AS Roma left with work to do to achieve unlikely Women’s Champions League progression

Tabitha Chawinga returned to Italy and again showed everybody what she is capable of, proving to be a thorn in AS Roma's side and complicating their path to qualification in the Women's Champions League.

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Elena Linari of AS Roma under pressure from PSG's Marie-Antoinette Katoto in the Women's Champions League. (@ASRomaFemminile)

After a brighter start to the Women’s Champions League than many had anticipated for AS Roma, the Giallorosse’s chances of progression are now looking considerably slimmer than they had after two matchdays, following back-to-back defeats to Paris Saint-Germain.

The Italian champions now sit bottom of a competitive Women’s Champions League Group C, though hope is far from lost as no side has managed to take firm control of the group. The Giallorosse are fourth on four points – picked up in their first two games – Bayern Munich have five points, PSG are second with six, and Ajax top the group with seven.

The Dutch side, curiously, suffered their only loss in the group in the Italian capital when Roma handily dispatched of them 3-0 in November.

Tabitha Chawinga remains a thorn in Italian teams’ sides

Fans of Italian women’s football were universally blown away by Tabitha Chawinga in the 2022/23 season. Although Inter underperformed in Women’s Serie A, it wasn’t in any way Chawinga‘s responsibility, ending the season as the highest-scoring player in the league.

Having only been on loan with the Nerazzurre, Chawinga left Italy in the summer to return to China, only to then move to PSG in France, despite Inter‘s best efforts to bring her back either pre-season or in the upcoming winter transfer window.

Roma, much like all of Women’s Serie A last season, had no way of stopping Chawinga at the Stadio Tre Fontane on Wednesday. She opened the scoring after pouncing on a loose ball in space before prodding a poked effort past the oncoming Camelia Ceasar, but what she did for PSG‘s second was nothing less than brilliant.

Picking the ball up in the middle of the pitch, Chawinga set off on one of her typically meandering runs, terrorising Roma as they looked terrified to even attempt to tackle her at risk of being humiliated. That feared outcome came to be anyway, as she arrived at the edge of the box, looked to momentarily lose control of the ball, but then teed up Marie-Antoinette Katoto to finish.

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