STADIO ARECHI (Salerno): Having been well beaten in the Serie A title race this season, Juventus Women ensured that they wouldn’t end the campaign empty-handed while stopping AS Roma from celebrating a domestic treble as a late Barbara Bonansea header saw the Old Lady win the Coppa Italia Femminile.
The Bianconere have now won three of the last four Coppa Italias, only having that run interrupted by Roma in 2021, but the significance of stopping the Lupi claiming a clean sweep of domestic honours cannot be overstated and it allowed Joe Montemurro’s side to maintain their impressive record against Alessandro Spugna’s. In Serie A this season, Roma only lost three times en route to the scudetto – each of those to Juventus.
The game in Salerno had shades of last season’s final in Ferrara, with the Giallorosse probably just edging things on the pitch. Roma had the better of the chances, not that there were many, but Manuela Giugliano missed from point-blank range late on only for Bonansea to do what she couldn’t at the other end moments later and keep the Coppa Italia trophy in Turin.
A cagey start that carried on
Coming into their clash in Campania, both Roma and Juventus had enjoyed success against one another this season. Roma’s only three Serie A Femminile losses came at the hands of the Bianconere, but Alessandro Spugna’s side had claimed a big win of their own in the capital that all-but clinched the scudetto and had beaten them to the Supercoppa Italiana as well. In a first half that was seemingly shaped by the fear of a mistake that might just prove fatal, there was little in the way of goalmouth action at either end and a real feeling that both sides had taken lessons from their previous meetings this season.
Lineth Beerensteyn has hurt Roma more than once this term and it was clear early on that the Giallorosse were keen to avoid that happening again. Andressa Alves brought her down with a tactical foul inside three minutes and was fortunate to escape a caution, but Giada Greggi was afforded no such luxury when she did similarly after the half-hour mark with the Dutch winger just getting into her stride and approaching the Roma box.
The second half played out similarly and Juventus‘ best efforts came from Bonansea and Arianna Caruso, and each of those efforts was taken from way outside the box.
At the other end, Giugliano tried her luck on a couple of occasions with no success and Emilie Haavi’s indecision cost her when through on the right, neither shooting nor passing when decisively doing either might well have put Roma ahead.
Beaten in Serie A, but Juventus aren’t going anywhere
Juventus ending the season with silverware shows that, although Roma were unmatched in Serie A this season, the Giallorosse will have to put up similarly impressive numbers in 2023/24 if they are to defend their crown, and the applause the Juve players and support gave their opponent en route to collect their runners-up medals was clear recognition of what has been a brilliant campaign from the Italian champions.
That Juventus have shown themselves capable of rising to the occasion almost every time they’ve met Roma in 2022/23 – losing to a late Sophie Roman Haug header in Rome and being beaten on penalties in the Supercoppa final, the Bianconere will back themselves to come back stronger next season and they’ll be hungrier than ever to retake what they feel is their place at the top of the Italian women’s football pyramid.