to beat put it in the top right corner. Lazio 2 Messina 0. A brilliant run by Pandev and well taken by 19-year-old De Sousa.


Lazio then controlled the game with Messina's only threat coming from an Iliev low left-footed shot from inside the area but it went wide and Sereni seemed to have it covered. Final score Lazio 2 Messina 0.


A good win for Lazio. They had been aggressive, positive and concentrated until the end and there was no dispute, they were the better side. An important three points to push them up to mid-table.


Messina had been too negative in the first half and then too unbalanced in the second.


Who played for Lazio


Sereni, Oddo, Talamonti, F. Couto, Siviglia (56' Oscar Lopez), Giannichedda, Dabo, Manfredini, Pandev (87' Di Canio), Rocchi, Muzzi (51' De Sousa)

Substitutes: Casazza, A. Filippini, Seric, E. Gonzalez

Manager: Caso


Who played for Messina


Storari, Zanchi, Rezaei, Aronica, Parisi, Gonias (46' Di Napoli), Coppola (69' Donati), Cucciari (64' Amoruso), Sullo, Zampagna, Iliev

Substitutes: Eleftheropoulos, Eramo, Oliva, D'Alterio

Manager: Mutti


Referee: Cassarà


Goals: 36' Manfredini, 65' De Sousa



What happened next


Lazio had a difficult season. Between today's game and Christmas, they only won 1 (Bologna 2-1 at home), drew 3 (Inter 1-1 away, Siena 1-1 at home and Lecce 3-3 at home) and lost 4 (Livorno 0-1 away, Cagliari 2-3 at home, Juventus 1-2 away and Udinese 0-3 away). At the holiday break the Biancocelesti were 15th and looking very much like strong relegation candidates. They thus changed managers from Caso to former player Giuseppe Papadopulo.


His first game on January 6 was the derby and it was an unexpected 3-1 triumph, with Di Canio (16 years after his previous derby goal), César and Rocchi the scorers. Lazio then, on the waves of enthusiasm, won 3-2 away in Florence. They then slumped to four defeats and a draw (Palermo, Sampdoria, Reggina, Milan and Brescia) before three consecutive wins (Atalanta, Chievo and Parma) gave them some oxygen. Some more bad results followed but ultimately wins against Livorno at home and Bologna away and draws against Roma, Fiorentina and Palermo took Lazio to an agonised survival. Lazio finished 13th and top scorer was Rocchi with 17 goals (13 in A). Lazio then even qualified for the Intertoto Cup due to Livorno and Messina dropping out for various reasons.


In the UEFA Cup Lazio struggled too but the league was the clear priority. Lazio crashed out of the group losing to Middlesbrough 0-2 and drawing with Partizan Belgrade 2-2 and Greeks Egaleo 2-2.


In Coppa Italia Lazio went straight out to Cagliari in November on away goals (1-2 in Sardinia, 3-2 in Rome).


A problematic first season under new owner Claudio Lotito but things could have gone even worse.


Messina had a good season and finished 7th. They won 12 (including Lazio 1-0 and Inter 2-1), drew 12 (including Juve 0-0) and lost 14. Top scorer was Zampagna with 12 league goals.


The Scudetto was won by Juventus but they had the title taken away from them due to the Calciopoli scandal. The title went unawarded. The three teams going down were all northern: Bologna, Brescia and Atalanta.


Lazio 2004-05

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

38

11

11

16

48

Coppa Italia

2

1

-

1

4

UEFA Cup

6

2

3

1

11

Super Coppa

1

-

-

1

-

Total

47

14

14

19

63

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Super Coppa

Oddo

42

35

1

5

1

A. Filippini

41

36

2

3

-

Rocchi

41

35

1

5

-

Dabo

37

29

1

6

1

Giannichedda

37

32

1

3

1

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Rocchi

17

13

2

2

Di Canio

7

6

-

1

Muzzi

6

3

-

3

Oddo

4

4

-

-

A. Filippini

4

2

2

-

4

3

-

1

Cesar

4

3

-

1


Let’s talk about Leonardo Talamonti


Leonardo José Talamonti was born in Álvarez (Santa Fe), Argentina, on November 12, 1981.


He grew up in the Rosario Central academy. He then made his debut for the "Canallas" (The Rogues) in 2000. In four seasons he went on to play 93 league games with 7 goals plus 9 in the South-American Cups (Sudamericana and Libertadores).


In August 2005 he came to Europe and joined Lazio on loan. The Biancocelesti had a new owner, a mountain of debts and were building a team with several unknown entities.


The manager was former player Domenico Caso with club legend Cristiano Bergodi as assistant. Things did not go too well and they were sacked during the Christmas break after 4 wins, 5 draws (including Inter 1-1 away with a Talamonti 84th minute equaliser) and 7 defeats. In came Giuseppe Papadopulo, the derby and Talamonti's finest hour.


Roma were clear favourites against struggling Lazio. In addition, the Biancocelesti were missing both their central defenders, Fernando Couto and Sebastiano Siviglia. The solution chosen was to play midfielder Giuliano Giannichedda and Talamonti in the centre of the defence with Massimo Oddo and Emanuele Filippini at full-backs. Talamonti and the whole backline played an epic game and Lazio won 3-1.


Lazio eventually finished 13th and Talamonti played 12 league games with 1 goal (Inter) and 1 game in Coppa Italia.


The following year Delio Rossi arrived at Lazio as well as two central defenders; Guglielmo Stendardo and Emilson Cribari. Talamonti's loan period was over and he joined River Plate in Argentina. He played 25 league games with 2 goals and 8 games in the South-American cups. The Millonarios finished 6th and 3rd and reached the quarterfinal of the Copa Libertadores, under first Reinaldo Merlo and then Daniel Passarella.


In 2006-07 he was back in Europe. In August 2006 he joined Atalanta in Serie A. He stayed five years, the first four in A and the last in Serie B. The Bergamaschi finished 8th, 9th, 11th, 18th (relegated) and 1st (promoted). The managers were Stefano Colantuono, Luigi Del Neri for two seasons, a series in his fourth season including Angelo Gregucci and Antonio Conte and in his last, the promotion year, Stefano Colantuono again. Talamonti played 76 games in Serie A with 1 goal (Lazio in 1-0 away win...) and 1 game in Coppa Italia.


In 2011 he returned to Rosario Central in Primera B Nacional but in two seasons only played 14 league games and 2 in the Argentinian Cup. The "Academia Rosarina" finished 4th and 1st (promotion).


In 2013 he moved to Sporting Belgrano in Primera B. He stayed two seasons and played 15 league games. "La Verde" finished 15th and then bottom of their 11-team group but without relegation (the league was divided into two groups with ten promotions and no relegations due to a new 30 team Primera Division format).


In 2015 he joined Atlanta in the Primera B Metropolitana. "Los Bohemios" (The Bohemians) are a team from Buenos Aires and Talamonti played 30 league games with 1 goal.


In 2016 he joined Platense from Vicente López near Buenos Aires. "Los Calamares" (The Squids) played in the Primera B Metropolitana and Talamonti stayed two seasons, playing 44 league games with 2 goals. In his second season "Marron" won promotion in 1st place.


Talamonti then retired at 37.


Talamonti was a defender who could play either centrally or at right full-back. He is 1.83 and 77 kilos. He was a tenacious marker and good in the air. A decent defender who played 117 games in the Argentine top flight and 88 games in Serie A.


At Lazio he only stayed a year and played 12 league games but his name brings a smile to all Lazio fans. His equaliser away to Inter but above all his performance in the 3-1 derby win, where he blocked (alongside Giannichedda and the Filippini bulldogs) Totti, Cassano and Company, will never be forgotten.


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

2004-05

13 (1)

12 (1)

1

Sources


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