Round 10 proved to be one of the most dramatic and crucial in the Serie A Femminile campaign as there were pivotal points won all over the table.
The weekend featured the Derby della Madonnina, a clash between the top two teams in the division and another between the two teams fighting to avoid the bottom spot in the table.
Rita Guarino’s Inter Women stun AC Milan
Considering Inter were a lower-to-mid-table team in the 2020/21 Serie A campaign and AC Milan were the second-best team in the division, it is a testament to the work of Rita Guarino that the Nerazzurre beat their rivals 3-0 on Sunday.
Not only did they take the spoils in the Derby della Madonnina, but they are also now just one point behind Maurizio Ganz’s side in the table.
— Inter Women (@Inter_Women) December 6, 2021
Inter blitzed Milan in the first half and were 3-0 up at the break. It took them only 13 minutes to take the lead when Kathellen Sousa brilliantly headed in from a corner at the back post. In the 26th minute, it was 2-0 thanks to a truly excellent goal from Ajara Nchout. Milan lost the ball whilst attempting to play out from the back and the ball was flicked to Nchout who fired into the top corner from 20 yards out.
The celebrations with the entire squad emphasised both the quality and the importance of the goal.
The first half-hour was perfectly capped off by Ghoutia Karchouni chipping a penalty past Laura Giulini after a rather confusing-looking refereeing decision.
That goal was followed by a flurry of chances for Valentina Giacinti, Lindsey Thomas, and Valentina Bergamaschi but clearly, the Rossonere were just destined not to find the back of the net.
Juventus strengthen their grip
Ever since it became clear that Juve and Sassuolo were the two teams that would be fighting it out for the Serie A title, matchday 10 has been hotly anticipated. The game took on even more importance for Sassuolo when they suffered their first dropped points of the season away at Roma at the end of October.
Joe Montemurro’s side had continued to win every single one of their games and came into the match on Saturday in Sassuolo knowing that a win would put them firmly in control to win the title once again.
The Bianconere took the lead just before the hour mark when the ever-prolific Cristiana Girelli found space at the back post and was able to head in the cross from Amanda Nilden.
The quality of Juve at both ends of the pitch was immediately shown after the goal when Alice Parisi’s wonderful volley was tipped away by Roberta Aprile to maintain the slender lead.
Less than 10 minutes later though, Sassuolo were caught out once again. Gianpiero Piovani will likely focus on defending crosses in his next training sessions as Cristiana Girelli was able to head in a corner at the near post with relative ease.
The victory means Juve are six points clear at the top and given they have not lost in Serie A for 50 games now, it is hard to imagine them surrendering the title now even if there is half a season to go.
Sassuolo are certainly a much better team than they were last season and it is very likely that providing the core components of the squad can be retained, they will be challenging Juventus again very soon.
— ForzaItalianFootball (@SerieAFFC) December 5, 2021
Lazio rise off the foot of the table
Whilst the title race may be capturing the imagination of many, there was an equally important game at the foot of the table as two teams with a single point between them before kick off went head to head.
Lazio had lost every single one of their matches since they were promoted to Serie A for this season but thankfully for them, Hellas Verona had – and still have – only managed one point so far.
That means that Lazio’s priceless 1-0 victory has lifted them off the bottom at placed Hellas Verona in an even more perilous position. The Biancoceleste rode their luck in the opening half an hour and the Gialloblu were left wondering how they had not taken the lead.
There was a clear improvement from Lazio in the second half though and they were awarded a penalty when Noemi Visentin was adjudged to have been brought down in the box. Hellas’ protests were understandable.
Adriana confidently converted the spot-kick in the 63rd minute and gave Lazio the chance to try and make a decent fist of survival this season. It would be some achievement though as they are seven points behind Pomigliano who occupy the final safe position in the table.
As for Hellas, it is not easy to see a way back for them and they seem destined to spend next season in Serie B.
Roma’s form continues, Napoli fail to win
Roma continued their excellent form from recent weeks to rise to third in the table ahead of Milan on goal difference. The Giallorosse beat Sampdoria away from home with a cruel 92nd-minute own goal winner which means they’ve won four on the bounce.
Considering the recent points dropped by Sassuolo and the derby win for Inter, just three points separate Sassuolo in second and Inter in fifth. The Neroverde may be looking over their shoulder rather than ahead at Juve from now on as they seek to keep that Champions League qualification spot.
Nearer to the bottom of the table, Napoli failed to make up any ground in their fight for survival as they were beaten 1-0 at home by Empoli, a team they will have fancied their chances against.
Napoli are in the first relegation spot ahead of Lazio and Hellas Verona and are now three points behind Pomigliano in the first safe spot. They failed to win as well as they were beaten 3-1 away at Fiorentina who after a poor start have distanced themselves from the relegation battle.
If matchday 10 had headline fixtures, matchday 11 can certainly rival it as Sassuolo try to bounce back with a trip to face a confident Inter side. Juve will have to pull out another big game display against Milan and there is also a Derby della Capitale in which Roma will be hoping to fill their boots.
Serie A Femminile Round 10 results:
Lazio 1-0 Hellas Verona
Fiorentina 3-1 Pomigliano
Sassuolo 0-2 Juventus
Sampdoria 1-2 Roma
Milan 0-3 Inter
Napoli 0-1 Empoli