Sassuolo have had two incredibly conflicting seasons in Serie A Femminile over the past two years. In 2021/22, they were genuinely in the title race until late in the campaign before running out of steam and finishing a highly respectable fourth.
In 2022/23, they’re firmly entrenched in a relegation battle despite having such a blatantly talented, albeit injury-hit squad. Their 3-0 defeat against Inter in Milan on Sunday afternoon meant that they and their fans will have to wait even longer before they feel like relegation is no longer a concern.
Sassuolo powerless to stop Inter
This season, Inter are not the sort of team that Sassuolo should be beating, but as each game comes around, there is a feeling that it could be the one that launches a run of form that drags them away from the bottom of the table. That should have been the draw with Juventus which 16-year-old Manuela Sciabica netted a late equaliser, but it has not proved to be the case.
There were some promising early signs as Lana Clelland and Daniela Sabatino linked up well in attack for the Neroverde. Sassuolo were certainly holding their own, but Inter looked more composed and had much more of the ball. As the contest wore on, individual mistakes began to creep in for Gianpiero Piovani’s side. That led to second-half goals for Ajara Nchout and Ghoutia Karchouni.
Clelland was left frustrated with herself after fluffing a couple of very presentable chances to get her side back into the game at the Suning Training Center in memory of Giacinto Facchetti, and the points were secured when Tabitha Chawinga scored a goal that she deserved in the final minutes. It was a great day for all three goalscorers as they then sat together in the stands of the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza that evening to watch Inter’s men beat AC Milan in the Derby della Madonnina.
For Sassuolo, there was a feeling once they got their first win of the season against Pomigliano on Matchday 9, they would be able to force their way into the top half of the table for the split, or at least create some daylight between the real relegation fight and themselves when the table splits in just two Matchdays time.
That is not how the situation has panned out and it is time that they accept they are just as involved in this fight as the likes of Como, Sampdoria, Pomigliano and Parma. Incidentally, their two games before the split are against Como and Pomigliano. At least one of those games needs to end in victory for the team from Emilia-Romagna.
Juventus hand AS Roma huge title advantage
At the other end of the table, there was the first major development for a few weeks. The gap between Roma and Juventus has been sat at five points for a long time, but now the chances of Roma delivering a first-ever Serie A Femminile title have increased massively.
For the Giallorosse, they were only able to score once as they beat Como 1-0, but that is all that they need at this stage of the campaign. Their job is to not drop points and be fresh for the split.
That is also Juventus‘ job, but they were beaten 2-1 by an AC Milan side that does not really have anything to play for at this stage of the campaign as the European places look out of place. The major moment of the game was Lisa Boattin being sent off for a handball in the box, leading to a penalty that Martina Piemonte dispatched.
Milan then made their player advantage count with Lindsey Thomas adding a crucial second with 15 minutes to play. Linda Sembrant did pull one back for Juve in stoppage time but even they could not stop the defeat from coming.
With the lead now widening to eight points, Roma could afford to lose twice to Juventus when the league splits, as they have done already this season, but still win the title. That is on the assumption that both teams win all of their other games.
With Fiorentina and Inter both winning again, it does mean that there is a bit of a UEFA Women’s Champions League qualification battle underway. Juventus and Fiorentina are now both on 34 points and Inter are on 32, so the split could bring some incredible drama.
There was a change at the foot of the table as Sampdoria lost 4-1 at home to Fiorentina and Parma picked up a point away at Pomigliano. There is just one point between the bottom four teams in Serie A Femminile.
Serie A Femminile Matchday 16 results
|Date||Serie A Femminile Results|
|Sat, Feb 4||Como 0-1 AS Roma|
|Sat, Feb 4||Sampdoria 1-4 Fiorentina|
|Sat, Feb 4||Juventus 1-2 AC Milan|
|Sat, Feb 4||Pomigliano 0-0 Parma|
|Sun, Feb 5||Inter 3-0 Sassuolo|
Serie A Femminile table after Matchday 16 games