The AC Milan Women beat AS Roma by a score of 1-0 on Sunday in what wasn’t exactly a game pleasing on the eye, but the Rossonere did what they had to do to get the job done.
The victory ensures that Milan will remain in second as they keep apace in the race for the Scudetto and a spot in next season’s Champions League.
Here’s a recap of the crucial match…
A stellar performance
Milan skipper Valentina Giacinti was no doubt the standout player for the team during this match. Whether it was contributing to the defense or spearheading the team’s attack, Giacinti was everywhere. She also scored the game winning penalty too.
Giacinti deserves all the praise for her stellar performance, leading from the front like a captain should.
A fantastic debut
Giorgia Spinelli put in a fantastic shift for the Rossonere. The defender was a last minute addition to the starting line-up as she filled in for Francesca Vitale, who was suspended after receiving a red card during the game against Napoli.
Spinelli rose to the challenge and was instrumental to Milan keeping a clean sheet. The defender helped keep Roma’s attack at bay and limited them to long range shots that missed the target.
Roma barely tested Milan’s goalkeeper, Mária Korenčiová, and that was in large part due to Spinelli’s defending. The Bergamascan proved her worth for the team and may cause some selection headaches moving forward.
After this performance, the defender has more than merited her place in the squad. May we see more of her in the future.
A touch of brilliance
She’s only played one match so far, and yet, during that spell, Verónica Boquete proved that she is a cut above the rest.
Whether it was getting stuck into tackles, dribbling her way out of trouble or using her superior technical ability to keep the ball away from her opponents, Veró was simply hypnotic to watch.
There was a reason why we at SempreMilan were so enthused about her signing and during this match, she demonstrated just why.
The scary part is that we only got flashes of her absolute brilliance and that the best is yet to come from her.
Laura Agard was once again rock solid for the Rossonere. The French defender spearheaded the defense and made crucial interventions at the right moments for the team.
Without her, Milan would not have been able to keep a clean sheet, or win the game.
And once again, Refiloe Jane proved how invaluable she was to the team, as she bossed the midfield. The midfielder collected balls in the middle of the park and disrupted Roma’s buildup, while building up Milan’s attack and launching a counteroffensive.
Both players deserve to be commended for the work they put in and how they helped Milan win this game.
An unusual episode
The game was, unfortunately, marred by controversy. This is due to the fact that that Roma’s goalkeeper, Rachele Baldi, was expelled at the 56th minute after touching the ball twice in the penalty box.
This happened as she was making a pass to teammate Manuela Giugliano, who for whatever reason, didn’t collect the pass. Giacinti then tried to pounce on the ball, only to have it kicked away by Baldi.
Prendo un pezzo di replay di Sky Sport, per far capire cosa esattamente è successo:
— Luca Maninetti (@MilanInter241) November 15, 2020
As a result, she was given a red card and subsequently sent off for her actions. The Romanisti are aggrieved by this, and the penalty kick given to Milan at the 67th minute just adds to their misery.
However, referee Daniele Perenzoni was technically correct in the way he applied the rules. The FIGC’s rules state that a keeper cannot touch the ball twice within the 18-yard box. By doing so, Baldi not only broke these rules, but she also denied Giacinti a goal-scoring opportunity in the process. With this in mind, the decision to give the Roma keeper a red card becomes understandable.
Perenzoni’s decision has also been defended by other referees who watched the game, most notably Luca Marelli. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but the rules are the rules, and in the end, Perenzoni made the right call.
Room for improvement
The one big drawback of this match was that the midfield seemed rather disjointed while playing against Roma.
The team looked rather confused at times, as the match exposed the technical limitations of some of the players. Perhaps it’s time to shuffle some of the players around to different positions in order to get the best out of them.
Either way, the team needs to improve in this regard. This match wasn’t very pleasant to watch, and the team has the capability to do better. With the addition of the previously mentioned Boquete and with Julia Šimić on her way back, they just might have what they need to do so.
The two players are technically gifted midfielders with a lot of experience. Once they get going, they’ll help Milan move the ball around better and help the team play the beautiful football that they’re capable of playing.
Milan will play against Cesena in the Coppa Italia on Thursday. The two teams were originally slated to meet in early November. However, the match had to be rescheduled due to a few Cesena players testing positive for COVID-19. The team has now been given the all clear to play again.
If Milan wants to achieve their goal of winning silverware this season, then this would be a good place to start.
And given their form as of late, they just might have what it takes to win this encounter.
The game will be played on Thursday, at 14:30 CET (5:30am / 8:30am EST).