Casa Calcio: Juventus maintain lead as relegation battle heats up

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

Leaders Juventus get past Fiorentina on the road to another Scudetto, Roma strengthen their grip on fourth place, while Napoli’s win pulls them closer to salvation.

AS Roma 4-3 Inter Milan

Certainly the weekend’s most entertaining game, as Roma took a 4-1 lead but Inter almost pulled it back.

Two minutes into the second half and Roma were 3-0 up, game over it would seem. Inter pulled one back but Roma then restored their three goal lead. Two late goals made for an exciting end in Rome on Saturday.

Lindsey Thomas opened the scoring after 13 minutes. Manuela Giugliano and Thomas played a one two which sent the French forward into the area where she went around the goalkeeper. Just when it looked like she had taken it too far, with her back to goal she sent the ball to the net with a backheel.

Just 20 minutes later, the home side doubled their lead. This time it was Thomas who set up the goal, her cross headed home by the unmarked Allyson Swaby.

Roma came out after the break and looked to have finished this one off. A clearance header by Beatrice Merlo fell nicely for Claudia Ciccotti, who’s first time left foot shot found the corner of the net. Just after the hour mark and Inter pulled one back through a Stefania Tarenzi header.

It definitely looked all over when Marija Banušić scored with a spectacular bicycle kick from an Annamaria Serturini cross.

With 13 minutes left to play, a goal from a Marta Pandini header pulled it back to 4-2. In added time Inter scored again through Gloria Marinelli, but Roma held on for a win which pulled them further clear of the chasing pack in fourth place.

Fiorentina 1-2 Juventus

Juventus, without Barbara Bonansea and Cristiana Girelli in the starting lineup, claim another victory and remain well on course to retain their league title.

All three goals in Saturday’s encounter in Florence came in the first half. After 13 minutes, Andrea Stašková had her first attempt saved by Katja Schroffenegger, but managed to find the net at the second attempt. This came after Fiorentina had created early chances for both Daniela Sabatino and Lana Clelland.

The Viola found an equaliser 20 minutes after Juventus opened up the scoreline. Sabatino’s pass found Clelland in space out wide. The Scottish striker took the ball inside and from just outside the area she let fly with a beautiful right foot shot into the top corner of the net.

Just when it looked like the teams would head in all square at the break, Stašková pounced again. With her back to goal just outside the area, the Czech forward turned and was allowed to make her way into the box and fire home.

The second half started with Juventus on the attack, and Louise Quinn did well to head clear a Boattin cross with Lina Hurtig lurking in the box. After Sabatino sent her chance wide, Schroffenegger was called on again to make a good save from Caruso.

Despite some half-chances for Quinn, Sabatino and Vigilucci, Fiorentina just couldn’t find another goal to level the game. After 11 meetings with Juventus, there has yet to be a draw between the two sides.

Napoli 3-1 Florentia San Gimignano

A massive win for the home side on Saturday, which gives them high hopes of survival.

All four goals came in the opening half, as the home side got off to a perfect start. Within the first 11 minutes Isotta Nocchi had scored twice for Napoli.

The first came after four minutes, from an Eleonora Goldoni assist. Seven minutes later and Nocchi had doubled the lead when beating the oncoming keeper, Amanda Tampieri. It took Florentia just six minutes to pull one back. A Cecilia Re cross was met by the head of Melania Martinovic, and the ball was in the net.

Sabrina Tasselli pulled off a save from another Martinovic header before Napoli extended their lead. Seven minutes before the break, and when a loose ball fell to Goldoni outside the box, she had time to tee up a perfect shot into the far top corner.

Florentia tried to get back into the game in the second half. Tasselli was called upon to make some good saves. The away side then hit the crossbar from a Federica Anghilieri shot. Napoli held out for a vital victory and those all important three points.

AC Milan 1-0 Empoli

With Juventus having won on Saturday, Milan knew that nothing less than a win would do here.

The home side almost took the lead after eight minutes, when a Verónica Boquete shot hit both posts before Alessia Capelletti in the Empoli goal could gather the ball. Ten minutes later and it was the away side with a good chance, but Chanté Dompig’s shot was straight at Mária Korenčiová.

Shortly after, Natasha Dowie had two chances that went wide. The second of those was a beautiful chip with the goalkeeper off her line, but the ball bounced in front of the goal before going just wide of the post.

Just after the break and again Milan came so close to the opening goal. Yui Hasegawa played a lovely through ball into Federica Rizza, and with the keeper beaten the Empoli defense managed to clear it off the line.

In the 63rd minute, Milan finally made the breakthrough. A Boquete pass found Dowie in the box and this time the striker made no mistake as she slipped the ball past the keeper. This was Dowie’s 10th goal of the season, and an all-important one for Milan.

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Empoli almost equalized six minutes later when Cecilia Prugna’s shot rattled the crossbar. With 15 minutes left to play, Giacinti had a chance to double Milan’s lead. A slip by Di Guglielmo let the striker through on goal but her shot was saved by the onrushing Capelletti.

In added time Empoli had one last chance from a free-kick. The always dangerous Glionna’s effort was just wide of the goal and Milan claimed all three points.

Pink Bari 0-2 Hellas Verona

Bari in deep trouble after another home defeat. The bottom club are running out of time to climb off the foot of the table.

After a scoreless first half, the away side scored twice after the break to take them clear of the relegation zone. Bari had a good chance to open the scoring in the first half, but Francesca Durante did well to save Emelie Helmvall’s header. Madison Solow then had her shot saved by the intervention of Capitanelli.

The second half saw the away side create more chances for Santi and Nichele before they eventually broke the Bari resistance. Ana Jelenčić scored from a pass by Elena Nichele with 11 minutes gone after the break.

Five minutes later and Verona had doubled their lead. From a Sara Mella corner, Madison Solow headed home. Bari tried to pull one back, and Durante needed to tip over a free-kick from Elisa Carravetta. Verona then had two efforts hit the post, from both Nichele and Rossella Sardu.

It’s Verona then who claim an important away win as they move away from the danger zone. Bari meanwhile, are still six points from safety.

San Marino 0-2 Sassuolo

Sassuolo keep a solid grip on a top three finish with this away win. San Marino on the other hand now find themselves in a real relegation battle with Napoli.

With Napoli winning on Saturday, the home side went into this one just one point ahead of the drop zone. Defeat here leaves them in serious trouble. It was the away side with the majority of the chances in the first half.

Michela Cambiaghi had a shot just wide before Ciccioli needed to save from Tomaselli. The home keeper was called into action again by Cambiaghi. Five minutes before the break and this time Cambiaghi, set up by Pirone, made no mistake to open the scoring.

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San Marino had a chance to level it shortly after, Menin went past the keeper but her effort hit the post.

After the break, it was Sassuolo again who created more chances to double their lead. Cambiaghi and Pirone both had efforts wide of the mark. With nine minutes left to play, the away side made the result safe. Haley Bugeja, returning from injury, was on the pitch just four minutes when she scored. Her first effort was blocked by Kunisawa but she made no mistake with her second chance.

Serie A League Table

Following matchweek 16, Juventus remain atop of the Serie A league table. They hold a comfortable six-point lead ahead of AC Milan with six 2020/21 league fixtures remaining.

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