There was no better way for Juventus Women to confirm top spot in the standings heading into the New Year, than with a 5-1 win today at Vinovo against Hellas Verona.
The game was totally dominated from start to finish by the Bianconere, with Eniola Aluko getting a hat-trick, with goals also coming from Barbara Bonansea and Benedetta Glionna.
However, despite the final score the game opened with Hellas on the front foot, as after a minute Laura Giuliani was forced to commit a foul on the edge of the box, with the resulting free-kick palmed onto the crossbar by the Bianconere number one. Juve would then go up the other end and take the lead on the first attack, with Aluko teeing up Bonansea to slot in after just six minutes. Bonansea would then return the favour just three minutes later, playing in the number nine to make it 2-0.
A great pass from Valentina Cernoia sent Bonansea free on the left-hand side and she was able to square the ball for Aluko to tap home and hand Juventus a 3-0 lead going into half-time. The Bianconere continued as they began, with substitute, Glionna marking her midweek "Golden Girl" award with a stunning strike outside the box just three minutes into the second half.
Verona pulled a goal back 10 minutes from time via Eva Dupuy, but then in the 85th minute a burst forward from Aluko allowed her to round the goalkeeper and put the ball in the back of the net to complete a hat-trick and seal a 5-1 win.
Cecilia Salvai: "Our goal was to remain in first place and finish the year as we started it. It's too bad we conceded one, but we are happy and our approach to this game was good."
Coach Rita Guarino: "We leave 2018 behind top of the standings, and that is very important because it gives you confidence. Our path so far has been extraordinary, last season as was predictable we had some difficult moments, but once again the team came through. Then this season we had a new players and not many games under our belts, but once again faced with difficulties, we regrouped and gave everything that we had. Our perseverance has been constant throughout 2018."