STADIO TRE FONTANE (Rome): For the first time in their short history, AS Roma Women are champions of Italy after they claimed a 2-1 win over Fiorentina to kill off any faint hopes that Juventus had of mounting a comeback in the Serie A Femminile title race. Alessandro Spugna’s side beat Juventus at the Tre Fontane to go within touching distance of the trophy, but their win over the Viola sealed the scudetto a week later.
There was a party atmosphere in the Eternal City from long before kick-off as Fiorentina visited, and in truth it had felt like a celebration from the second Sophie Roman Haug headed home their dramatic late winner over Juventus the previous week. On the day their crown was clinched it was midfield linchpin Giada Greggi and captain Elisa Bartoli who got themselves on the scoresheet – worthy reward for two mainstays in the side while not being regulars on the scoresheet.
Roma strike first
It was fitting that Greggi opened the scoring for Roma on the day that the title was sealed. It was her relentless pressing that played a huge part in their win over Juventus last time out. The Bianconere midfield couldn’t live with her, and she set the tempo again against Fiorentina. With Rachele Baldi and her Fiorentina defenders looking to play out from the back, Greggi pounced on a pass from the goalkeeper and finished into an empty goal with just 10 minutes on the clock.
It then looked for a long time as though the game was only ever going to have one outcome, and the only surprise came with the scoreline still being just 1-0 to Roma at the break. Both Moeka Minami and Emilie Haavi had the ball in the net, though the former’s strike was ruled offside before Annamaria Serturini was deemed to have run the ball out of play before teeing up the Norwegian.
Fiorentina fight back, but…
Fiorentina managed to level through Milica Mijatovic after a defensive mix-up from the hosts saw them pounce on a counterattack, but it was to be no more than a temporary scare for Roma en route to being crowned champions.
When Roma needed a goal, up stepped their captain. A ball fell loose in the box and Elisa Bartoli was on hand to direct it toward goal, eventually seeing it nestle in the net after a deflection helped it beat Baldi, not that anybody would dare to attempt to take the goal away from the Giallorosse skipper.
Once Roma got back in front there was no real fear of them letting their lead slip again. They have been more than worthy champions over the course of the season, and they dealt with their nerves to see things out, aided by excellent time management from Manuela Giugliano and teammates as far away from Camelia Ceasar’s goal as they could get.
Roma still have three games to play, but they can now enjoy their status as Italian champions for the first time in their history and travel to Turin to face Juventus on the final day of the season safe in the knowledge that their work will have been long since done.