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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

September 3, 1989: Milan Lazio 0-1

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

A Steel defence and Maldini gift Lazio unexpected win


A strenuous defensive performance and a rare Maldini blunder give Lazio away win against European Champions


The season so far


The previous season in their first year back in Serie A, after three seasons in B, Lazio had finished 11th under Giuseppe Materazzi. The main joy had been winning the derby 1-0 with a Di Canio goal.


This year Materazzi was still manager. Lazio made quite a few changes in the transfer market. The most important players coming in were: keeper Fernando Orsi was back (Arezzo), defenders Cristiano Bergodi (Pescara), Raffaele Sergio (Mantova), Roberto Soldà, midfielders Franco Marchegiani (Pescara), Pedro Troglio (Verona), forwards Amarildo (Celta Vigo) and Alessandro Bertoni (Avellino).


Leaving were some of the promotion heroes; keeper Silvano Martina (Torino), defender Raimondo Marino (Lecce), midfielders Antonio Elia Acerbis (Verona) and Ciro Muro (Cosenza) plus forward Antonio Rizzolo (Pescara). Also saying goodbye were defender Nelson Gutiérrez (Verona) and forward Gustavo Dezotti (Cremonese). One later regret would be letting a young Luigi Di Biagio go as he would go on to play 114 league games for Roma, 117 for Inter and win 31 Italy caps.


So Lazio did not appear to have particularly improved the squad but were hoping to better the previous year's eleventh place.


In the first game of the season Lazio lost 0-2 at home to Sampdoria.


Milan had finished 3rd the previous season but triumphed in the European Cup beating Steaua Bucharest 4-0 in Barcelona. The Rossoneri had also won the Italian Supercoppa defeating Sampdoria 3-1. The manager was the "Profeta di Fusignano", Arrigo Sacchi and players included Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Carlo Ancelotti, Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard and Marco Van Basten.


This year the "Diavolo" had not made many changes. The main new signings were; keeper Andrea Pazzagli (Ascoli), defender Stefano Carobbi (Fiorentina), midfielders Diego Fuser (Torino) and Giovanni Stroppa (Monza), strikers Marco Simone (Como) plus Stefano Borgonovo and Daniele Massaro were back from their loans with Fiorentina and Roma.


The main player leaving was veteran srtiker Pietro Paolo Virdis (Lecce).


The Rossoneri were hoping to challenge for the Scudetto, their main rivals being Diego Maradona's Napoli and reigning champions Inter. Milan's European dimension would surely make them target back to back European Cups too.


In the first league game Milan won 3-0 away at Cesena with goals by Stroppa, Borgonovo and Massaro.


The match: Sunday, September 3, 1989, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan


There were 55,000 spectators at the former San Siro for Milan's league debut on a hot day in the Lombard capital.


Milan had two important absences in Ruud Gullit and Marco Van Basten. Lazio meanwhile had been through a turbulent week with fan protests and talk of Materazzi's job being on the line. The Biancocelesti too were missing their star forward Rubén Sosa.


Milan attacked from the start and closed Lazio in their own half for long periods. Early on two headers by Maldini and Massaro went close. Lazio however were extremely compact and Milan had difficulty finding openings up front.


Milan continued their seige but a Borgonovo lunging volley went well wide and another Maldini header from a Roberto Donadoni freekick shaved the post.


Lazio relieved the pressure briefly with a Gabriele Pin lob from inside the area on the right but his chipped effort went high. Then it was Milan again with a Rijkaard dipping header tipped over the bar by Valerio Fiori.


In the 41st minute came the unexpected. From a goal kick by Fiori, Amarildo headed on to Di Canio but he was anticipated by Maldini who went for the back pass to goalkeeper Giovanni Galli. What happened next was a comedy of errors, Maldini hit it too hard and lobbed the keeper who himself was way too far out. Result an incredible own goal and Milan 0 Lazio 1.


Milan pushed forward again before halftime but were never dangerous so at the break Lazio led 1-0.


For the second half Sacchi made a change bringing on a more attacking Alberico Evani for Angelo Colombo. Lazio were satisfied with their resistance so far and kept the same line-up.


Milan continued where they left off but were imprecise and predictable. A lot of crosses into the area for Borgonovo's head and a weak Donadoni left foot which went wide.


Despite dominating ball and territorial possession Milan were sterile and even risked to concede again were it not for a Franco Baresi last ditch tackle on Bertoni going towards goal.


In the 66th minute another substitution for Milan as Marco Simone came on for Massaro while Lazio had already replaced Andrea Icardi with Franco Marchegiani in the 60th and Angelo Gregucci with Marco Monti in the 65th.


Milan were slowly losing confidence and risked further blunders at tbe back. They continued to push forward but lacked convinction. Ancelotti had a chance but his powerful volley after chesting it up after the bounce went wide of the post.


The game followed the same pattern until the end but it was one of those days that the defence wins over the attack, especially a predictable and repetitive one as Milan's today. Throw into the mix a freakish own goal and you have Lazio defeating the European champions on their own turf. Final score Milan 0 Lazio 1.


So after eleven years Lazio finally got the better of the "Diavolo" in Milan. An excellent defensive performance by the Biancocelesti who took advantage of an off day by the hosts and an unusual mistake by Maldini to clinch a precious and prestigious victory. Milan had attacked for almost the whole game but Fiori had not had to perform any miracles to keep a clean sheet.


On a personal note I was living in Istanbul at the time. I remember half heartedly checking the Turkish newspapers on the Monday. They are very colourful and unsurprisingly hard to understand but after some anxious moments I worked out Lazio had done the unimaginable and beaten the European Champions in Milan. A few Efes and Raki's followed I'm sure.


Who played for Milan


G.Galli, Tassotti, Maldini, Colombo (46' Evani), F. Galli, F. Baresi, Donadoni, Ancelotti, Borgonovo, Rijkaard, Massaro (66' Simone)

Substitutes: Pazzagli, Costacurta, Stroppa

Manager: Sacchi


Who played for Lazio


Fiori, Bergodi, Beruatto, G.Pin, Gregucci (65' Monti), Soldà, Di Canio, Icardi (60' F. Marchegiani), Amarildo, Sclosa, Bertoni

Substitutes: Orsi, Piscedda, Sergio

Manager: Materazzi


Referee: Sguizzato


Goals: 41' Maldini (og)



What happened next


Lazio had another mid -table season. They finished 9th, so a slight improvement. The Biancocelesti won 8, drew 15 and lost 11. The manager continued to be called Mr X after the previous seasons 19 draws. Lazio also drew both derbies. The best win of the season was the 3-0 thrashing of Maradona's Napoli who would then win the Scudetto. Lazio's top scorer was Amarildo with 9 (8 in league as Rubén Sosa).


Milan finished 2nd in the league behind Napoli but retained the European Cup beating Benfica 1-0 in Vienna with a Rijkaard goal. They also won the European Super Cup defeating Barcelona 2-1 on aggregate and the Intercontinental Cup against Colombians Atlético Nacional de Medellín 1-0, with an Evani goal in the last minute of extra-time. They were not so lucky in the Coppa Italia losing to Juventus 0-1 on aggregate. Top scorer was Marco Van Basten with 24 goals (19 in league).


On a statistical note it would be another 30 years before Lazio beat Milan away in Serie A. The Biancocelesti had to wait until 2019 when goals by Ciro Immobile and Joaquin Correa gave Lazio a 2-1 win and finally broke the jinx.


Lazio 1989-90

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

Serie A

34

8

15

11

34

Coppa Italia

2

1

-

1

2

Total

36

9

15

12

36

Top five appearances

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Soldà

35

33

2

Bergodi

34

32

2

Pin

33

31

2

Amarildo

31

29

2

31

29

2

Sergio

31

31

-

Top five goal scorers

Player

Total

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Amarildo

9

8

1

Ruben Sosa

8

8

-

Pin

6

6

-

Di Canio

4

3

1

Bertoni

2

2

-


Let’s talk about Roberto Soldà


Source Wikipedia

Roberto Soldà was born in Valdagno (Vicenza), on May 28, 1959.


He started his football with Ravenna youth sector and then in 1978 made his official debut for the "Leoni" at regional level in the 6th tier. He played 46 games with 8 goals and the Giallorossi narrowly missed promotion both seasons.


In 1980 he moved to nearby Forlì in C1. He played a season for the "Galletti" finishing 9th. He made 29 appearances with 3 goals.


In 1981 he made it to Serie A when he joined Como. The "Lariani " however were relegated. He then stayed on in Serie B with a 5th place. He played 48 games for the Biancoblù.


In 1983 he joined Atalanta and immediately won promotion to Serie A under manager Nedo Sonetti. Soldà then stayed two more seasons finishing 10th and 8th. He played 81 league games with 4 goals.


In 1986 his positive performances earned him a place in the Juventus squad managed by former Lazio player Rino Marchesi. Soldà was signed to be Gaetano Scirea's successor, not an easy task. He played 27 league games but, like Juventus in general, did not have a great season. Juve finished with no silverware, a rarity in the 80's.


So in 1987 he signed for Hellas Verona in Serie A. He stayed two seasons playing under '85 Scudetto hero Osvaldo Bagnoli. The "Scaligeri" finished 10th and 14th. Soldà played 56 league games.


In 1989 he came to the capital and joined Lazio. He stayed three seasons. In his first, under Beppe Materazzi, the Biancocelesti finished 9th and he played 33 league games and 2 in Coppa Italia.


In his second season Lazio changed manager with the arrival of Italian legend Dino Zoff. Things went in a similar way with an 11th place finish. Soldà played 29 league games and 2 in Coppa Italia.


In 1991-92 Lazio came 10th and Soldà played 26 league games and 1 in Coppa Italia.


The following year, after the taking over of the club by ambitious Sergio Cragnotti's, Lazio brought in defenders Mauro Bonomi, Beppe Favalli, Luca Luzardi but in particular "libero" Roberto Cravero. In the autumn transfer window Soldà was sold to Monza in Serie B. He played under Giovanni Trainini and the Brianzoli finished 14th. Soldà played 27 league games and scored 2 goals.


He then retired at 34.


He then started a carreer as a manager. In 1993-94 he coached Chiasso in Switzerland in the 2nd tier but got relegated.


In 1997-98 he had a year with Montechiari (Brescia) in Serie D but was sacked in February , the Rossoblù then finished 3rd.


He then switched to being a technical director. He first worked with Ardens Cene and then after a merger with Alzano Cene (now Virtus Bergamo). From May 2013 he then worked for Ciserano (5th tier, in the Bergamo area). From 2016 he has been working for Falco Albino, a 6th tier club near Bergamo with a highly respected youth sector.


Soldà was a defender and usually played as a "libero". He was a physically strong player not particularly quick but with an excellent sense of position. He would dictate the game from the back and often even push up to midfield to start the play from there.


At Lazio he was the ideal player for the transitional period between the difficult years of Serie B, early years of Serie A and the increasingly competitive squads of the mid and late 90's (the year he left Lazio came 5th). He played a total of 93 games for the Biancoclesti.


Lazio Career

Season

Total Appearances

Serie A

Coppa Italia

1989-90

35

33

2

1990-91

31

29

2

1991-92

27

26

1

Total

93

88

5

Sources


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