Serie A: Juventus and Milan keep the pressure on

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Juventus and AC Milan can’t stop winning. Napoli get their first victory and move off the bottom of the table, while Fiorentina come away from Inter with all three points.

It was another exciting match-week in Serie A as the battle for glory and the fight from relegation continues.

Napoli 1-0 Pink Bari

In what proved to be a predictably tense end to the game, both sides had a player sent off with seven minutes remaining. A scuffle in the Napoli area resulted in Isotta Nocchi – a second half sub for the home side – and Chelsea Weston for Bari both shown the red card.

Napoli could finally celebrate their first league win of the season after the five minutes of added time were up. It was clear how much this victory meant to everyone involved, as the whole squad embraced amid tears of joy at the final whistle.

It was Bulgarian forward Evdokiya Popadinova who gave Alessandro Pistolesi’s side the much needed three points in his first home game in charge. The only goal of the game came when Elisabetta Oliviero’s cross was headed on by Eleanora Goldoni.

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Goldoni was employed in the middle of the park for this game, an experiment which certainly paid off. Her header was met by Popadinova who shot high into the corner, her third consecutive goal for Napoli.

This win took the home side ahead of Bari in the table, and to within four points of San Marino. This team will not give up their place in Serie A without a fight.

Roma 2-0 Sassuolo

The home side took just five minutes to break through the Sassuolo rearguard. When Lindsey Thomas went down under a challenge in the box, most players were distracted by the appeals for a penalty. While her team-mates continued to argue, Manuela Giugliano kept her concentration to pick up a sloppy pass.

Mana Mihashi, the Japanese defender, really did make a hash of her attempted pass which allowed Giugliano to pounce. She took the ball into the area, let fly with her right foot and her shot was too strong for Diede Lemey in the Sassuolo goal.

The Belgian keeper then tipped a free-kick from Andressa Alves over the bar. She also punched clear a cross into the box, which fell to Alves but the Brazilian wasn’t quick enough and Lemey got down to smother the ball at her feet.

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Alves did get her revenge with four minutes left in the first-half. Again Lemey used her fists to clear a loose ball from a corner but when it dropped to Alves she made no mistake with a first time shot.

Sassuolo sent on both Haley Bugeja and Valeria Monterubbiano at the start of the second half but they couldn’t find the breakthrough. The closest they came was when a Bugeja cross from the left was headed clear by Elena Linari.

When the ball came to Maria Filangeri, her shot was saved at the second attempt by the Romanian keeper, Camelia Ceasar.

A well-deserved win for Roma, which saw them move momentarily up to fourth spot, while Sassuolo see their chances of catching AC Milan slip away.

San Marino 1-4 Empoli

When these two sides met on the opening day of the season, it was a 10-0 hammering which welcomed San Marino to Serie A. After conceding four in the first half on Saturday, they may have been forgiven for fearing another onslaught after the break.

In the end, the second half had no further goals to report. Earlier San Marino were given some false hope when Raffaela Barbieri pulled the game back to 2-1, ten minutes after Empoli had scored their second.

Elisa Polli with her seventh goal of the season had put the visitors ahead after 18 minutes. Norma Cinotti doubled that lead seven minutes later. Barbieri’s goal was her seventh of the campaign, from a total of nine goals for San Marino.

With less than five minutes remaining in the first half, Chanté Dompig scored her first league goal since that opening day win. As the opening half moved into added time, Benedetta Glionna finished off the scoring for Empoli.

This win keeps Empoli in fourth spot, while San Marino could find themselves dragged into a relegation battle as Napoli are just four points behind.

Inter Milan 2-3 Fiorentina

The home side had got off to the best possible start, Gloria Marinelli putting them in front within the first thirty seconds. That goal is the fastest goal scored in Serie A this season.

Inter’s top scorer bagged her sixth of the season, when a slip by Frederikke Thøgersen allowed her space and time for a shot on goal.

Fiorentina replied with a long range shot from Sara Baldi, but Chiara Marchitelli pushed it away for a corner. After 26 minutes the away side did find the equalizer.

Another attempt from outside the box and this time Greta Adami’s shot was too much for the Inter keeper to handle. She did get her hand to it but couldn’t keep the ball out of the net.

Stefania Tarenzi had a shot saved by Katja Schroffenegger and the sides went in level at the break.

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Just under 20 minutes played in the second half and Daniela Sabatino won and converted a penalty to put the visitors ahead. This was her third successful penalty of the season and her tenth goal in the league.

With 12 minutes left to play Tarenzi looked to have saved a point for the home side. Marinelli turning provider for the unmarked Tarenzi.

Fiorentina though, have proven to be a side that never gives up. Sabatino in the area managed to pass the ball back to Tessel Middag. Having scored her first goal for the club last week, the Dutch midfielder let fly with a beautiful first time shot. Marchitelli could only look on as it sailed into the top of the net.

That’s two wins in a row now for Fiorentina, which moves them back level with Empoli. Inter will look for revenge when the sides meet again in the Coppa Italia.

Florentia San Gimignano 1-2 AC Milan

As predicted, the away side were made to battle all the way for the three points needed here.

Milan went ahead early, that goal after just three minutes and nineteen seconds their quickest of the season. Their top scorer Valentina Giacinti on target again.

Six minutes before the break and Florentia were level. Teenager Federica Anghileri grabbing her first goal of the campaign.

Seraina Friedli, the Swiss goalkeeper, was busy after the break. She was called into action by Natasha Dowie and Valentina Bergamaschi.

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After 64 minutes, Milan made two changes with Christy Grimshaw one of those to make way. A minute later and the visitors finally found that much needed winning goal.

It was Grimshaw’s replacement Claudia Mauri who set up Giacinti for her 10th goal of the season. Milan held on for the three points, thanks in no small part to their keeper.

Mária Korenčiová made a great save from Florentia’s top scorer Sofia Cantore. Called into action again from the resulting corner, the Slovakian goalie denying Tamar Dongus.

The win sees AC Milan keep the gap to Juventus at three points while Florentia slip to three points behind Roma.

Juventus 5-0 Hellas Verona

With the home side on maximum points coming into this game, Verona were never likely to be the side to stop their winning run.

It took the title holders 13 minutes to open the scoring. Lina Hurtig knocking in her third of the season. It was a Barbara Bonansea pass which found the Swede all alone in front of goal to tap home.

Another 13 minutes would pass before Hurtig turned provider when setting up Sofie Junge Pedersen. Five minutes later and Cristiana Girelli put away her seventh penalty of the season to make it 3-0.

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With eight minutes remaining in the opening half, Bonansea scored her fourth of the season and Juve’s fourth of the match.

The home side added just one more goal after the break. It was Annahita Zamanian who netted their fifth and final goal in the last minute.

This routine win keeps Juventus three points ahead of AC Milan in the race for the title.

Serie A League Table

AC Milan1211012552033
Florentia SG125161114-316
Inter Milan124261622-614
Hellas Verona12318720-1310
San Marino12228932-238
Pink Bari121011628-223

Top Scorers

  • Cristiana Girelli (Juventus) – 13 goals
  • Daniela Sabatino (Fiorentina) – 10 goals
  • Valentina Giacinti (AC Milan) – 10 goals
  • Kamila Dubcová (Sassuolo) – 8 goals
  • Valeria Pirone (Sassuolo) – 7 goals
  • Annamaria Senturini (Roma) – 7 goals
  • Elisa Polli (Empoli) – 7 goals
  • Raffaella Barbieri (San Marino) – 7 goals

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