The race for the Serie A title continues, as Juventus and Milan continue their win streaks. Meanwhile, Fiorentina move up into fourth place.
Empoli 0-3 Juventus
After the excitement of last week’s Coppa clash between the sides, another close encounter was expected. In the end, the home side failed to really test the league leaders this time out.
Empoli: Capelletti; Acuti (69’ Morreale), Binazzi (82’ Knol), Giatras, De Rita (87’ Toniolo); Cinotti (80’ Miotto), Bellucci, Prugna; Glionna, Polli, Dompig (69’ Caiola)
Juventus: Giuliani; Hyyrynen (87’ Lundorf), Sembrant, Salva, Boattin; Rosucci, Zamanian, Cernoia (Ippólito); Bonansea, Girelli (78’ Stašková), Hurtig (87’ Berti)Embed from Getty Images
The first half saw the visitors create many chances. Empoli, however, struggled to find an opening of their own.
The early pressure came from Juve, the first chance a Cecilia Salvai header following a Valentina Cernoia free-kick. Alessia Capelletti was equal to that effort but she had her crossbar to thank in the 23rd minute.
Cristiana Girelli created the opening for Barbara Bonansea. Fortunately for Empoli, her shot from inside the box struck the bar and the home side could breathe again. Though, the respite didn’t last long. Four minutes later, it was Bonansea setting up Girelli this time.
Serie A’s top-scorer controlled the ball beautifully with her first touch. That flick allowed her to turn and unleash a right-footed shot into the top left-hand corner of the net.
Benedetta Glionna, who scored a hat-trick last week, had Empoli’s first real chance of the opening half. Her attempt, six minutes before the break, was too high to trouble Laura Giuliani.
Both sides’ goalkeepers were on display. After another good save by Capelletti from Annahita Zamanian, Norma Cinotti had her shot from outside the area saved by Giuliani. But it was Capelletti again who would pull off the best save of the half.
Just before the break, Bonansea again created the danger. Girelli let it go to Zamanian, but her shot from close range was somehow kept out by the Empoli keeper.
The second half opened without any real chances for either side. Yet, Juventus were able to double their lead after 12 minutes.
Bonansea, yet again the provider, crossed the ball into the area before it took a couple of bounces and reached Lina Hurtig. The Swedish forward met it first time on the half-volley and Capelletti had no chance.
Five minutes passed and it was all over for Empoli. Bonansea, who else, won the chase on the wing to reach a long pass. She got to the ball inside the area and fed a cross along the ground to an unmarked Girelli for the simplest of tap-ins.
Barbara Bonansea could have had the goal she deserved, but her shot after Capelletti had parried away a Martina Rosucci effort was wide of the post. Elisa Polli had one last attempt to grab a consolation goal for the home side with six minutes remaining. However, her shot from outside the area was tipped around the post by Giuliani.
Juventus keep up their run of maximum points, winning all 13 of their league matches this season.
Pink Bari 0-4 AS Roma
Roma had it all too easy when they visited bottom of the table Bari on Saturday.Embed from Getty Images
Elisa Bartoli made her 250th Serie A appearance in this game, and what better way to celebrate than by opening the scoring.
Pink Bari: Paula Myllyoja, Francesca Quazzico, Danielle Lea, Ilaria Capitanelli (77′ Lucia Ceci), Antonella Marrone, Lucia Strisciuglio, Jennifer Cramer, Maria Zecca (59′ Marthe Enlid), Ludovica Silvioni (77′ Federica Buonamassa), Emelie Helmvall, Rafiat Sule
AS Roma: Camelia Ceasar, Angelica Soffia (64′ Kaja Eržen), Allyson Swaby (80′ Tecla Pettenuzzo), Elena Linari, Elisa Bartoli, Manuela Giugliano, Vanessa Bernauer, Lindsey Thomas, Andressa (64′ Emma Severini), Annamaria Serturini (66′ Marija Banušić), Paloma Lázaro (46′ Agnese Bonfantini)
Jennifer Cramer was thrown into the action from the start by Bari. The new signing was joined in the lineup by Maria Zecca, facing her former club after her recent arrival.
After a cagey opening, it was the Roma captain Bartoli who broke the deadlock just before the half hour mark. As she brought the ball to the edge of the area, the opposition, along with her companions, may have been expecting her to set up one of her teammates in the box. Instead, she took a shot and her right-footed effort dipped out of the reach of Paula Myllyoja’s dive.
Less than five minutes later, the Bari keeper was called into action again. This time, she managed to get her fingertips to Annamaria Serturini’s shot from outside the area.
With eight minutes left before the break, Roma doubled their lead through ex-Bari player Paloma Lázaro. Lindsey Thomas played a cross into the box which Andressa Alves met with her head. The headed ball was controlled on the chest by Lázaro before her left-footed shot gave Myllyoja no chance.
Six minutes after the break and it really was all over for Bari. Manuela Giugliano opted to shoot directly from a free-kick, which beat the wall and the keeper.
Ten minutes later, Francesca Quazzico fouled Agnese Bonfantinia and gave away a penalty. Andressa was able to capitalize on the opportunity, scoring her fourth goal of the season and Roma’s fourth of the match.
The away side’s new signing Marija Banušić made her entrance in the second half and had a shot saved by the Bari keeper seven minutes from the end.
Following this win, Roma move ahead of Empoli into fifth place while Bari stay rooted at the bottom of the table.
Hellas Verona 1-2 Florentia San Gimigano
Saturday’s other game saw Florentia come from behind to claim all three points.Embed from Getty Images
Hellas Verona: Durante; Motta, Ambrosi, Meneghini; Jelenčić, Sardu, Santi, Solow, Ledri (85′ Marchiori); Nichele, Bragonzi (76′ Susanna)
Florentia SG: Tampieri; Ceci, Pisani (59′ Bursi), Rodella (24 st. Imprezzabile), Boglioni; Bardin, Re (69′ Dahlberg), Nilsson; Pugnali (69′ Wagner); Cantore, Martinovic (72′ Anghileri)
Swedish forward Sara Nilsson was the San Gimignano hero at Verona. After a scoreless first half, it was the home side who opened the scoring.
Asia Bragonzi, on loan from Juventus, had scored five of Verona’s seven league goals to date. She fired in her sixth, and fifth from the penalty spot, after she had been fouled in the area by Lucia Ceci.
The opening goal came 14 minutes into the second half after an opening 45 minutes where both sides had created opportunities. Sara Nilsson had a double chance after 20 minutes. Her first shot was saved by Francesca Durante, but Nilsson couldn’t keep the rebound effort on target.
Twelve minutes after that Verona penalty, Nilsson eventually found the equalizer. Sofia Cantore opted not to shoot and instead played the ball to the waiting Swede who made no mistake in front of goal.
With seven minutes remaining, Ceci played a long ball forward that the Hellas defence failed to deal with. Nilsson was there to meet the ball again and her shot beat Durante.
Durante did manage to keep a third goal out making a save from Cantore. But, after a first half where Verona had been the more dangerous side, it was Florentia who take the three points back home to Tuscany.
Fiorentina 2-0 Napoli
On a rainy day in Florence, the home side win their third league game in a row and move ahead of Empoli.
Fiorentina: Schroffenegger; Thøgersen, Quinn, Tortelli (82′ Cordia), Zanoli; Vigilucci, Adami, Middag; Baldi (87′ Clelland), Sabatino, Monnecchi (72′ Kim)
Napoli: Pérez; Oliviero (85′ Nencioni), Huynh (60′ Di Marino), Arnadottir, Fusini; Huchet, Errico (61′ Beil), Goldoni; Popadinova (22′ Cafferata), Rijsdijk (61′ Kubassova), Hjohlman
Most of the first half took place under a constant downpour of torrential rain. This made it difficult in parts of the pitch to keep the ball moving.
Napoli came here on the back of their first win of the season. Yet, their cause wasn’t helped when they lost their Bulgarian striker halfway through the opening half.
Eva Popadinova needed to be replaced after what looked like a shoulder injury. Then, after a couple of half chances, the home side made the breakthrough just after the half hour.
Ex-Viola, Martina Fusini, gave away a free-kick out on the wing when she pulled Monnecchi to the ground. The resulting set-piece saw Sara Baldi float the ball into the area. Striker Daniela Sabatino rose untroubled to head it home.
Pia Rijsdijk had a shot from inside the area, but Katja Schroffenegger got down well to parry it away.
The pitch caused problems when a Louise Quinn clearance got stuck in one of the pools of water forming on the pitch. This allowed Errico to get a cross in, which found Cafferata all alone in the box. Schroffenegger came out to narrow the angle and managed to block the shot from the Napoli subsitute.
Just before the break, Popadinova’s replacement had another chance. This time, the Fiorentina keeper came out too far when a long ball was played in. To the relief of Schroffenegger, Cafferata’s attempt went wide.
Napoli made their job even more difficult 11 minutes after the break. Huynh played a back pass to her keeper but Catalina Pérez was already coming out of her goal and the ball sailed past her. It almost stopped before the goal-line, but the ball ended up crawling over the line.
A short while later, Fusini had a free-kick tipped over the bar by Schroffenegger. Ultimately, Napoli just couldn’t get the goal they needed to re-open the game.
Another win for Fiorentina takes them up to fourth in the table. They also welcomed back Cláudia Neto to the squad after her injury problems. She didn’t make it onto the pitch, but her return is good news for head coach Antonio Cincotta. This is especially true considering the number of injuries and Covid cases the team has dealt with recently.
AC Milan 4-1 San Marino
San Marino scare Milan with an opening goal, but in the end the home side get the win to keep the pressure on Juventus.Embed from Getty Images
Milan: Korenčiová, Vitale (59′ Tucceri), Agard, Spinelli, Bergamaschi, Simic (59′ Mauri), Jane (81′ Rask), Boquete (83′ Tamborini), Rizza (59′ Grimshaw), Giacinti, Dowie
San Marino: Ciccioli, Piazza, Kunisawa, Venturini, Babnik, Corazzi (57′ Rigaglia), Muya (80′ Musolino), Chandarana, Brambilla (82′ De Sanctis), Menin, Vecchione (57′ Landa)
San Marino travelled for this already tough task without the services of their top scorer Raffaella Barbieri.
The first half saw Milan on the attack as San Marino were happy to soak up the pressure. But for all their possession they weren’t able to break down the away side’s defense.
Paying the penalty
Four minutes after the break, it was San Marino who would take a surprise lead.
When captain Yesica Menin went on a run into the box, Francesca Vitale’s tackle missed the ball but not the player. The referee had no option but to point to the spot. As a result, Azzurra Corazzi stepped up and scored her first goal of the season.
It took only five minutes for Milan to find the equalizer. Giorgia Spinelli’s shot from outside the area bounced in front of Gloria Ciccioli’s dive and crept in at the corner.
Just before the hour mark, Milan decided to shake things up by bringing on three substitutions. Linda Tucceri, Claudia Mauri and Christy Grimshaw all entered the fold.
From there, it only took a minute for Tucceri to find Natasha Dowie with a long ball into the box. Dowie rose above Kunisawa and headed home to put Milan in front.
With thirteen minutes left to play, Dowie struck again. A well worked Milan move ended with a beautiful pass from Boquete. Dowie then stroked the ball home to kill off San Marino’s hopes.
The final goal came in the third minute of added time. It was Dowie this time who turned provider. Her pass to Sara Tamborini outside the area ended with the Milan sub’s shot beating Ciccioli.
Sassuolo 1-0 Inter Milan
Third placed Sassuolo return to winning ways as they keep their five point gap ahead of the chasing pack.
Sassuolo: Lemey; Lenzini, Filangeri, Orsi; Santoro (69′ Brignoli), Tomaselli, Mihashi, Dubcová, Philtjens; Cambiaghi (54′ Bugeja), Pirone (89′
Inter: Gilardi; Merlo, Auvinen (69′ Catelli) Debever, Bartonova;
Pandini, Alborghetti, Rincon;Marinelli, Baresi (55′ Moller),
It was a deserved, if narrow win here for the home side. They created early chances, with Kamila Dubcová’s shot just wide of the post. After 19 minutes, Valeria Pirone’s header hit the bar. But when Inter failed to clear the danger, Pirone was there again to head home.
Inter did look dangerous just before the break. Stefania Tarenzi shot went wide of the goal, while Gloria Marinelli’s effort hit the upright.
During the second half, it was Sassuolo again who had the best chances. Another shot from Dubcová came back off the crossbar, while Astrid Gilardi needed to stretch to save a Pirone effort.
Haley Bugeja, a second half substitute, looked to have made it 2-0. However, goalkeeper Beatrice Merlo stopped it on the line. Inter thought they grabbed a last minute equalizer, but an offsides call ruled out Tarenzi’s goal.
Serie A league table
- Cristiana Girelli (Juventus) – 15 goals
- Daniela Sabatino (Fiorentina) – 11 goals
- Valentina Giacinti (AC Milan) – 10 goals
- Kamila Dubcová (Sassuolo) – 8 goals
- Valeria Pirone (Sassuolo) – 8 goals
- Natasha Dowie (AC Milan) – 8 goals