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  • Writer's pictureLazio Stories

What happened in Serie A 1973-74

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

The Campionato was dominated by Lazio who won their first scudetto.


Source Wikipedia

The previous season had seen Juventus win the scudetto ahead of Milan and Lazio. The Rossoneri went into the last game of the season ahead but crumbled at Verona 5-3. Lazio also lost in Naples and Juventus managed to win the championship thanks to a 2-1 win over Roma.


In the summer transfer window nothing much happened. Juventus said goodbye to Helmut Haller and welcomed youngster Claudio Gentile. Lazio had a near perfect team so there was no need to make any changes. Inter saw the return of Helenio Herrera but they did very little either and only Adriano Fedele was added. Ambitious Napoli also had a new manager, Luis Vinicio, and a new centre-forward, Sergio Clerici. Milan had to get over last season's shock and said goodbye to Pierino Prati and Roberto Rosato. Aldo Maldera was the new face. Roma and Torino could be the outsiders. The Giallorossi chose Manlio Scopigno as manager who had led Cagliari to their scudetto in 1970 and added Prati and Angelo Domenghini, Mexico 1970 hero. Torino confirmed Gustavo Giagnoni as manager and added Francesco Graziani in attack.


Juventus were clear favourites. One had to see if Lazio could repeat last year’s performance but if they did they could be trouble for the Zebras. The Milanese were a bit behind and it could be a good year for Napoli.


To note that the Juve manager was Cestmir Vycpalek, Zdeneck Zeman's uncle.


August-September


In the Coppa Italia group stage, the seven teams that would join Milan in the second group phase were Juventus, Lazio (on goal difference thanks to a 6-0 win against Novara in the last game), Palermo, Inter, Cesena, Bologna and Atalanta. Some surprises among the qualified teams. The second group phase would be played between December and May.

In the first leg of the European Cup Juventus were beaten 2-0 by Dynamo Dresden. It was going to be hard for the Bianconeri now. In the Cup Winners Cup Milan beat Dinamo Zagreb 3-1. In the UEFA Cup Lazio beat Sion 3-0, Fiorentina drew with Universitatea Craiova, Inter lost away to Admira Wacker and Torino at home to Lokomotive Leipzig. Apart from Lazio and Milan, the others were in trouble.


October


Three games to start the campionato. Sampdoria were deducted three points because in the previous season their President had tried to bribe some members of Atalanta. Some interesting scores: Juventus beat Lazio but lost to Napoli. Inter and Napoli drew. Seven teams at the top, predictably as it was very early stages.


Juventus were unable to recover the deficit of the first leg in the European Cup and were eliminated. Milan went through to the second round of the Cup Winners Cup but drew 0-0 at home in the first leg of the second round against Rapid Wien. In the UEFA Cup, Torino, Inter and Fiorentina were eliminated. In the second round Lazio were crushed 4-0 by Ipswich Town and were virtually out of the competition.


Inter 4, Lazio 4, Napoli 4, Juventus 4, Milan 4, Fiorentina 4, Torino 4, Bologna 3, Foggia 3, Cagliari 3, Cesena 3, Roma 2, Genoa 2, Vicenza 1, Sampdoria 0*, Verona 0


November


3 games in November. Lazio and Inter drew, as did Torino and Inter and Milan and Juventus. Sampdoria won the derby. Roma sacked Scopigno and Nils Liedholm came in.


In the second leg of the Cup Winners Cup an Alberto Bigon brace allowed Milan to go through. In the UEFA Cup Lazio tried extremely hard to overcome the four goal deficit but were denied by an allegedly drunk referee. In the changing rooms after the game there was a massive confrontation (following an Italian bastards exclamation) between the two teams resulting in a brawl. As a consequence Lazio were banned from European competitions for three years, later reduced to one.


Napoli 9, Inter 8, Juventus 8, Fiorentina 8, Lazio 7, Milan 7, Bologna 6, Torino 6, Cesena 6, Foggia 6, Cagliari 5, Roma 4, Genoa 4, Sampdoria 3*, Verona 3, Vicenza 3


December


Five games to close the year and the Biancocelesti won all of theirs. Lazio beat Cagliari, Roma, Napoli, Verona and Milan and went top. Inter and Juve won their derbies, Milan won in Naples, Inter beat Roma. Just over a third of the way but with two points for a win anything could still happen. Nereo Rocco was demoted to Technical Director and Cesare Maldini was now head coach of AC Milan.


First surprises in the first games of the Coppa Italia second group phase. In Group A Bologna and Milan beat Milan and Atalanta, in Group B Lazio and Juventus lost to Cesena and Palermo.


Lazio 17, Juventus 15, Napoli 15, Inter 14, Fiorentina 13, Foggia 13, Bologna 12, Milan 12, Cesena 11, Torino 11, Cagliari 10, Roma 7, Genoa 7, Vicenza 6, Sampdoria 5*, Verona 5


January


Four games to start the year. Lazio extended their lead, Fiorentina joined Juve and Napoli behind the Biancoclesti. The Milanese and Torino were behind.


In Coppa Italia, Bologna and Inter (who won the CI derby) were leading their group with two wins each, Cesena and Palermo the other one with a two point cushion over Juve and Lazio.


Lazio 23, Juventus 20, Fiorentina 20, Napoli 20, Milan 18, Inter 17, Torino 16, Bologna 15, Cagliari 15, Foggia 15, Cesena 13, Roma 12, Genoa 9, Vicenza 9, Verona 8, Sampdoria 7*


February


3 games. Lazio beat Juventus and maintained their three-point lead. Juve beat Napoli but were still behind. Inter sacked Herrera and substituted him with Enea Masiero.


Two games were played in Coppa Italia. In group A Bologna and Inter led with 6 points, Milan 4. In group B Cesena 5 points, Lazio and Palermo 4, Juve 3


Lazio 27, Napoli 24, Juventus 23, Fiorentina 22, Milan 22, Inter 19, Torino 19, Cagliari 19, Bologna 18, Foggia 18, Cesena 15, Roma 14, Verona 12, Genoa 12, Vicenza 12, Sampdoria 9*


March


5 games. Lazio lost to Inter but won the derby and now had a four point lead. Juve beat Milan and drew their derby. Inter crushed Milan 5-1 in the Milan derby. Napoli started to lose a bit of ground. Behind Sampdoria had woken up but the gap between the bottom three and Vicenza was still four points. Torino sacked Giagnoni. He was substituted by Edmondo Fabbri, former head coach of Italy. Milan got rid of Nereo Rocco, Cesare Maldini was alone now.


In the Cup Winners Cup Milan beat PAOK 5-2 on aggregate in the quarter finals. They would play Borussia Monchengladbach in the semis in April.

In Coppa Italia Bologna edged ahead with a one point lead over Inter in Group A, In the other groups Juventus demolished the Lazio reserves 3-0, caught up Cesena and were one point behind leaders Palermo


Lazio 34, Juventus 30, Napoli 29, Inter 28, Fiorentina 28, Milan 24, Bologna 23, Torino 23, Cesena 22, Roma 21, Cagliari 20, Foggia 19, Vicenza 19, Sampdoria 15*, Verona 15, Genoa 15


April


4 games. Lazio were in cruise control. Napoli fell back and were sucked into the battle for UEFA Cup positions with Fiorentina, Inter and Torino. Behind, Roma and Foggia were in trouble as Verona were getting closer. The Genoese were both virtually in Serie B. Giovanni Trapattoni came in as manager for Milan for the last five games.


Milan were in the final of the Cup Winners Cup after beating Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1 on aggregate. They would play Magdeburg, who beat Sporting CP, in the final in Rotterdam in May.


Lazio 40, Juventus 37, Napoli 32, Fiorentina 31, Inter 30, Torino 30, Bologna 26, Milan 26, Cagliari 26, Cesena 25, Vicenza 25, Roma 24, Foggia 22, Verona 21, Sampdoria 17*, Genoa 17


May


3 final games. Lazio lost the first game of the month but thanks to a win over Foggia secured their first scudetto. Juventus, Napoli, Inter and Torino would play in the UEFA Cup. Foggia, Sampdoria and Genoa were relegated but there will be an aftermath due to the telephone Scandal so the places were still to be decided.


Varese, Ascoli and Ternana were promoted to Serie A.

Giorgio Chinaglia was top scorer with 24 goals.

Milan lost the final of the Cup Winners Cup 2-0 to Magdeburg.


In the last game of the second group stage of the Coppa Italia, Bologna won and went on to the final, as did Palermo. The final, played in Rome on May 29, saw Bologna win on penalties (1-1 the result at the end of the 120 minutes play. Bologna had equalised with a very controversial 90th minute penalty).


Lazio 43, Juventus 41, Napoli 36, Inter 35, Torino 34, Fiorentina 33, Milan 30, Roma 29, Bologna 29, Cagliari 28, Cesena 27, Vicenza 26, Verona 25, Foggia 24, Sampdoria 20*, Genoa 17


The Telephone Scandal


The Verona President Saverio Garonzi, just before Verona-Napoli, had called Brazilian Clerici, who was playing for Napoli (and would join Lazio a few years later), offering to help him open a FIAT car dealership in Brazil once he stopped playing football. Foggia asked for an enquiry but they too were involved in a corruption scandal after having offered referee Gino Menicucci and the linesmen an expensive watch before the last game of the previous season. The referee refused and notified the sport authorities. Verona were relegated to last place in the Serie A table and Foggia docked six points. Sampdoria were safe.


Final table: Lazio 43, Juventus 41, Napoli 36, Inter 35, Torino 34, Fiorentina 33, Milan 30, Roma 29, Bologna 29, Cagliari 28, Cesena 27, Vicenza 26, Sampdoria 20*, Foggia 18, Genoa 17, Verona 25 (demoted to last place)



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