24 April 2022
Juventus Women’s title push received a blow before setting off for Rome. Cristiana Girelli, Barbara Bonansea, Pauline Peyraud-Magnin and Annahita Zamanian were all unavailable after being tested positive for Covid-19. The weekend became even more complicated as kick off against Lazio was delayed half an hour due to the lack of an ambulance, as required by regulation, at the Formello training ground. After a tight first half, which finished 1-1, the Bianconere shifted up the gears after the interval to win 5-1, thanks to a double each from Sofie Pedersen and Arianna Caruso, with Andrea Staskova rounding off the scoring.
Midfield maestro Pedersen celebrated her birthday in the best way possible, with her first, and second goal, of the season. On 10 minutes, the Dane followed up Valentina Cernoia’s run and cross down the right flank to drive home from the edge of the penalty area after the ball had broken off Andrea Staskova. However, before taking the lead, Juventus had risked falling behind as early as the first minute, when Giulia Ferrandi smashed a free-kick off the crossbar.
A run from Sara Gama similar to Cernoia’s that set up the opening goal almost saw Juve double their advantage. Staskova collected the pass from Gama, spun quickly inside the area but could only watch as her shot hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced on the line to safety for the home defence.
Then Julia Grosso came close to her first goal in Serie A, but was thwarted by Stephanie Ohrstrom. The Lazio goalkeeper would prove decisive as the last line of defence heading into the break.
On 28 minutes, Lazio pulled level. Noemi Visintin eluded the Bianconere rearguard and on receiving the pass, calmly slotted her shot beyond Roberta Aprile.
Juventus regrouped and quickly set about restoring their advantage. First Lina Hurtig shot from a tight angle after excellent lead-up work from Lisa Boattin, then Staskova made space for herself inside the box. On both occasions, Ohrstrom made important saves to keep the teams level.
Juve set off after the break determined to find the goals that had escaped them before the half-time whistle. Three arrived in a 12-minute onslaught that put the result beyond doubt.
The lead was restored by Arianna Caruso. The midfielder’s seventh goal of the campaign came courtesy of a cut-back from Cernoia at the edge of the six-yard box. From that distance, Caruso gave Ohrstrom no chance.
Eight minutes later and it was goal number eight for Caruso. Again Cernoia played her part, with a long ball that was chased down by Hurtig. The winger displayed excellent awareness as she waited for reinforcements, which arrived in the shape of Caruso, who slammed the ball into the net.
Pedersen followed Caruso with a double of her own. Who else but Cernoia would deliver the assist, a floated cross, which Pedersen met unchallenged to head into the corner.
With 10 minutes to play, Staskova looked for a way through to put her own name on the scoresheet but was frustrated once again by Ohrstrom. The number 9 did get her goal though, tapping in a cross after a lightning counter attack on 87 minutes.
With two matches to play, Juventus maintained their six-point lead over nearest chasers Roma. Any scudetto celebrations are put on ice, however, as next week, the cup returns, with the final of Coppa Italia up for grabs in the semi-final second leg against Milan.
LAZIO 1-5 JUVENTUS (HT: 1-1)
SCORERS: 11’ & 64’ Pedersen (J), 28’ Visentin (L), 51’& 59’ Caruso (J), 87’ Staskova (J)
LAZIO: Ohrstrom; Pittaccio (87’ Groff), Foerdos, Falloni, Vigliucci; Castiello (77’ Cuschieri), Ferrandi, Heroum (62’ Pezzotti); Di Giammarino (62’ Le Franc); Fridlund (77’ Labate), Visentin.
Subs not used: Guidi, Natalucci, Savini, Santoro.
JUVENTUS: Aprile; Lundorf (77’ Panzeri), Gama, Sembrant (67’ Lenzini), Boattin; Caruso, Pedersen, Grosso (61’ Bonfantini); Cernoia (77’ Rosucci), Hurtig (67’ Nilden); Staskova.
Subs not used: Forcinella, Giai, Arcangeli, Beccari.