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Roma still trailing Lazio of a century ago

Roma have set a Serie A record with their 10 consecutive wins to start the season, but city rivals Lazio can cling on to their heroics of a century ago.

Roma's win over Chievo took Rudi Garcia's men to 10 wins from 10, a remarkable feat unprecedented in Serie A history, but eclipsed by the remarkable Lazio side of 1913-14.

A century ago, Italian football looked very different. The Italian championship was split into Northern Italy and Southern Italy and then further divided into regions before joining up for the Final Round.

It was within this format that Lazio managed the incredible feat of 14 straight wins. In their opening 10 games they scored 52 goals and conceded just five to top their group, including two wins against rivals Pro Roma.

The Biancocelesti then saw off Spes Livorno in both legs of their first Final Round tie and wiped the floor with Internazionale Napoli 9-0 on aggregate.

However, after their 14-game rampage, the wheels came off spectacularly for Lazio as they were routed in the final against Casale, 7-1 in the first leg and 2-0 in the fairly pointless second.

In the fateful 7-1 defeat, reports suggest that Lazio were the better team for much of the first half but ran out of gas.

Lazio were also missing frontman Giuseppe Fioranti as he still worked in Genoa and often couldn't get back to Rome in time for games. They were forced to draft in Perugini Arnaldo, who reportedly hadn't played for several years.

Casale, hailing from the tiny town of Casale Monferrato in Piedmont became the smallest provincial side ever to win an Italian championship. Today the team compete in the Lega Pro Seconda Divisone, Italy's fourth division.

Star striker Marcello Consiglio netted more than a goal every other game for Lazio after being moved up from the reserves to fill the gap left when key marksman Sante Ancherani quit football to pursue his musical career.

But possibly the most inspirational figure for the record-breaking Lazio was one-club man Fernando Saraceni, who started off as a forward and later moved to defence.

Often the captain, Saraceni, like many of his teammates, fought in World War I before returning to Lazio where he would eventually become a director. He tragically committed suicide in 1956.

While the Lazio side of 1913-14 cannot be fruitfully compared to today's Roma, the fact that they managed 14 in a row provides some ammunition for the Aquile fans who look likely to spend the rest of this season living in their neighbours' shadow.

image: © thesportreview

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