Serie A Femminile lived up to expectations yet again on matchday 11 as there was a healthy 24 goals across six games of football.
There were two entertaining clashes between teams at the top of the table as well as an extremely hard-fought Derby della Capitale.
Roma earn local pride
Roma made history on Sunday when they took all three points in the first-ever women’s Derby della Capitale. They came into the game against lowly Lazio knowing that due to other results, the Giallorosse had a chance of moving into a Champions League qualification spot with a win.
Whilst Roma were far and away the favourites coming into the match having won their last four matches, Lazio raised their level and made Alessandro Spugna’s side work hard for the three points.
It took 25 minutes for the Giallorosse to break the deadlock and it came courtesy of an excellent header by Valeria Pirone despite being one of the shortest players in the box. She can now proudly always be the scorer of the first-ever women’s Roman derby goal.
— AS Roma Women ? (@ASRomaWomen) December 13, 2021
Just three minutes it was 2-0 and much to Lazio’s dismay, it was the exact same goal again. An out-swinging corner came in and an unmarked Roma player, this time Vanessa Bernauer, powered a header into the bottom corner.
Lazio sparked to life with 10 minutes until the break though and they pulled a goal back through Noemi Visentin. Ariana Pezzotti broke down the right and played a deep cross towards the back post where Visentin was waiting to meet it in the bounce and fire a great strike into the bottom corner.
After Annemaria Serturini had hit the post with her trademarked shot, the situation deteriorated for Spugna and his side. A handball from Lucia Di Guglielmo right on the edge of the box was given as a penalty and Adriana duly made it 2-2 on the hour mark.
The game was settled in the 73rd minute by a wonderful free-kick from Manuela Giugliano from 30 yards out. She hit the shot with immense power and it appeared to take a slight deflection on its way through the bodies before nestling in the bottom corner.
Much was made about how after winning Coppa Italia Femminile last season, Roma allowed two very talented players in Agnese Bonfantini and Lindsay Thomas leave the club for Juventus and AC Milan respectively.
Whilst their early season form suggested a regression, they have now won five games on the bounce including beating Sassuolo and have found themselves sat in the second Champions League qualification spot.
As for Lazio, they remain destined for the drop unless they can put together a highly surprising run of form, meaning the second Rome derby at the end of this season may be the last one we see for at least another year.
Sassuolo drop points again
Sassuolo’s title charge effectively came to an end as they dropped points for the third time this season. That may not sound too bad but in this division, it’s enough to destroy any title aspirations.
Having recently lost to Roma and then Juventus last weekend, the Neroverde found themselves coming into the match away at Inter looking more behind them at those wanting to take second place rather than Juve ahead of them.
On Aurora Pro Patria’s pitch with a perimeter of thick snow, the Neroverede faltered once again. This time they drew 2-2 against Rita Guarino’s resurgent Inter team.
The Nerazzurre took the lead shortly after the 10 minute mark when Ghoutia Karchouni’s effort looped up off the goalkeeper and was prodded in at the back post by Ajara Nchout.
Early in the second half Sassuolo drew level thanks to Sofia Cantore. A slick move through midfield ended with Cantore slotting the ball beneath Francesca Durante and into the bottom corner.
Before the hour mark the game had been turned around and the Neroverde were 2-1 up. Kamila Dubcova picked up the ball on the left and travelled inside before firing an excellent strike into the far top corner which Durante could do nothing about.
Sassuolo hearts were broken in the 90th minute when Tatiana Bonetti picked up the ball 30 yards from goal, beat one defender and then fired a low shot from the edge of the box into the bottom corner. Diede Lemey may feel she should have done better to reach the shot as it was lacking power but it’s hard to know if she did not see it until late.
That 2-2 draw means that Sassuolo have dropped behind Roma into third, although they do still have the same points tally as the Giallorosse. Inter now sit fourth just three points behind Sassuolo having won four matches on the trot.
Juventus strengthen their grip
Joe Montemurro’s Juve side overcame yet another major hurdle between them and a fifth straight Serie A Femminile title as they comfortable beat AC Milan 5-2 despite having also faced Chelsea in the Champions League in midweek.
The Rossonere actually took an early lead inside two minutes when the ball dropped in the box for Greta Adani and she calmly placed it into the Juve net.
The lead only lasted until the seventh minute though Cristiana Girelli’s deflected free-kick was saved but then poked in by Andrea Staskovafrom a yard out. In the 35th minute, a goalkeeping nightmare from Laura Giuliani allowed Barbara Bonansea to score into an open goal and make it 2-1 to Juve.
Milan picked themselves up and Lindsey Thomas’ excellent run into the box was ended by a poor challenge from Bonansea. Valentina Giacinti then saw her spot-kick saved.
With 20 minutes left to play Maurizio Ganz’s side drew level thanks to a wonderful effort from Miriam Longo who created space on the edge of the box and fired past Pauline Peyraud-Magnin.
The goal merely served to awaken Juve as Arianna Caruso’s cross was handled in the box and a penalty was given. Lisa Boattin made no mistake and made it 3-2. The Bianconere grew in strength and added two more goals through Staskova and Lina Hurtig to cap off a 5-2 win and create a 10 point lead at the top.
The bottom three remain in place
The three teams occupying the relegation slots appear destined to remain there as results continue to go against them. Hellas Verona became the lowest placed team last week after losing to Lazio, and this week they were beaten 2-1 at home to Sampdoria where Yoreli Rincon and Stefania Tarenzi scored.
Lazio were of course beaten 3-2 by Roma in the derby so they remain on just three points. Ahead of them, Napoli have the best chance of escaping as they are on seven points, but losing 2-1 away at Pomigliano will hinder morale as they are one of the teams that the Azzurre must overhaul.
Empoli are just above the drop zone but they are now five points ahead of Napoli having drawn 1-1 with Fiorentina.
There’s a winter break in Serie A Femminile now meaning that the likes of Lazio, Sassuolo, and Milan will be left licking their wounds until the next fixtures on January 16th.
Serie A Femminile Round 11 results:
Pomigliano 2-1 Napoli
Hellas Verona 1-2 Sampdoria
Inter 2-2 Sassuolo
Roma 3-2 Lazio
Juventus 5-2 AC Milan
Empoli 1-1 Fiorentina