Throwback Thursday: The Serie A Matchday with the Most Goals Ever

The second match-day of Serie A 2020-21 played last week saw an impressive total of 43 goals scored. But despite such exploits as the Inter-Fiorentina goal-fest and Atalanta’s by-now-usual four-goal plunder, the total scoring tally for the weekend is not a record for the Italian top-flight.

Since the Serie A switched back from 18 to 20 clubs in the 2004-05 season, there have been at least two occasions in which the goal toll raised up to 48. It happened in the last match-day of the 2014-15 season, and then again on the weekend of April 24, 2017 – in a round featuring another Fiorentina-Inter epic battle ending 5-4 for the Viola and Lazio putting six past Palermo while conceding only two, among other things.

But those were not all-time records either.

There is a prehistoric 54 total goals scored on June 17, 1951 in the last match-day of the 1950-51 season, with the Serie A featuring 20 teams just like today. Still, that was a last campionato round and, with the Scudetto already won by Milan and no battle for the European cups – which were yet to be invented – many clubs were in a pretty relaxed mood. Otherwise, it would have been difficult to explain how Bologna-Lazio could end 7-2 and Juventus-Atalanta 6-2…

So, to find out what we can consider an even more remarkable occurrence, we must come back to Round 5 of the 1992-93 Serie A season.

The matchday of October 4, 1992, also saw 48 goals scored, but divided among 18 teams only – which makes an average of 5,33 goals scored per game. That is more than the 4.70 average from both the 2015 and 2017 seasons, though still less than the 5.40 from the antediluvian 1951 match-day.

However, the Serie A 1992-93 Round 5 went down in history not only for its incredible goal tally, but also for the quality of the games and the actors involved.

The lion’s share of the day was grabbed by Milan. The Rossoneri trained by Fabio Capello were the incumbent Serie A champions and were unbeaten since May 1991. They would go on to extend their non-losing streak until the following Spring, when they would lose to Parma after 58 games. As of today, that is still the longest unbeaten streak among the top 5 European leagues.

Milan paid a visit to Fiorentina and when the Viola’s Francesco Baiano opened the scoring after 15 minutes, it seemed like a miracle was possible. But that wouldn’t be the case as at half time the Rossoneri were already leading 4-1. With three minutes to go and the score now at 5-2, many Fiorentina supporters left the Artemio Franchi Stadium.

They would still fail to see three more goals as, at full time, the scorecard read 7-3 in favor of Fabio Capello’s steamroller – powered by Daniele Massaro and Marco Van Basten’s braces.

Elsewhere, a 26-year-old Argentine striker named Abel Eduardo Balbo – who already was a Udinese legend – pushed the Bianconeri to a 5-2 win over Pescara with a hat-trick. At the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Lazio-Parma ended with the same score, featuring another hat-trick on the part of Giuseppe Signori – who would go on to win his first Serie A top-scorer title with 26 goals.

Zdenek Zeman’s Foggia traveled to Brescia and you know how it goes with Zeman’s teams…The Satanelli had already conceded eight goals to Milan a few months earlier and seven more to Fiorentina in Round 3 just two weeks before. On that Sunday afternoon, they conceded “only” four to Brescia, with Foggia’s lone goal being scored by Costa Rican striker Hernàn Medford in what would be his only Serie A netting.

At the San Paolo Stadium in Naples, Juventus initially put three past the Partenopei with Roberto Baggio, Andy Moller, and new signing Gianluca Vialli from Sampdoria before Daniel Fonseca and Gianfranco Zola almost completed an incredible comeback.

The scorecard of Genoa-Ancona was even richer, with the clubs sharing the spoils in a pyrotechnical 4-4 showdown. The late Genoa captain Andrea Signorini scored twice, once in his own goal and once in the correct one. A brace by Czech striker Thomas Skuhravy put the Grifone in the lead, but then a combined effort by Felice Centofanti and Massimo Agostini resulted in an incredible double overhead kick (!) to set the score at 4-4.

At the Stadio Delle Alpi in Turin, Torino – Sampdoria ended with two goals per part, while a lone goal from Vittorio Pusceddu helped Cagliari shock Roma. From the penalty spot, Uruguayan star Ruben Sosa wrapped Inter’s 1-0 win over Atalanta at the San Siro.

It was such a pity that the games in Cagliari and Milan ended with one goal only. Just one more netting and the average per game would have raised to 5.44 – even more than in the legendary matchday 38 from 1951. That would have been a fair conclusion to a campionato round that was an authentic parade of football stars and impressive feats – one that nostalgic football fans will always remember as “the Serie A matchday with the most goals scored.”