Casa Calcio: Girelli and Giacinti on song, Napoli out of relegation zone

Casa Calcio (Serie A Italy) brought to you by Trevor Stynes.

Round 17 of Serie A brought plenty of goals at the weekend. A total of 31 scored over the six games, and ten of those came in the Juventus vs Bari game.

Florentia San Gimignano 1-5 Sassuolo

In a first half where both sides created plenty of chances, the only goal came four minutes before the break. A Melania Martinovic shot was deflected into her own net by Sassuolo defender, Erika Santoro, to give the home side the lead.

After the break, however, it was all one-way traffic. It took the visitors ten minutes to level the match, Valeria Pirone with her ninth league goal of the season.

Eight minutes later and Sassuolo took the lead through Michela Cambiaghi. They scored two penalty kicks, the first of those converted by Kamila Dubcová, a ninth league goal of the season. Haley Bugeja came on at the start of the second half before the young Maltese star netted from 12-yards.

The scoring was finished off by another substitute, Martina Tomaselli, as Sassuolo look to maintain some pressure on Milan with their 5th consecutive league win.

Hellas Verona 0-2 Fiorentina

Fiorentina went into this game on the back of three league defeats, and Antonio Cincotta opted to start with both Tessel Middag and top scorer Daniela Sabatino on the bench.

The first half finished scoreless, with the Viola creating the best of the chances just before the breakthrough Lana Clelland and Valery Vigilucci. The only change after the break was Neto replacing Cordia for Fiorentina.

Eleven minutes into the second half and Fiorentina broke the deadlock. Baldi’s corner was headed on at the near post by Verona’s Elena Nichele which only found Louise Quinn arriving at the back post. It was the Irish defender’s fifth goal of the season.

Daniela Sabatino replaced Martina Piemonte a minute after the goal, and with seven minutes remaining, the striker made sure of a Viola victory. Caterina Ambrosi’s back pass allowed Sabatino in, who rounded the keeper to score her 12th league goal this season.

AS Roma 2-0 San Marino

The home side were able to welcome back Elena Linari to the starting lineup for Saturday’s game. A goal in each half was enough to give Roma all three points.

Before the opening goal, San Marino keeper, Gloria Ciccioli, had been busy with saves from Lindsey Thomas and Claudia Ciccotti. In the 21st minute, Annamaria Serturini gave the home side the lead, with her eighth goal of the season. A cross from Thomas found the Roma forward arriving in the box to slot home.

San Marino brought on Raffaella Barbieri in the second half, and shortly afterwards their leading scorer had a chance that finished just over the bar. Ciccioli then needed to make another good save from a Manuela Giugliano header. With both sides creating further chances, the final goal came in added time. It was Agnese Bonfantini with her first league goal of the season who guaranteed all three points for the home side.

Inter Milan 1-4 AC Milan

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It was the home side who took the lead here on Sunday, but we were then treated to the Valentina Giacinti show. After their recent first-ever derby win in the Coppa Italia, it was Inter who again started the brightest. After 11 minutes, Caroline Møller Hansen struck from outside the area and her left foot shot found the far corner of the net.

Just four minutes later and Milan were level. Refiloe Jane’s initial shot was saved by Chiara Marchitelli, but when the ball came back out, Giacinti sent a looping header under the crossbar. After the half-hour mark, the Inter keeper was judged to have taken down Natasha Dowie, and Giacinti converted the resulting penalty to put Milan in front.

Five minutes later and Giacinti had her hat-trick. Natasha Dowie went past two defenders before sending her cross in front of goal which found Giacinti. Despite the close attention of Julie Debever, the Milan striker made no mistake and the visitors went in 3-1 up at the break.

With 25 minutes left to play, it was Giacinti again who put Milan further ahead. Yui Hasegawa’s ball through gave Giacinti the chance to finish from 12-yards out. It was her 16th league goal of the season which made it 4-1. Inter did hit the crossbar from an Ilaria Mauro header, but Milans stay in second place.

Juventus 9-1 Pink Bari

The league leaders responded to Milan’s derby win in style. Not only that but having seen Giacinti go level on 16 goals with Cristiana Girelli, the Juve striker put her stamp on the golden boot race by scoring four.

At half-time, this emphatic scoreline didn’t look likely. Juve were 2-0 up thanks to goals from the Swedish pair of Lina Hurtig and Linda Sembrant.

Eleven minutes after the break and an own goal gave Juventus a 3-0 lead but just five minutes later, Bari’s leading scorer Emelie Helmvall pulled one back for the away side. Two minutes later and Girelli scored the first of her four goals in 25 minutes. Andrea Stašková and Cecilia Salvai also joined in the scoring.

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Bari suffered their worst defeat of the season here in Turin, and look almost certain to be relegated. Juventus meanwhile are still on the march to a maximum points Scudetto win. With just five games left to play, and a six-point gap over Milan, the title is now theirs to lose.

Napoli 3-3 Empoli

A six-goal thriller ended all square in Naples, as the home side battled back from two goals down to take the lead, before a late equalizer from Norma Cinotti.

Napoli came into this game in desperate need of points. With games running out, and still in the relegation zone, going 2-0 down here after just 12 minutes. It appeared to be another nail in the coffin. After Cecila Prugna and Benedetta Glionna had given the visitors the lead, Pistolesi’s side ended up going in level at the break.

At the half-hour mark, it was Federica Cafferata who pulled one back for Napoli. Six minutes later Cafferata was fouled in the box allowing Sarah Huchet to step up and convert a massive penalty kick for the home side.

With just over twenty minutes left Napoli’s comeback was complete. Again, it was Huchet, the French midfielder’s shot from the edge of the area found the net emphatically.

Six minutes from time, and Empoli broke Napoli’s hearts. It was Norma Cinotti who reacted quickest when a Morena Iannazzo shot came off Paola Di Marino. It looked to have struck the hand of the Napoli player, but Cinotti kept going and sent the ball to the back of the net. There was a brief moment where it looked like the referee was going to award a penalty for the handball, but in the end, Cinotti and her teammates could celebrate the late equalizer.

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The point takes Napoli level with San Marino, and the two relegation rivals will meet here in Naples at the beginning of May.

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