07 May 2022
Juventus Women took the final step to reclaiming the Serie A title, the fifth in as many seasons, with a 3-1 victory over Sassuolo. The Bianconere had a two-goal lead at half time after Cristiana Girelli had added to Barbara Bonansea’s opener. Although Sassuolo scored just after the interval, Lisa Boattin put the question beyond doubt with goal number three, and league title number five.
In front of a sold-out Ricky & Ale Stadium at Vinovo, Joe Montemurro fielded his strongest Starting XI in search of the result that would reward the team with a fifth scudetto, his first in his debut season. Sassuolo had dropped off the pace in the hunt for the title only over the last two months, and arrived in Turin determined to impose their game on the Bianconere.
The visitors closed down the spaces in the opening exchanges, and then began to take the game to Juventus, without creating any problems for the Bianconere rearguard. Springing out of defence in the 24th minute, Juve cut through the Sassuolo midfield all the way to the final pass which released Barbara Bonansea in on goal. Only the timely interception of Diede Lemey, racing off her line, denied the winger a sight on goal.
However, Bonansea wouldn’t be denied, and after half an hour eased any Bianconere nerves. Cristiana Girelli played the through-ball, which invited Bonansea to outstrip the Sassuolo defence for pace. Bearing in on goal, with the outside of the boot she flicked the ball beyond Lemey into the net.
Half an hour on the clock and Juve were in the lead.
Girelli then turned goal maker to goal scorer. Valentina Cernoia’s cross went beyond everybody and struck the post. First to react to the rebound was the number 10, who tapped in from close range.
Before Girelli’s goal, Arianna Caruso came close twice to finding the net, but came even closer at 2-0, when an acrobatic volley from the midfielder crashed off the crossbar. Juventus took their two goal lead into the break.
THREE POINTS FOR THE TITLE
Immediately after the interval, Sassuolo forced themselves back into the game. Michela Cambiaghi created space for a shot, which took a deflection on its way past Pauline Peyraud-Magnin.
Juventus remained composed despite seeing their lead halved, and pressed forward in a bid to restore their two-goal cushion, with Bonansea, Girelli and Caruso all coming close.
An extra body was needed in attack to make the difference, and who other than Lisa Boattin could provide that guile in front of goal. So when Caruso chased down a Cernoia cross and recycled possession for Bonansea, the arrival of Boattin in the penalty area was timed to perfection as she strode on to the pass rolled into her path to send the ball flying into the back of the net.
Montemurro kept the team’s attention high by using the talent available to him on the bench, and one of the substitutes Annahita Zamanian came closest to adding another goal. First, an attempt was tipped onto the crossbar by Lemey and the goalkeeper again denied the midfielder her first goal in Serie A in the closing minutes.
Closing minutes played mainly in the Sassuolo half as the clock ticked down to the final whistle. And when the whistle was blown, the celebrations began on the pitch as Juventus became the first team to win the Women’s Serie A five years in succession.
JUVENTUS 3-1 SASSUOLO (HT: 2-0)
SCORERS: 30’ Bonansea (J), 36’ Girelli (J), 48’ Cambiaghi (S), 64’ Boattin (J)
Peyraud-Magnin; Lenzini (67’ Hyyrynen), Gama, Sembrant, Boattin (74’ Nilden); Pedersen (74’ Grosso), Rosucci, Caruso (67’ Zamanian); Bonansea, Girelli, Cernoia (78’ Staskova).
Subs not used: Aprile, Forcinella, Lundorf, Bonfantini.
Lemey; Pellinghelli (46’ Bugeja), Dongus, Filangeri, Brignoli (70’ Da Canal); Dubcova, Mihashi, Parisi (83’ Iriguchi); Pondini, Cambiaghi (84’ Ferrato), Clelland (70’ Mak).
Subs not used: Lugli, Lauria, Pede.