Even off their best, Juventus will take some stopping


STADIO ARTEMIO FRANCHI (Florence) – Juventus just find a way. The Bianconere went away to Fiorentina on Sunday evening to take on La Viola knowing that – after AC Milan, Sassuolo and Roma had all won – they really couldn’t afford to drop points, even at this still-early stage of Round 2 of the Serie A Femminile season.

It seems ridiculous and premature to say that dropped points in Tuscany might have spelled disaster for Joe Montemurro’s side, but given that they won the title last season by winning every single game they played and were still pushed relatively close by Milan, it really isn’t an exaggeration.

The 3-0 scoreline at the Franchi suggests a comfortable 90 minutes, but it took until the 37th for Juventus to take the lead, and they might well have been locked at 0-0 at half time had it not been for a slice of good fortune for that allowed Barbara Bonasea to go through on Sabrina Tasselli’s goal. Ice cold as ever in front of goal, there was no surprise that the No.11 finished with ease into the corner.

From there it was hard to see a way back for La Viola, despite how stubbornly well they had held their shape before falling behind. Venturing forward had proven more of a challenge though, and falling behind just before the break had them deflated, and their heads dropped.

Juventus have won four straight Serie A Femminile titles, and they’ve done that by taking no prisoners – as was seen in last season’s record of 22 wins from 22 played domestically, only losing a Coppa Italia semi-final first leg to eventual winners Roma. Fiorentina had one chance – if even that – to level. It was a half-chance really, and within 30 seconds of letting it slip the visitors’ lead had doubled through Bonasea again.

Valentina Cernoia would go on to seal the win with a gorgeous free-kick late on, adding more gloss to the result.

Familiar foes

Fiorentina would have known what they were readying to face before taking to the pitch at the Franchi on Sunday, and they can’t have been overly pleased to see both Bonasea and Cristiana Girelli named in Montemurro’s XI.

Prior to the game, the pair were the Juventus players to have scored the most goals against La Viola with the Bianconere on four apiece, with Bonasea now comfortably out in front on six.

Deserving of the big stage

Juventus boss Joe Montemurro spoke in the build-up to Sunday about the game being played at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, taking advantage of the men’s international break, expressing his hope for more games to be played in Italy’s more recognisable grounds.

“We want it to be something more common for women’s football,” Montemurro said. “The girls deserve the big stadiums. It has to be a spectacle, and both television [coverage] and stadiums are important.”

Juventus have shown over the last year – or four – that they warrant the biggest stage available. With Montemurro in charge, they’ll be hoping to hit even higher highs than Rita Guarino had managed. Following a perfect Serie A season, Montemurro knows that he’s got his work cut out in Turin.


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