After a busy October, Fiorentina faced just three opponents through the month of November.
First up came a home fixture against a Tavagnacco side who’ve been amongst the lowest-scoring teams in the league since losing Lana Clelland to Fiorentina last Summer. The first half of the game saw both sides struggle to create chances, with the away side sitting back and absorbing pressure, until a perfectly weighted Ilaria Mauro pass carved through the Friulian back line and found Davina Philtjens who fired into the roof of the net to give Fiorentina the lead.
Despite trailing, Tavagnacco continued to play in an extremely defensive manner, rarely managing to get the ball into the Fiorentina box, but keeping to a deep and well-structured shape which made it difficult for the home team to create dangerous chances in or around around their box. The rigidity of the away side’s formation however allowed the Viola midfield as much time as they could ask for on the ball, and the midfield pair of Greta Adami and Alice Parisi took turns floating balls over the backline. One such ball from Adami would set up Fiorentina’s second goal, finding the run of Alia Guagni who beat ‘keeper Alessia Piazza.
Final Score: Fiorentina 2-0 Tavagnacco (Philtjens, Guagni)
The second game of the month saw Fiorentina travel to Verona. Having already routed Chievo 5-0 in late October, the team were hoping to return from Verona with three points for the second time in less than a month.
The first 25 minutes of play were far more open than had been the case against Tavagnacco, but neither team broke the deadlock, despite a fantastic effort from Adami which forced an even better save from 17-year old Camilla Forcinella in the Verona net. Forcinella’s youth showed minutes later though as the inexperienced ‘keeper ran out of her box to collect a long ball, but was beaten to the spot by Clelland who calmly knocked the ball around her and finished into an open goal. Ten minutes later the lead was doubled by Mauro who beat her marker to head the ball inches past Forcinella’s hands and into the goal from extremely close range after a corner ball. A visibly deflated Chievo Verona team would concede again before the half, allowing Clelland far too much time on the edge of the box to pick out a wide open Valery Vigilucci in the centre of the six-yard box for her first Serie A goal since 2015.
Verona came out of the break with a sense of determination that had been absent from their play since the first goal and looked like a team who believed they could salvage something from the game. Early in the second half they were kept in the match by Forcinella, who stopped an Adami penalty (which in truth shouldn’t have been given) and denied Tatiana Bonetti from close range in quick succession, but la Viola would break through though after another close range save fell to the feet of Bonetti, and Forcinella was unable to react quickly enough to the second effort.
The home team bagged a pair of consolation goals in quick succession, the first being taken by substitute Sara Baldi, who left Francesca Durante flat-footed in the Fiorentina goal as she found the bottom corner from outside the box, and the second by Laura Rus who capitalised on a rare spell of sloppy defending by Fiorentina to create space for herself at the back post and slot the ball in.
Any hopes of a comeback were soon killed however, as Bonetti stole the ball on the half way line before playing Clelland through one-on-one with the Scottish international once again finding the net. As the game drew to a close Bonetti played a ball behind the Verona line catching everyone on both sides but Clelland unawares and providing Lana with another one-on-one and her first hat-trick in purple.
Final Score: Fiorentina 6-2 Verona (Clelland x3, Mauro, Vigilucci, Bonetti; Piazza, Rus)
The final game of the month saw Juventus arrive at the Gino Bozzi. With both teams having already lost to Milan, three points were imperative for them if they hoped to keep the gap between themselves and the current Serie A leaders as small as possible.
When the two sides met in the Supercoppa final last season, Fiorentina arguably had the better of the luck, but the same could not be said of the league meeting.
Juventus took the lead 10 minutes in, after an overhit corner found its way onto the knee of Juventus’ Cristiana Girelli who did incredibly well to put the ball over the head of Stephanie Ohrstrom and into the goal.
The home team came close to a response twice in the first half, but Guagni failed to beat Laura Giuliani at the near post, when she might have been better advised to pass to Philtjens in the centre of the box, and Clelland couldn’t reach a drilled cross towards the end of the half and as such the hosts went in down a goal.
Juventus would come out of the break looking the more likely team to score, and their pressure paid off twenty minutes into the half after the officials failed to give what looked a clear offside against Barbara Bonasea, who was lucky to see a rather poor shot bounce off Ohrstrom’s leg and into the goal.
The circumstances in which Juventus’ two goals came may have been somewhat fortuitous but it would be hard to argue their play didn’t merit their lead, and even as the match drew closer to its end and Fiorentina pushed forward in greater and greater numbers, the biancenere’s defence (who’ve kept 6 clean sheets in their first 8 league matches) never looked likely to let the lead slip.
Final score: Fiorentina 0-2 Juventus (Girelli, Bonasea)
Fiorentina open December with two fixtures against newly promoted neighbours Florentia first in the league and then in the round of 16 in the Coppa Italia. Both matches will have something of a familiar feel to them with no less than 7 of the Florentia regulars being ex-Fiorentina players.
After that the team face a visit from Bergamo-based relegation candidates Orobica, before ending the year against mid-table outfit Roma.