22 October 2022
Juventus lost their unbeaten start to the season with a 4-3 defeat at Milan in Serie A Matchday 7.
The league meeting with the Rossonere arrived in between the opening two Champions League group matches. As a consequence, Joe Montemurro made best use of his deep squad, resting Pauline Peyraud-Magnin and Lisa Boattin in defence, and Cristiana Girelli and Barbara Bonansea in attack, although the latter was actually left out as a precaution after complaining of a muscle tweak.
The first half exploded into life with two goals in as many minutes, not once, but twice.
Route one football worked to effect for Milan when they took the lead on 24 minutes. Laura Giuliani cleared long through the middle, a flick-on from Martina Piemonte allowed the pace of Kosovare Asllani to get in behind the Bianconere backline and slot the ball past Roberta Aprile.
A moment’s disattention later and Juve found themselves trailing by two. A cross from the right was not dealt with effectively by Matilde Lundorf. Asllani took full advantage with her second goal in as many minutes.
Six minutes later there was another moment when defences switched off, at both ends.
A free-kick crossed in by Valentina Cernoia was cleared only as far as Agnese Bonfantini, who lashed her shot into the top corner. However, Milan raced straight back up the pitch and Piemonte sprinted beyond the Juve defensive line before picking her spot beyond Aprile.
Although two goals down at the break, Juve had created enough in the opening 45 minutes to know that the game was far from over.
Juve tried to play their way back into contention. Sofia Cantore called Giuliani into action with a header, then Arianna Caruso waltzed through the Milan defence before her shot was blocked at the edge of the six-yard area.
Then what would emerge as the killer blow. On 62’ minutes Milan found their fourth when a corner kick arrived across the face of goal. The fastest to react was Małgorzata Mesjasz, who had only to touch the ball into the unguarded net.
However, it was still not over. Another tap-in gave Juve a second lease of life. Sustained pressure on the visitors’ goal led to a Sara Gunnarsdóttir cross being touched home on the goalline by Cristiana Girelli with 19 minutes of normal time to play.
The same two players combined for the game’s seventh goal, but Girelli’s header arrived in the final minute of stoppages, too late to avoid the first setback of the campaign.
Despite defeat, the battling spirit never faded, an element that will be called on in midweek with the arrival of European champions Lyon to the Allianz Stadium.
"We didn't play at our level, we made too many mistakes and Milan deserved it. Now we will study Lyon, prepare for the match and make sure we are mentally ready. Now we'll see what team we are. Let's see how the squad reacts to this defeat. Girelli and Bonansea? I chose not to let Cristiana play from the first minute, a tactical choice linked both to mental freshness and to the management of a player who's coming back from injury and who played 80 minutes a few days ago, and on Thursday we have a very important game. Barbara was honest, she told me that she would not be able to give 100% and we decided to give her some rest so that she is ready for Thursday."
MILAN 4-3 JUVENTUS WOMEN (HT: 3-1)
SCORERS: 24’ & 25’ Asllani (M), 31’ Bonfantini (J), 32’ Piemonte (M), 62′ Mesjasz (M), 71′ & 90’+5 Girelli (J)
MILAN: Giuliani; Arnadottir, Fusetti, Mesjasz; Soffia (59′ Thrige), Grimshaw, Adami, Dubcova, Bergamaschi; Piemonte (84′ Tucceri Cimini), Asllani (73′ Thomas). Subs not used: Carage, Dubcova M., Babb, Zanini, Beka. Coach: Ganz.
JUVENTUS: Aprile; Lundorf (56′ Boattin), Gama, Sembrant, Nilden; Rosucci (63′ Gunnarsdóttir), Pedersen, Caruso (63′ Grosso); Cernoia (56′ Duljan), Cantore (65′ Girelli), Bonfantini. Subs not used: Forcinella, Lenzini, Salvai, Zamanian. Coach: Montemurro.
BOOKINGS: 35′ Adami (M), 57’ Asllani (M).