Sassuolo lost ground to Juventus in the Serie A Femminile title race this week as they fell to a 2-0 defeat away at Roma.
The Neroverde had won all six of their Serie A matches until their trip to Rome and were keeping tabs with Juventus who had also gone unbeaten.
It was looking increasingly likely that when the two teams meet at the start of December, they would still both be boasting a 100 percent record.
This weekend changed that, though, as Sassuolo tasted defeat for the first time this season at the hands of a talented Roma side.
Roma took all three points thanks to a goal in each half from Valeria Pirone, who played 22 times for Sassuolo last season and scored ten times. She opted not to celebrate her goals but they will almost certainly be the most significant ones that she scores this season.
Sassuolo created very little and arguably should have lost by a wider margin. Pirone had other excellent chances, including an overhead kick that almost found the bottom corner in the second half.
Sofia Cantore: Turning Sassuolo’s unexpected, beautiful dream of a title challenge into reality, by @ConJClancy. https://t.co/zFjZFd9IQ9 pic.twitter.com/2rgyE1c1yZ
— ForzaItalianFootball (@SerieAFFC) October 22, 2021
Juventus Women leave it late against Inter
Sassuolo’s slip up in Rome came after Juventus had narrowly beaten Inter away from home. It took the Bianconere until the 71st minute to find the breakthrough.
Barbara Bonansea continued to show her class by heading in an excellent cross at the back post. Just five minutes later. though, Joe Montemurro’s side were pegged back by a wonderful goal from Ajara Nchout.
She received the ball in the box with her back to goal, turned the defender superbly, and fired into the roof of the net from an angle. It was the least Inter deserved having created a number of good opportunities in the match.
The joy was short-lived for Rita Guarino’s side though as on the 80th minute, Andrea Staskova met a flighted cross and headed over the on-rushing goalkeeper to secure all three points for Juventus.
Juventus have now won all seven of their Serie A Femminile fixtures and are three points clear of their nearest challengers, Sassuolo.
AC Milan keep chase whilst Lazio fail to win again
Elsewhere in the division, there was a win for AC Milan that keeps them with an outside chance of getting back into the Women’s Champions League or even challenging for the title if Juve falter and Sassuolo slip further
They dispatched of Fiorentina in Tuscany thanks to a first-half goal from Nina Stapelfeldt. The Rossonere are now just two points behind Sassuolo and five behind the league leaders.
Lazio missed yet another opportunity to get their first points of the season as they lost 2-0 away at Empoli, one of the few teams in the division that the Biancoceleste could hope to get a result against. They remain rooted to the bottom of the table.
Two teams that are performing surprisingly well in the division this season are Pomigliano and Sampdoria.
The former were promoted from Serie B but after a string of positive results and a 2-1 win over Hellas Verona on Saturday, they now sit in seventh and have a six-point buffer between themselves and the drop zone.
Both of their goals at the weekend were scored by Marija Banusic who appears to have really hit her stride now since her move from Roma in the summer.
EXCLUSIVE: @burns_euan got the chance to speak with Roma No.9 Marija Banusic #SerieAFemminile https://t.co/Gx9xdzlgac pic.twitter.com/XpeZdTzUcq
— ForzaItalianFootball (@SerieAFFC) April 15, 2021
The other surprise package are Sampdoria who have been very steady in their first season as a club. They managed to win in Napoli thanks to a 98th-minute strike from Cristina Carp. Napoli had Paola Di Marino and Aurelle Awona sent off late in the game before the winner was scored.
Samp now sit fifth in the table, only one point behind Roma and four behind Milan.
Next week’s fixtures see Juve travel to face Sampdoria which could be a very tough assignment. Sassuolo will be hoping to get back on track with a win at home to Pomigliano.
There’s a big game at the bottom of the table too as 10th placed Napoli face Lazio.