Juventus were held to their first draw of the season with a 2-2 result at home against Fiorentina on Saturday, ending a winning streak of 36 matches in the Serie A.
Juventus coach Joe Montemurro made two changes to the side which beat Pomigliano 5-0 the previous week, introducing defender Amanda Nilden on the left and goalkeeper Roberta Aprile for Lisa Boattin and Pauline Peyraud-Magnin respectively, whilst Fiorentina coach Patrizia Panico made three changes to the team which lost 6-1 to Sassuolo the revious week, bringing on defender Stephanie Breitner, midfielder Sarah Hutchet and forward Valentina Giacinti for Francesca Vitale, Michela Catena and Karin Lundin respectively.
Giacinti opened the scoring 14 minutes into the first half, pouncing on a rebound from a Daniela Sabatino shot outside the box and lobbying the ball above the advancing goalkeeper Sabrina Tasselli into an empty net.
“Today I think we did not manage the game well, even if we played very well in the first half, but we need to transform the domination into goals”
Juventus centre-back Sara Gama put one into her own net from close range when she deflected a Claudia Neto shot from outside the box in the 34thminute to hand the visitors a 2-0 lead.
Juventus midfielder Valentina Cernoia pulled one back for the Bianconere three minutes into first half extra time when she belted a 20-yard shot into the top right corner of the net, with an assist from forward Andrea Stašková.
“I am satisfied with the performance, regardless of the result. The girls were very good, determined . . .”
Midfielder Arianna Caruso made it 2-2 in the 58thminute with a right footed shot from the centre of the box into the bottom right corner of the net.
Montemurro, after the match, said that they had expected to play against a difficult Fiorentina and that they have to accept that they will not always win every match.
“We expected a Fiorentina with this attitude and this organization,” said Montemurro.
“We have to accept that sometimes things do not go our way, [and] when they do, we have to rely on our game.
“Today I think we did not manage the game well, even if we played very well in the first half, but we need to transform the domination into goals. In the second half we shortened the gap and built opportunities, even though we didn't play our best.”
Panico, on the other hand, said that she was satisfied with the performance and that her team showed determination.
“I am satisfied with the performance, regardless of the result. The girls were very good, determined, they spent a lot of energy, we were also in a bit of emergency. They fought, suffered all together. It is the thing I am most satisfied with.
“I want to see a better Fiorentina in Empoli too, we need to understand that we have great potential and we can improve day by day. The girls want to improve; they have to prove that they can become a team. In Empoli we have to put a few more bricks”, Panico said after the match.
The draw cut Juventus’ lead at the summit of the Serie A log to six points from eight with the champions now on 37 points from 12 wins and one draw, whilst Fiorentina slipped to eighth from seventh with the result having recorded 14 points from four wins and two draws in 13 matches.
Elesewhere, a solitary strike by former LSK Kvinner FK midfielder Emilie Haavi was enough for AS Roma to collect maximum points on a difficult afternoon away in Naples on Sunday.
The Norwegian headed home 11 minutes from fulltime following a set piece situation as the Rome side staggered to a 1-0 win over Napoli in a match which was increasingly looking to end in a stalemate.
Roma, on 31 points, are second on the log above Sassuolo on head-to-head, having recorded 31 points from 10 wins and one draw in 13 encounters whilst Napoli are 10th having recorded a meagre eight points from two wins and two draws in as many outings.
Sassuolo routed Hellas Verona 4-0 at home on Saturday.
Scottish forward Lana Clelland opened the scoring with a strike 22 minutes into the first half before defender Benedetta Orsi made it 2-0 with a strike 10 minutes later.
Czech midfielder Kamila Dubcová made it 3-0 with a strike two minutes into the second half before Clelland returned to complete her brace with a strike in the 57th minute to make it 4-0. The 28-year-old has overtaken Fiorentina’s Daniela Sabatino and is now the current campaign’s top scorer with 10 goals.
Sassuolo are third on the log with 31 points from 10 wins and one draw in 13 matches, whilst Verona are 12th with one point from one draw in the same number of matches.
AC Milan destroyed Sampdoria 4-0 at home at the Centro Sportivo Peppino Vismara on Sunday.
French forward Lindsey Thomas opened the scoring with a strike in the 21st minute before forward Valentina Bergamaschi made it 2-0 in the 31st minute. Former Fiorentina forward Martina Piemonte made it 3-0 three minutes later before Thomas completed her brace to make it 4-0 in second half extra time.
Milan remain fourth with 28 points from nine wins and one draw in 13 matches whilst Sampdoria remain sixth with 19 points from six wins and one draw in as many outings.
Inter Milan edged Lazio 3-1 away in Rome on Sunday.
The hosts opened the scoring with a 13th minute Giulia Ferrandi penalty after centre back Kathellen Sousa had fouled forward Noemi Visentin in the box.
Inter responded 12 minutes later to make it 1-1 with their own penalty which was converted by forward Tatiana Bonetti after defender Beatrix Fördos had fouled forward Elisa Polli in the box.
The match appeared to be headed for a stalemate before Hungarian midfielder Henrietta Csiszár made 2-1 for Inter with a strike three minutes from fulltime. The hosts doubled their lead to make it 3-1 in second half extra time through Bonetti as Rita Guarino’s side collected maximum points to keep pressure on City rivals AC Milan on fourth place.
Inter remain fifth after the win with 26 points from eight wins and two draws in 13 outings whilst Lazio remain 11th with three points from one win in as many encounters.
Pomigliano edged Empoli 2-1 away at the Centro Sportivo Monteboro on Saturday.
The home team opened the scoring with a 38thminute strike by 20-year-old forward Asia Bragonzi before the visitors levelled matters with a 65th minute strike by Swedish midfielder Marija Banušić.
Pomigliano doubled their lead 12 minutes later making it 2-1 with a strike by US forward Victoria Della-Peruta.
The win moved Pomigliano one place up the log from eighth to seventh. They have now registered 16 points from five wins and one draw in 13 encounters whilst Empoli remain ninth with 12 points from three wins and three draws in as many contests.
The Serie A Femminile returns on February the 5th after the Coppa Italia break this weekend.
RESULTS (Saturday): Sassuolo 4 — 0 Hellas Verona; Empoli 1 — 2 Pomigliano; Juventus 2 — 2 Fiorentina
(Sunday): Napoli CF 0 — 1 AS Roma; AC Milan 4 — 0 Sampdoria; Lazio 1 — 3 Inter Milan
(Photo by Chris Ricco/Getty Images)