top of page
  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

September 25, 1977: Atalanta Lazio 1-1

The golden boy D'Amico rescues precious point in Bergamo


A goal ten minutes from time gives Lazio a deserved equaliser.


The season so far


The previous season had been a positive one for Lazio. Under Luís Vinicio and helped by rising youth sector stars, Bruno Giordano, Lionello Manfredonia and Andrea Agostinelli, the Biancocelesti had arrived 5th in Serie A.


It had also been a sad year with the deaths of two Scudetto heroes; manager Tommaso Maestrelli, on 2 December 1976 and midfielder Luciano Re Cecconi on 18 January 1977, in a possible prank gone tragically wrong.


This year Lazio had a pretty much unchanged squad. In had come midfielder Luigi Boccolini (Catanzaro) and forward Sergio Clerici (Bologna) while leaving were midfielders Maurizio Montesi (Avellino - loan) and Fernando Viola (Bologna - loan).


In the Coppa Italia in August Lazio had won two (Monza 2-1 and Ternana 4-1) and lost two (Varese 1-2 and Bologna 0-1) and been eliminated.


So far, in Serie A Lazio had played two, they had lost the opener 1-2 away to Genoa and drawn 1-1 at home to Verona.


In the UEFA Cup Lazio had lost the round of 64 first leg away to Boavista and would play the Portuguese again in Rome in three days time.


The main novelty in the team was in goal where Claudio Garella had so far always been preferred to Scudetto hero Felice Pulici.


Atalanta were newly promoted, with 2nd place in Serie B under Titta Rota. Top scorer was Ezio Bertuzzo with 15 goals (13 in league).


This season Rota was still in charge. Their main players were veteran keeper Pier Luigi Pizzaballa, defenders Giovanni Vavassori and Battista Festa, midfielders Gianpietro Marchetti, Antonio Rocca and Augusto Scala plus striker Bortuzzo. In a Lazio connection they had future Biancoceleste players Giorgio Mastropasqua, Roberto Tavola and Mario Piga.


In Coppa Italia, in August, the Bergamaschi had won one (Cremonese 2-1), drawn one (Como 0-0) and lost two (Ascoli 1-2, Inter 1-3) and were out.


In Serie A the "Dea" had drawn both games, at home to Perugia 1-1 and away to Bologna 0-0.


Today's game in Bergamo was "da tripla" (open to any result) with no clear favourites.


The match: Sunday, September 25, 1977, Stadio Comunale, Bergamo


A solid 30,000 crowd turned up to watch Atalanta play one of the ever-unpopular Roman clubs, in these parts anyway. Bergamo is always a hostile environment for Lazio and it was no different back then. At least Lazio were welcomed by a nice sunny day.


Lazio had a European match against Boavista in three days' time so striker Bruno Giordano was being rested, as was Andrea Agostinelli.


After a tactical "fase di studio"(a study period) it was Lazio who had the first chance. In the 13th minute, Francesco "Ciccio" Cordova took a free kick from the edge of the box, it then came off the wall and fell perfectly to Roberto Badiani but his lame shot went wide.


Atalanta responded in the 24th minute when a Rocca-Tavola-Angelo Paina move produced a low shot from the latter heading towards the corner of the net when it took a slight deflection off a defender's ankle and shaved the post.


A minute later Gabriele Andena was selfish trying a shot after a solo run when he had Giacomo Libera and Paina completely unmarked in the middle, the shot went well wide.


In the 37th minute Lazio had a good move with Totò Lopez who fed Renzo Garlaschelli whose dummy set up Vincenzo D'Amico for a 7-8 metre close range blast but he fired it over the bar.


Atalanta then went close with Paina who turned and shot in a crowded area but his low effort went just wide of the right post.


Just before halftime Claudio Garella was forced to put his fist to a powerful strike by Marchetti. Half time Atalanta 0 Lazio 0.


There was bad news for Lazio after the break as Gigi Martini did not reappear out of the tunnel due to a twisted ankle and was replaced by Pietro Ghedin. Along with D'Amico and Pino Wilson he had been one of Lazio's best players, so it was a blow.


Things got worse in the 50th minute as the "Dea" went ahead. Libera had a central one-two with Paina, won a challenge with Wilson, dribbled past Paolo Ammoniaci and beat Garella, despite Lionello Manfredonia's last ditch effort on the line. Atalanta 1 Lazio 0.


At this point Atalanta with more experience would have been better off continuing to push instead they sat back allowing Lazio to gain control of the midfield. The Bergamaschi were not helped in the 65th minute when their best player so far, Libera, was forced off with a muscular problem and replaced by future Lazio Giorgio Mastropasqua.


Lazio pressed increasingly for an equaliser and Atalanta's more energetic players, Festa and Rocca, started to tire. Lazio basically closed the Nerazzurri inside their own area and were rewarded in the 80th minute. Luciano Bodini cleared the ball badly and it reached Lopez in midfield, the Barese midfielder took it forward and went towards the right before putting in a precise chipped cross which D'Amico, timing his jump perfectly, headed over and past Bodini. Atalanta 1 Lazio 1.


Both teams seemed satisfied at this stage and the match ended with a point each. A fair result. Atalanta had been more positive and dynamic but Lazio more solid and experienced. D'Amico was the star performer while Sergio Clerici looked past it and Cordova was too slow against physical and fast opposition.


Who played for Atalanta


Bodini, Andena, Mei, Vavassori, G. Marchetti, Tavola, Manueli, Rocca, Paina, Festa, Libera (65' Mastropasqua)

Substitutes: Pizzaballa, Scala

Manager: Rota


Who played for Lazio


Substitutes: Avagliano, Giordano

Manager: Vinicio


Referee: Menicucci


Goals: 49' Libera, 80' D'Amico



What happened next


Lazio finished 10th. A week later they annihilated Juventus 3-0 but were too inconsistent to get back into Europe. Luís Vinicio was replaced by Bob Lovati after 24 matches and Lazio avoided relegation worries by winning three out of the last five matches. Both derbies with Roma ended in draws.


In the Autumn market session Lazio had said goodbye to Scudetto heroes Felice Pulici (Monza) and Luigi Polentes (Modena). Pulici would be back.


In Europe Lazio thrashed Boavista 5-0 but then crashed out to Lens in extra-time 0-6, after winning in Rome 2-0. Lazio would get their revenge but 19 years later.


Lazio's top scorer was Bruno Giordano with 19 goals (12 in league).


Atalanta finished a respectable 9th. A week later they won 2-1 away at Verona and ended the season with 6 wins including Lazio and Milan away), 15 draws and 9 defeats. Top scorers were Ezio Scala and Angelo Paina with 6 league goals each.


The Scudetto was won by Juventus for the 18th time. Serie B was calling for Foggia, Genoa and Pescara.


Lazio 1977-78

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

30

8

10

12

31

Coppa Italia

4

2

-

2

7

UEFA Cup

4

2

-

2

7

Intertoto Cup

6

4

1

1

13

Total

44

16

11

17

58

Top five appearancs

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Uefa Cup

Intertoto Cup

Agostinelli

42

29

4

4

5

Giordano

42

29

3

4

6

Garella

41

29

2

4

6

Lopez

41

28

3

4

6

Cordova

39

27

4

3

5

Badiani

39

25

4

4

6

Top goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Uefa Cup

Intertoto Cup

Giordano

27

12

3

4

8

Garlaschelli

12

7

-

2

3

D'Amico

3

2

1

-

-

Let's talk about Claudio Garella


Claudio Garella is fourth from left. Source Wikipedia

Claudio Garella was born in Turin, on May 16, 1955.


He joined the Torino youth sector as a teenager and made his first team debut in 1972-73, his only appearance for the Granata was against Vicenza.


He then spent two seasons with Casale. In the first the "Nerostellati" (The Starred-Blacks) won promotion to Serie C, in which they finished 14th. Garella made 68 appearances and even scored a goal on a penalty kick.


In 1975 he stayed in Piedmont and joined Novara for a season in Serie B. The Gaudenziani (The Gaudentians, from San Gaudenzio) finished 6th and he played 38 games.


In 1976 he moved down to Rome and signed for Lazio. The manager was Luis Vinicio and Lazio finished 5th. The regular keeper however was Felice Pulici and Garella did not make any appearances.


Things changed the next season as Garella was promoted to first keeper. He played 29 league games, 2 in Coppa Italia and 4 in the UEFA Cup. His performances were not always impeccable and after some hesitant displays against Lens in Europe and Vicenza in Serie A, he was openly criticized by the fans and the media. The Lazio supporters gave him the nickname "Paperella" (a play on words between little duck and howler in Italian, a sort of butter fingers). A top national journalist, Gianni Brera, coined the term "Garellate" to refer to goalkeeping blunders.


In 1978-79 he joined Sampdoria in Serie B. He stayed three seasons with 9th place, 7th and 5th. He played a total of 113 league games.


In 1981 he joined Verona in Serie B. The Scaligeri (Scaligers, from Della Scala, ruling family of Verona) were promoted, winning Serie B, under Osvaldo Bagnoli and Garella played 30 league games and 4 in Coppa Italia.


The next three years in Serie A were historic. The Gialloblu finished 4th, 6th and in 1985 incredibly won the Scudetto. The main players included Roberto Tricella, Hans-Peter Briegel, Antonio Di Gennaro, Pietro Fanna, Preben Elkjaer Larsen and future Lazio Giuseppe Galderisi. The "Mastini" (The Mastiffs) were also runners-up in Coppa Italia in 1984 but lost to Roma 1-2 on aggregate. In these three fantastic years Garella played 89 games in Serie A, 30 in Coppa Italia and 4 in the UEFA Cup. In this period his nickname was changed to sound like a superhero "Garellik".


In 1985-86 he left the reigning champions and joined Napoli. The coach was Ottavio Bianchi and a certain Diego Armando Maradona was captain. Garella's former Lazio teammate Bruno Giordano had also just joined. The Partenopei finished 3rd and Garella played 30 league games and 5 in Coppa Italia.


The following season Napoli won their first historic Scudetto and also won the Coppa Italia beating Atalanta 3-1. It was Garella's second Scudetto, sweet revenge on his detractors. He played 29 league games, 9 in Coppa Italia and 2 in the UEFA Cup. In 29 league games he kept 25 clean sheets.


In 1987-88 Napoli finished 2nd behind Sacchi's "Dutch" Milan (without Rijkaard yet). They were knocked out by Real Madrid 1-3 on aggregate in the last 32 of the European Cup. In the Coppa Italia they lost to Torino 3-4 on aggregate in the quarterfinals. Garella played 29 league games, 9 in Coppa Italia and 2 in the European Cup. He then allegedly got involved in a "mutiny" against the coach along with a few other players and was sold.


In 1988-89 Garella joined Udinese in Serie B. The "Zebrette" won promotion with a 3rd place under Nedo Sonetti. Garella played 35 league games and 8 in Coppa Italia. He played alongside former Lazio connections Claudio Vagheggi and Maurizio Storgato.


The following year was problematic and the Bianconeri were relegated in 15th place, under Bruno Mazzia first and then former Lazio player Rino Marchesi. Garella played 28 league games and 1 in Coppa Italia. He played alongside future Lazio Néstor Sensini.


In 1990-91 he signed for Avellino in Serie B but suffered a serious injury early in the season. He only played 2 games under Francesco Oddo (Massimo's father) before retiring at 35.


He never played for Italy as his generation produced keepers such as Dino Zoff, Ivano Bordon, Giovanni Galli, Walter Zenga and Stefano Tacconi.


After retiring he took a break from football but in 2010 coached U.S.D Barracuda, an amateur club in Turin. In 2011 he was goalkeeper coach at Pergocrema, in the third tier. In 2012 he coached in the youth sector of Cit Turin and in 2013 was back with Barracuda as head coach.


He also had a few experiences as Sporting Director at amateur level with Pecetto Torinese and as a scout with Canavese in the 4th tier. In 2015 he also worked as a director with Barracuda.


Garella was a tall goalkeeper at 1.84 and 80 kilos. He was also a controversial one. He had a very unorthodox style, often saving the ball with all parts of his body except his hands. He was famous for blocking shots with his feet rather than diving low. Gianni Agnelli was once quoted as saying, "Garella is the best keeper in the world, without hands though".


His career saw him go from derision and mockery as "Paperella" to winning Scudetto titles as "Garellik" and playing with Maradona.


At Lazio, unfortunately, he was still disguised as "Paperella". He only played one full season but no doubt neither he nor the fans have great memories of it.


Garella died on August 12, 2022, following cardiocirculatory complications after heart surgery.


Lazio Career

Season

Appearances

Serie A

Coppa Italia

UEFA Cup

Intertoto Cup

1977-78

41

29

2

4

6

Sources


Comentarios


Los comentarios se han desactivado.
bottom of page