The AC Milan Women beat ACF Fiorentina 1-0 at the weekend to secure a much-needed three points as a first half header sealed the win.
Considering that the Rossonere had a number of selection problems to deal with it was certainly a welcome victory, and it came via summer signing Nina Stapelfeldt.
Fiorentina XI (3-5-2): Schroffenegger; Tortelli, Kravets, Vigilucci; Cafferata (85′ Piemonte), Huchet (63′ Mascarello), Breitner (85′ Baldi), Neto, Catena (73′ Monnecchi); Lundin, Sabatino
Milan XI (3-5-2): Giuliani; Fusetti, Agard, Codina; Bergamaschi, Adami, Grimshaw, Tucceri Cimini; Thomas, Longo (64′ Giacinti); Stapelfeldt (86′ Árnadóttir).
The Rossonere went into this match without a few of their starters. Sara Thrige was missing after picking up a knock during one of Denmark’s World Cup qualifiers. The real surprise was the absence of Vero Boquete, who was not summoned for unknown reasons. The other surprise was that Valentina Giacinti started on the bench. Again, there was no explanation given for this decision.
Miriam Longo, Nina Stapelfeldt, and Linda Tucceri Cimini started in their place. Valentina Bergamaschi was given the captain’s armband for the game. Though it was Captain Bergamaschi who nearly got the Rossonere in trouble, as her misjudged backpass handed a chance to Sabatino in the fourth minute. Thankfully, the former Milan captain’s shot went wide of the goal.
Lindsey Thomas had a clear chance on target in the 13th minute as she tried to slot the ball into the corner of the net.
Katja Schroffenegger, however, denied her that goal. AC Milan would not wait long for their breakthrough though. At the 20th minute, Linda Tucceri Cimini corner kick found the top of Nina Stapelfeldt’s head and she headed it home.
Even after the goal, the game was wide open and the Rossonere fought hard as they tried to double their lead. Milan had two chances that began at the 39th minute when Agard saw her free-kick pushed behind the goal. Greta Adami tried to hurt her former team by turning in a corner kick, only for the Viola defense to clear it off the line after a last-ditch scramble.
In the 49th minute, Stapelfeldt had another chance but once again, Schroffenegger blocked it. Valentina Giacinti was substituted into the match in the 64th minute and her impact was immediately felt. Sixteen minutes later, Giacinti almost scored what would have been a brilliant goal but her overhead kick went wide of the target.
For most of the second half, Fiorentina struggled to get out of their own box. They did have a rare shot on target in the 70th minute, as Marta Mascarello forced her national side teammate, Laura Giuliani, into making an easy save.
At around the 71st minute, Giacinti almost got in on goal but Schroffenegger made a last-ditch effort to deny her. The talismanic Mascarello would have another chance on goal a few minutes later. She did not convert the chance. The clearest chance of the second half fell to Stapelfeldt in the 74th minute. Her effort went wide of the target.
Not much would happen after that. The referee would then blow the whistle three times, and Milan would emerge as the victors of the match.
Though Milan had less possession during the game, they managed to create more chances than the Viola did. The Rossonere only had 36.3% of possession, yet they managed to outshoot Fiorentina by a ratio of fifteen to five shots. They also had four shots on target, and only needed to convert one to win the game.
For her efforts during this game, Laia Codina was named to the FIGC’s team of the week. During the match, Codina made ten recoveries, two blocks, and won nine defensive duels. Well done to her.
⭐ TOP 1️⃣1️⃣ – 7^ GIORNATA ⭐
— FIGC Calcio Femminile (@FIGCfemminile) November 1, 2021
AC Milan will play Pomigliano on November 7th. Kickoff time will be at 12:30 PM CET. They will then take on Lady Citadella Granata on November 20th, in the Coppa Italia.