It is always a lovely quirk of the fixture list when a major derby is played in both the men’s and women’s games on either the same weekend or one after the other. That is what we have with the Derby della Madonnina, or the Milan Derby, between Inter and AC Milan.
As the men gear up for their showdown on Sunday night at San Siro, the women faced off knowing that a win would be huge for reaching what is essentially now the end goal for both teams; finishing third in Serie A Femminile.
It was not one to remember for AC Milan, though as they were comprehensively beaten yet again by an impressive Inter side.
Inter look a genuine force, AC Milan are drifting
Inter have certainly been a better team than their city rivals so far this season but the form meant there was a slight hope for Milan that they could get revenge for the 4-0 defeat they suffered earlier in the campaign.
Inter had dropped points at home to Como the weekend before, whilst Milan had just recorded a third straight league victory, albeit against teams at the bottom of the table. That hope was swiftly dashed when Ghoutia Karchouni swung in one of her perfect corners after just a minute of play and after being dropped by Laura Giuliani, Irene Santi was on hand to prod it home.
That immediately set the tone and Tabitha Chawinga spied her chance to have some fun, as she has done all season long. Just over 10 minutes, Chawinga latched onto a Karchouni pass from midfield and after bringing the ball under control and shrugging off Valentina Bergamaschi, she finished superbly from an angle past Giuliani.
Under Maurizio Ganz in the past two seasons, Milan have never looked like a team that can collectively pick themselves up from the disappointment of going 2-0 down in 15 minutes against Inter. They do have some superb individual players though. That’s why on the half-hour mark, Martina Piemonte hit a superb low shot into the bottom corner and there was renewed hope for the Rossonere.
The crossroads came just before the break when the usually reliable Kosovare Asllani missed a great chance in the box to make it 2-2. That is the moment that Milan will look back at and wonder whether it could have been a very different afternoon.
The second half began with Karchouni getting her own deserved goal after Giuliani struggled to keep her free-kick out, and the points were secured by Chawinga nonchalantly back-heeling the ball into the net after Giuliani had failed to smother the ball.
In between those two goals, Asllani saw a penalty saved superbly by Francesca Durante, but the Rossonere already looked dead and buried by then.
Getting ahead of Fiorentina and finishing third is likely the best that Inter can do this season under Rita Guarino, but that is a serious improvement on last season and certainly plants the seed for them to be closer to Juventus and AS Roma next season, perhaps treating us to a three-team title race as long as the group is kept together.
As for Milan, it almost feels as if everyone linked to the club wants Ganz gone, except for those that make the decisions. In Bergamaschi, Asllani, Piemonte, Kamila Dubcova, Christy Grimshaw and Lindsey Thomas, there is some superb talent in the team. It seems they’ll be consigned to fifth place under Ganz, though.
A huge result for Parma, wins for the top two
The relegation battle in Serie A Femminile took another twist at the weekend and it looks as though it could go all the way to the wire. Parma have been three or four points adrift for many weeks now, but they got the all-important three points against Como with a 1-0 win.
American striker Mia Corbin came on at half-time for the Gialloblu and she netted within three minutes of her debut. That was the only goal and now Parma are just one point away from Sampdoria. With Pomigliano on 13, Como and Sassuolo on 11, Samp on 10 and Parma on nine, it promises to be a thrilling relegation battle.
At the top, it was business as usual with Juventus beating Sampdoria 5-0 and AS Roma impressively beating Sassuolo by the same scoreline. Both sides appear set to win all their games until they face each other again once the league splits. The gap is currently five points with three games until the split.
The other result on Matchday 15 saw Fiorentina keep third place with a 2-0 win over Pomigliano.
Serie A Femminile Matchday 15 results
|Date||Serie A Femminile Results|
|Saturday, Jan 28||Fiorentina 2-0 Pomigliano|
|Saturday, Jan 28||AC Milan 1-4 Inter|
|Sunday, Jan 29||Juventus 5-0 Sampdoria|
|Sunday, Jan 29||Parma 1-0 Como|
|Sunday, Jan 29||AS Roma 5-0 Sassuolo|
Serie A Femminile table after Matchday 15