16 December 2021
History was made at the Allianz Stadium on Thursday evening as Juventus Women overcame Swiss rivals Servette 4-0 to reach the quarter-finals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League for the very first time.
Knowing victory would ensure they advanced into the last eight of the competition, the Bianconere asserted themselves from the start. By far the dominant team, Juventus bossed possession in the early stages, looking threatening especially down the right with Martina Rosucci and Barbara Bonansea looking to make early inroads.
And it would be the latter who would provide the assist for the game’s opener just 12 minutes in: a well-worked free-kick was played smartly through to an unmarked Bonansea on the right, her floated cross met with a fine first-time hit by Lina Hurtig who volleyed the Bianconere into the lead.
Hurtig almost doubled the advantage minutes later, the Swedish forward played through on goal as her shot strayed just wide of the goalkeeper’s left-hand upright.
Eight minutes after the first, Juventus would have their second, the ever-skillful Lisa Boattin illegally brought down in the box as goal-machine Cristiana Girelli stepped up and made no mistake from the spot, firing home to double the hosts’ lead.
The Bianconere attack was relentless: in quick succession, Boattin shot over the bar, Arianna Caruso just missed the target and Sofie Pedersen forced a save from the keeper as Juve continued to pepper the Servette goal.
Girelli came agonisingly close to her second from another set-piece, this time from a free-kick which clipped cross bar, Juventus not laying off in their search for more while restricting their opponents, who failed to register a shot on target in the first half.
Servette would finally get a shot on target ten minutes into the second stanza, but Élodie Nakkach’s shot from range was easily plucked out of the air by an alert Pauline Peyraud-Magnin.
Yet it would be the Bianconere to find the back of the net once again, yet again from the spot, and yet again through top-scorer Girelli: the Italian fired past shot-stopper Ines Pereira for the second time from 12 yards after Hurtig was adjudged to have been fouled in the Servette box.
Thereafter the pace of the game slowed down, the Bianconere having done the hard work early on and therefore able to take their foot off the gas somewhat to manage the last half-hour of play.
Having played five matches in the space of two weeks, coach Joe Montemurro brought on a number of substitutes in the closing stages to see out the game, including Tuija Hyyrynen for her 100th Bianconere appearance, becoming just the fourth player in the club’s history to reach this milestone.
Keeping it controlled at the back and not being too adventurous going forward, Juventus would however still add another on the stroke of full-time, substitute Agnese Bonfantini weaving through the defense before unleashing an unstoppable left-footed strike to truly begin the Bianconere celebrations.
In the end, it was a solid and comfortable 4-0 victory, the three points earning the home side a historic spot in the quarter-finals of this year’s Women’s Champions League, as the Bianconere’s European dream continues.
“Tonight there was a bit of tiredness, but the girls were able to manage it and achieve the goal we had set for ourselves. Now I don't want to talk about the future of the tournament, but I think we can go on, I've always believed in it: it's not over here. This match will also be a boost for future challenges, starting on Sunday in the Italian Cup. There is great management by all the staff and great availability from all the girls."
“A very special evening, to have achieved this result is incredible, as is also to have scored a goal. Now our future? The next match."
“We give ourselves a purpose and work as a team, we are now looking forward to the draw with great impatience, because we believe we are up to the competition. For us this is a dream, but we want to continue."
“We all played together, with the heart, as always. An incredible evening, I also reached my 100 appearances in Juventus, these are really beautiful emotions. I thank the whole team, we are a fantastic group.”
JUVENTUS 4-0 SERVETTE (HT: 2-0)
SCORERS: Hurtig 12’, Girelli 20’, 64’, Bonfantini 90’
Juventus: Peyraud-Magnin, Lundorf (Hyyrynen 65’), Lenzini, Salvai, Boattin (Nilden 76’), Rosucci, Pedersen (Staskova 80’), Caruso (Zamanian 65’), Bonansea, Girelli, Hurtig (Bonfantini 75’)
Unused substitutes: Aprile, Gama, Cernoia, Giai, Pfattner.
Servette: Pereira, Soulard (Redondo 88’), Felber (Tamplin 79’) Spalti, Mendes (Bourma 89’), Tufo (Fleury 31’), Padilla-Bidas, Maendly, Lagonia (Gimenez 79’), Nakkach, Boho
Unused substitute: Droz.