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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Lazio beat Roma...again

Game 23, Serie A

Sunday, March 31, 1974

Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Roma Lazio 1-2

Lazio come from behind to beat rivals for the fourth time in a row and continue title dream

Source Lazio Wiki

A grey and initially drizzly afternoon saw a full house for this "Derby della Capitale", the one with the biggest rivalry in Italy.


Roma predictably started the game aggressively and forced a couple of corners. In the 5th minute the Giallorossi took the lead but it was due to a fair dose of luck. Valerio Spadoni put a cross in from the left vertex of the box but the ball took on a strange trajectory and, instead of going into the heart of the area as intended, headed towards the top right-hand corner where Felice Pulici, either overconfident or deceived by the ball's direction, caught it but then took it over the line before throwing it back into play. The referee and linesman gave the goal. Roma 1 Lazio 0.


A dream start for the Lupi and Lazio shaken.


Roma were rampant, seeing the chance to shatter Lazio's dream, and continued to be dangerous.


In the 16th minute however Lazio reacted. Luciano Re Cecconi won a crunching tackle against Angelo Orazi (who would have to be substituted) and crossed but Giorgio Chinaglia's header went just high.


The game got rough and a few minutes later Sergio Petrelli was hacked down by Angelo Domenghini but the referee let it go so at the other end Giancarlo Oddi got revenge, lunging in on Spadoni. A lot of pushing and shoving followed, but what Roman derby would it be without? A few minutes later Franco Peccenini (Orazi's replacement) went straight for Re Cecconi's legs but fortunately "Cecco" got straight up without any fuss to try and defuse the increasingly tense situation.


The next injury scare was when Chinaglia, challenged by Sergio Santarini, and not helped by the wet, slippery grass, hit his head on a photographer’s case near the by-line. Long John showed his frustration by picking up the case and throwing it onto the athletics track.


Before the end of the first period there was time for more "pleasant" words and threats of violence between Giorgio Morini and Chinaglia with Re Cecconi as peacemaker and then between Oddi and Francesco "Kawasaki" Rocca. Rocca then had a goal disallowed for handball but all the Lazio defence had already stopped as it was so clear. Halftime Roma 1 Lazio 0.


Possibly a fair result so far but Lazio were making the mistake of falling for the Romanisti's provocations. The more football played the more chance Lazio had of winning and Roma knew that very well.


The second half started with Chinaglia taking on Roma single-handedly. He went solo, racing past half the Roma team but hit the side netting from the inside the right of the box.


In the 47th minute Lazio equalised. Mario Frustalupi floated in a free kick from the left, it was cleared by Spadoni as far as Chinaglia who volleyed at goal but it was walled by Negrisolo and fell to Vincenzo D'Amico who then drilled it in past Paolo Conti with a low right foot. Roma 1 Lazio 1.


Lazio possibly still inebriated about drawing level risked to find themselves behind again only two minutes later. A brilliant run by Franco "Ciccio" Cordova, who skipped past four Lazio defenders, was followed by a shot that came back off the post.


On the subsequent counterattack Franco Nanni burst forward and was pulled down by Morini as he was entering the area. The referee awarded a penalty despite the Roma players claiming the foul had started outside the box. Chinaglia hopped up and down before his run up then placed his spot kick into the middle of the goal with Conti diving to his right. Roma 1 Lazio 2. This was when Long John made his famous gesture of pointing his index finger towards the Curva sud. He and captain Pino Wilson then ran to the bench to celebrate with manager Tommaso "Il Maestro" Maestrelli.


It was Roma's turn to be rattled and only 50 seconds later Chinaglia set off on the break but was pulled down from behind by Morini just outside the area. The referee awarded the freekick but tempers boiled over this time in the stands. Fighting broke out and one Roma fan invaded the pitch trying to attack the ref. Once calm was finally restored, Chinaglia's freekick shaved the post.


More crowd trouble followed in the 60th minute when Lazio had to wait three minutes to take a corner due to being bombarded by objects of various nature (bottles, lighters etc).


In the 75th minute Roma had a free kick near the corner flag. The ball came into the crowded area and headed by Piergiorgio Negrisolo hit the bar and fell into Pulici's arms. The Lazio keeper was then barged into by Pierino Prati, the ball fell loose and Rocca scored but the referee had already blown for the infringement.


In the 80th minute Prati got a good header in from a Domenghini cross but Pulici dived to his right and saved in a double movement.  A few minutes later the striker failed to make contact for a close-range header, Pulici slapped the ball away and Spadoni missed a sitter, blasting the ball over the bar.


The let off liberated Lazio. D'Amico crossed for Chinaglia but as had a difficult angle he lured away the defender and pulled the ball back to Frustalupi who hit the post with a blistering strike from the edge of the box.


Roma at this point were totally unbalanced and Lazio had plenty of space on the break. Franco Nanni surged forward but his cracking shot hit the crossbar and then bounced but not over the line.


In the 87th minute D'Amico dribbled his way into the area and near the left by-line put in a low cross but Chinaglia stretching out was just a fraction too late and put it wide.


Roma desperately threw themselves forward and had a couple of chances but first Pulici rushed off his line and saved from Spadoni and then again blocked a ricochet after some confusion in the area.


The last chance of the game was for Lazio but Renzo Garlaschelli fired wide after a good run. That was the last action of an eventful derby. Final score Roma 1 Lazio 2.


Lazio celebrated briefly but were quickly escorted off behind shields by the Carabinieri under a flurry of stones thrown from the Roma end. The tension continued around the ground with fifty injured, damaged cars and also four Roma fans suffering heart attacks.


Back to football it had been a thrilling derby. A game with controversy, passion, tension, physicality, goals, saves, posts and crossbars for an exciting affair.


Lazio were over the moon for several reasons. One for the obvious joy of defeating their eternal rivals, two for seeing their "cousins" so frustrated and, thirdly and not least, looking at the new league table; Lazio 34, Juventus 30, Napoli 29 (Juve had drawn the derby as had Napoli at Cesena). Next up was Napoli-Lazio, a crucial game all the more so after the previous year's events.


Who played for Roma

Conti Negrisolo, Rocca, Morini, Santarini, Batistoni, Orazi (16' Peccenini), Domenghini, Prati, Cordova, Spadoni

Substitutes: Ginulfi, Capellini

Manager: Liedholm


Who played for Lazio

Substitutes: Moriggi, Franzoni

Manager: Maestrelli


Referee: Gonella

Goals: 5' Pulici (og), 47' D'Amico, 50' Chinaglia (pen)



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