Given that the men’s team have fallen into some kind of pseudo-Groundhog Day situation where they play out the exact same game against different opponents every week, we’ve been able to do some streamlining here at Viola Nation and have drafted out the coverage of the remaining 27 1-1 draws we’re going to have to endure before the end of the season ahead of time. Copy and pasting the same story of the team throwing away a lead may not have been the most enjoyable way to spend an evening, but it’s freed up a lot of time for us to cover some actually interesting football over the next year. And if it’s interesting football you’re after, there’s no better place to look than our women’s team. So without further ado here’s a brief recap of the last month for Fiorentina Women's FC.
With their fixture list congested Fiorentina only faced two Serie A opponents last month.
First up came a trip to Chievo Verona. The hosts set up to defend from the start but couldn’t keep the Fiorentina attack out for long, as Tatania Bonetti broke the deadlock 20 minutes into the game, heading a Patrizia Caccamo cross in at the back post. Even after going behind, Chievo showed little interest in attacking the Fiorentina back four, and their passivity allowed the visitors to pile on the pressure with new signing Lana Clelland adding two more to the scoreline before the half. The home team started the second half with a little more intent to their play, but struggled to find a way to get the ball into the Fiorentina box. La Viola, in contrast, were still creating chances at will, and eight minutes into the second half, a completely unmarked Bonetti scored a second header. With the results very clearly decided all that was left was for Clelland and Bonetti to fight over who would take home the match ball, with the Italian winning out, completing a hattrick 65 minutes in. Fiorentina noticeably took the foot off the gas for the final 25 minutes, played out with very few chances for either team, as la Viola walked home a win against a Chievo team that looked below the standard on the day.
Final score: Fiorentina 5-0 Chievo Verona Valpo (Bonetti x3, Clelland x2)
Next up came a trip to an in-form Sassuolo side. Whilst the Reggio-Emilia outfit came out with a far clearer desire to attack than Chievo, their efforts saw the same result in the first half of play as a more defensive Fiorentina line up suffocated their creative players. Whilst Fiorentina were creating chances from open play, they failed to produce anything that Sassuolo ‘keeper Gaelle Thalmann couldn’t handle. A breakthrough would come though, as 26 minutes into the game captain Alia Guagni found the back of the net after a botched clearance from a corner fell straight to her feet. Corners would prove to be a major issue for the home side, and a more clinical Fiorentina could have put the game to bed with two more poor attempted clearances leading to chances for the visitors. In truth Sassuolo came out of the break the better team, but couldn’t find the final ball into the box they needed to have a chance of winning the game, instead resorting to long distance shots that invariable went over the bar or down the throat of ‘keeper Stephanie Ohrstrom. Fiorentina were denied a second half penalty when Ilaria Mauro was tripped from behind whilst one-on-one with the ‘keeper, but managed to put the game to bed with 75 minutes gone; Guagni again scoring from a corner, though this time in far more impressive fashion as she rose above a far larger cb to head the ball into the top corner.
Final score: Fiorentina 2-0 (Guagni x2)
The biggest game of last month saw Fiorentina face Serie A holders Juventus for the Supercoppa. Despite going into the game as favourites, Juventus were the slower team to start and the first fifteen minutes saw Fiorentina go close to taking the lead once through Clelland and then again through Bonetti, though both couldn’t quite get the beating of Laura Giuliani in the Juventus net. The biancenere grew into the game though, and Eni Aluko and Barbara Bonasea both came close to giving their team the lead but were denied by Ohrstrom and the woodwork respectively.
Juventus dominated the second half, and without a spell of Ohrstrom heroics would probably have taken the game in the first ten minutes of the second half. However, it was Fiorentina who would take the lead as Lana Clelland broke past the defensive line and played a ball across goal to Mauro who calmly converted 65 minutes in. Whilst trying to hold onto a lead for 25 minutes in a big game can often lead to jitteriness and mistakes from a back line, Fiorentina showed consummate professionalism in seeing out the game, adapting a more defensive shape and keeping the ball away from their own box to see out a win.
Final score: Fiorentina 1-0 Juventus (Mauro)
For the second year in a row, Fiorentina exited the Champions League at the hands of one of the tournament favourites. After last year bowing out against eventual runners up Wolfsburg, la Viola were hoping for a kinder draw in this year’s round of sixteen, that would not be the case though as the team were scheduled to play English champions Chelsea. La Viola were in all truth outclassed for all 180 minutes of the two-legged fixture, leaving London with a 1-0 loss that by all rights should have been far greater, though Stephanie Ohrstrom produced a goalkeeping masterclass to keep the score respectable. The same did not happen in the second leg, as Chelsea, led by a Fran Kirby hattrick, routed the home side 6-0.
Final score: Fiorentina 0 (0)-(1) 7 Chelsea (Carney, Spence, Kirby x3, Cuthbert, Bachmann)
November sees Fiorentina play three more Serie A fixtures, the first of which against Tavagnacco has already been played and finished in a 2-0 win for Fiorentina. Still to come is an away trip to mid-table Verona and a home game against Juventus. The Turin outfit currently sit second with one point more than Fiorentina (though with one more game played) and both teams will need to come out looking for all three points if they hope to catch the undefeated Milan who currently sit top.