A.S Roma Ladies 4 Napoli Ladies 1FT
The Roma women had a beautiful start to the new campaign with their 3-0 victory against Empoli last Saturday, collecting a big three points and a clean sheet to get the new season underway. Going on the road against a team that did reasonably well last season in the league is nothing to sneeze at; this weekend, they attempted to keep things going eyeing another three points as they prepared for their home opener against Napoli. In what appears to be a very straightforward three points, the Coppa Italia winners would welcome a Napoli side that nearly survived relegation last season. Even though they have one or two players on the side that can be influential at home for the first time this season, Roma were heavy favorites. It was a performance of pure control and domination. Napoli struggled to get anything going against this Roma side with very few chances throughout the game; meanwhile, Roma went for the throat very early in the game and didn’t take the foot off the gas. Andressa Alves gave Romo a 1-0 lead, scoring from an impossible angle. This was only the beginning of what turned out to be a four-goal first half. Anna Serturini scoring the second goal following incredible ball movement and anticipation has Roma’s all-time leading scorer as another goal to the collection. Then it was Midfield Mastero Manuela Guliano hitting a cross out of the air into the back of the net to score Roma’s 3rd Napoli get a lucky moment off a corner to get a goal back before another superb counter-attack ends up in the fourth goal for Roma to end the first half. In the second half, the same Roma set back a little more and focused on control with the game already decided. Pirone hit the post in what could have been 5th goal for the home side as well as a few other chances, but Roma gets the job done in the first half as they just calmly see the game out to the Finish with a fantastic performance; it’s only two games, but this Roma team certainly appears different as they sit on the top of the pile through two games following a 4-1 Victory against Napoli.
Spagna appears to make a formation change from the win on Saturday. After operating out of the 4-2-3-1 formation last week, Roma goes forward with a more attacking Sentra 4-3-3 formation. In goal would be the Romanian Camellia Caesar. Roma would make some changes to the backline with the red card and suspension regarding Elena Linari. At left-back would be new signing Di Giugliano beside her would be the center-back partnership of Allison Swaby and Roma youngster Tecla Pettenuzzo then at right-back would be Roma captain Elisa Bartoli. In a much more attacking Midfield patrolling the Central Area would be Manuela Guliano, one of the very best midfielders in Italian football who did not play last weekend; getting a chance to put her in the starting lineup is essential for success this season. To her left would be Vanessa Bernauer, then on the opposite side would be Bernadetta Glionna, who had a terrific debut last weekend. On the left-wing would be Roma’s best player Anna Serturini then on the opposite side on the right-wing would be Andressa Alves, then upfront as Roma’s Central Striker would be the experienced Valeria Pirone.
After preparations and predictions, the match got underway in Rome at the Stadio Tre Fontane for the home opener of this new campaign. As I mentioned, Napoli fought relegation last season and is expected to fight for their lives yet again. The talent discrepancy between the two teams is quite large, so it’s no surprise regarding the level of domination we saw from the Roman women early in the game. They started fast and quick, and Napoli quite honestly had no answer for them. Dominated possession moved the ball with so much fluidity and accuracy that they controlled everything and dictated how the game was going to go. Roma did not have to wait very long to break the game open. Roma pushed forward, slinging the ball to Andressa Alves in the corner; the ball took a bounce, and with no hesitation, the Brazilian hit the ball out of the air and an impossible angle she hit this ball so accurately hit it at the exact point of her foot she needed to the ball shot up near the touchline above the defense Landing in the back of the net as the goalkeeper couldn’t do anything but just grab air getting herself no chance to save it. Fifteen minutes in Roma already have their lead; this was only the beginning. Quite honestly, one of the best goals we will see this season, and we are only in Matchday 2. Roma struck again two minutes later in the 19th minute Roma from their own Box Pettenuzzo threaded a beautiful ball to the Midfield as Manuela Guliano collected it before rifling through to Anna Serturini from inside the Box creating a one-on-one the Roma sharpshooter wasn’t going to let this one slip with a beautiful curler as she beat the goalkeeper with a beautifully connected strike all you could do is watch the ball rip through the bottom of the net as Roma took a 2-0 lead. Roma had scored in Rapid succession with goals in the 17th minute and the 19th minute; the rapid succession would only continue as they would score yet again but this time in the 21st minute Bernadetta Glionna who forced the two own goals in the first game, made her presence known once again took the ball on the outside pushing it forward before starting to cut into the Box sitting across from the wing Manuela Guliano took her cross out of the air the goalkeeper tried to get into it, but ultimately it reached the roof of the net as Roma took a 3-0 lead. The path was insanely accurate, and it had to be Manuela Guliano; it’s one of the best midfielders in the league, but she is Tiny; she’s not physically very big and is not going to have an opportunity to score goals like that very often she time to run perfectly giving her just enough space as the ball was threaded to her in midair before putting together a beautiful finished. Napoli just was out of depth against a team that was going to give them serious issues. Following that would be Arguably the most impressive team moments of the first half. It was the youngster once again setting things up as Pettenuzzo it’s a sensational ball into Anna who makes a cheeky One Touch pass dropping the ball upwards towards Andressa Alves Anna continued her run as she went to the corner retrieving the ball before slicing into the Box; unfortunately, Pirone couldn’t cash in even though they didn’t score the presence of Mind of Anna Serturini to make that pass and then get herself in position before trying to create a goal opportunity for Roma was one of the most impressive individual things we have seen from this game about 10 minutes later, Napoli got a rare chance, but we were able to convert on it. A corner kick that was cleared out only going back to the corner as a cross with a hit near the far post as a Goldoni got a head on it, giving Camellia caesar no chance as Napoli get one back. The score was now 3-1 lead. However, it was only a matter of time before Romo opened the Gap even further. Valeria Pirone, in the 45th minute, had the ball at her feet as the Napoli Defence was attacking her; she nearly loses possession but gets up from the ground and maintains it before whipping a beautiful pass just outside the Box, finding Glionna, who then catches Elisa Bartoli the Roma Captain find the bottom corner as they open up a 4-1 lead to end the first half. On the last goal, incredible fight and determination by Valeria finding the space to set up Glionna, who puts together her second assist of the first half as a Roma, take a big cushion into the second half.
Roma did most of the heavy lifting the first time and didn’t necessarily need to continue to pile it on. The approach to the game did not change all that much. They still were very aggressive as they continued to dominate the game. However, they did kind of change the game’s pace; they slowed it down a little more now than they were operating with a three-goal lead. Napoli had barely any of the ball, only 32% possession, meaning it would take something enormous for them even to concede. Slowing down the pace allowed Roma just to sit and control. However, despite the change of pace, Roma nearly scored on two other occasions. They came forward it just minutes in the second half, with Allison Swaby finding Glionna before a bad pass sets up Pirone, who was denied from point-blank range. About 5 minutes late, the Napoli defense made another horrific mistake passing out from the back straight to Glionna, who sent a ball into the box to find the veteran Striker attempts to pick out the top Corner, nearly finding the back of the neck. Still, her strike hits off the post a matter of inches away from making it five. Those were essentially the only two real noteworthy chances from Roma as the Roma end up seeing the game out, not having to do all that much in the second half to secure their victory. Roma grabs another three points with a 4-1 win against Napoli; they’ve only conceded one goal in their opening two games and have scored seven; it’s just been two games, but as it stands, they sit on top of the table.
As I said, Roma could not have hoped for a better start to the new campaign, winning their opening two games and not really struggling all that much in either. This summer’s incredible business that they did in the transfer market has proven to pay off with two really good performances. Napoli is not a particularly strong team, so you would expect something like this; however, last Season, Roma struggled with many teams near the bottom of the day and found it difficult to find consistency. It was a constant struggle to string Victory together; this is only the start of the Season there are only two games in, and I don’t think we can make any claims about what’s going to happen the rest of the campaign, but this looks very different in terms of performance. Spagna seems to have taken advantage of the talent that lies in front of him; Roma has had issues with the last couple of years. Even though Roma won the Copa Italia last year, beating Juventus on the way and AC Milan in the final, their league form wasn’t all that impressive, and they really struggled even to put themselves in the top five. Something that they very much want to change the Season. From a talent perspective, they have more than enough talent to put Juventus to the sword. Roma has never been in the Champions League before; the team is good enough to accomplish that. We have seen the progress in the opening two games. The exciting thing about this performance is the adjustments that were made. There was a formation change against Napoli, putting out a more attacking set up hoping that their attacking options would drown them out. They had to deal with a red card in a previous game by Elena Linari Angelic Soffia didn’t get the start either as they made some interesting adjustments. One that included 21-year old Pettenuzzo; she had an outstanding performance for a player that has not been a consistent figure for this Roma team. Defensively Roma had few issues at the beginning but outside of that really kind of control themselves. I found the most impressive about her was how she constantly pushed the ball forward into attacking positions; for a 21-year-old to play like that, there should be a certain level of optimism about the young talent this team has. I was thoroughly impressed with how many times counter-attacking football started with a brilliant pass on the back. Roma did all this without two of their best defenders. Everyone seemed to be constantly on the same page Anna Serturini Andressa Alves, and Benedetta Glionna all chipped in and made the Roma attack extremely lethal. They dominated this game from start to finish. Manuela Guliano in the starting lineup was very influential in a lot of what they were able to do, especially in the middle of the park, creating chances and putting the Napoli defense under pressure. Women of the match on Saturday is a tough one to pick because so many different players contributed, not to mention Andressa Alves opening goal was just out of this world. I am not going to let my friendship with Anna be the reason I take her for a woman of the match, but once again, she was spectacular, scoring a nice goal on the counter-attack, and the movement of the way she played was exceptional. Like I said before, the best part of this whole game was a goal they didn’t score. Anna makes that one touch and then goes on a run, ultimately setting up a goalscoring opportunity. I think her movement and execution will make her some player this Season. I’ve said this before, and I’ll repeat it Anna is the second-best player in Serie A the way she can operate and affect the game and multiple ways just shows her incredible value to this team. It was a collective performance, but I thought Anna was deserving. Seeing how everything clicks together, especially with the new signing getting two assists in the first half forcing two goals in The Opening match, Glionna has been such an impact so far this Season; by the end of the campaign, Juventus will be kicking themselves for making that deal. Roma currently sits at the top of the table through two games; nothing is proven, but I’ll tell you one thing this Roma team is coming.