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Focus on Fiorentina Femminile

A great start to the new season and Roma are up next

AC Milan v ACF Fiorentina - Women Serie A Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Fiorentina are top of the league! It’s been a while since we’ve been able to say that, and although it is early days with just three games played, this season is already looking to be a lot more promising than the last.

Since the Covid-hit campaign of 2019/20, Fiorentina have struggled to maintain the standards they had set up until then. 2020/21 saw them lose their Champions League place as they slipped to fourth in the table and last season was even more disappointing as we ended the campaign in seventh spot. That had seen the arrival of Patrizia Panico on the Viola bench, as Antonio Cincotta moved on to Sampdoria.

There had also been a lot of changes in the playing personnel, as the likes of Stéphanie Öhrström, Greta Adami, Frederikke Thøgersen, and Lana Clelland all left. Louise Quinn and Tessel Middag were also gone after just one season at the club, and in December Martina Piemonte moved to Milan. Even the arrival of Verónica Boquete and Valentina Giacinti in the winter transfer window did little to change the side’s fortunes.

Giacinti has since signed for Roma, while Boquete remained in Florence. Cláudia Neto and Valery Vigilucci may have left but we have seen the return of both Alice Parisi, and Laura Agard, who suffered an injury in the second game. There are plenty of new faces around the squad with the arrival of players such as: the Hungarian midfielder Zsanett Kaján, scorer of three goals in the opening three games:

AC Milan v ACF Fiorentina - Women Serie A Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Alexandra Jóhannsdóttir from Iceland:

Former Napoli and Roma defender Kaja Eržen, also a Slovenian international player:

AC Milan v ACF Fiorentina - Women Serie A Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Milica Mijatović from Serbia, scorer of three goals for Roma in seven games last season and who netted our opening goal this season:

Two American players have also signed with the club, defender Jazmin Jackmon and striker Jenna Menta.

Fiorentina were faced with a tough opening fixture, away to Milan, but were 3-0 up at the break. Mijatović opened the scoring and Kaján scored the other two, the new signings settling in quickly. Milan did pull one back in the second half, but a 3-1 win was a great way to start the season.

This was followed by our first home game, with the team now playing at the Stadio Comunale Pietro Torrini. Newly promoted Como were the visitors, and Fiorentina were 2-0 up after 15 minutes. Jackmon and Boquete were the scorers, and while Como did score before the break, the Viola held on to claim maximum points again.

Last weekend saw another home game, with the arrival of new club Parma who had taken over Empoli’s place in Serie A. It took Fiorentina just three minutes to take the lead with Kaján converting a penalty after a foul on Michela Catena. Former Viola Melania Martinovic levelled for Parma nine minutes after the break, but three minutes later it was one of the now veterans of the squad, Catena, who grabbed the winner. Margherita Monnecchi’s effort came back off the crossbar and Catena was there to tap it home.

Daniela Sabatino, for now reduced to a substitute role, had a chance late on to secure the win, but was unable to beat Capelletti when through on goal. Fiorentina again held out for the win, to see them claim maximum points from their opening three games.

They find themselves top of the table, alongside Cincotta’s Sampdoria. They sit two points ahead of Inter and Juventus, the title holders held to a 3-3 draw by Inter, and it’s rare to see the normally dominant champions drop points so early in the season. Roma are a further point back, and they are Fiorentina’s next opponents. The Viola travel to the capital this Saturday, and they face a side who also beat Milan this season and went down narrowly to Juventus last weekend and also had Manuela Giugliano sent off.

Roma finished as runners-up last season, which saw them qualify for the Champions League for the first time. They saw off Glasgow City, with Benedetta Glionna scoring twice in a 3-1 win and then won on penalties against Paris FC. They’re now up against Sparta Prague in a two-legged tie to qualify for the group stage. Tonight, they won the away leg 2-1, coming from behind and a goal from Norwegian forward Emilie Haavi in the final minute gave them the vital winner.

Along with the signing of Giacinti, they have also bolstered their squad with the likes of Norma Cinotti and Cecilia Prugna from Empoli, and Moeka Minami of Japan. They have the former Fiorentina players Elisa Bartoli and Elena Linari still in their side, along with Benedetta Glionna, Andressa Alves, Annamaria Serturini, and Manuela Giugliano. A talented squad, and this will be Fiorentina’s toughest test yet this season.

The Viola, however, will go into the game high on confidence, something which was definitely lacking last season. Roma may also be less fresh after their trip to Prague on Wednesday, and hopefully will have one eye on the return leg next Thursday. Fiorentina did record a 3-0 win over Roma in a pre-season friendly.

This is an historic season for women’s football in Italy, with the long-awaited arrival of professionalism to Serie A. It’s seen the league reduced to ten teams and also brings a new format into play. After all teams have played each other home and away, the league will be split into two, with teams keeping the points they have earned. The top five will then play each other home and away to decide the league title, while the bottom five will do the same in a relegation battle. Fiorentina’s good start gives them a real fighting chance of being in that top group when the first half of the season divides the league.