Riding a seven-match winning streak in all competitions and having dropped points only twice all season long in league play—oh, and having an eight-point lead at the top of the table—Alessandro Spugna's Roma side is one of the hottest teams in all of Europe at the moment, full stop. And after being drawn against Barcelona in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, Spugna and the Giallorosse were free to turn their minds back to their domestic agenda: winning the damn league!
After watching Juventus dust off Fiorentina in a clean 3-0 win earlier in the day, the pressure was on Elisa Bartoli and the rest of the women of Roma. While a loss to fourth-place Inter Milan today wouldn't have been the worst thing in the world, and an eight-point lead at the top of the table looks, sounds, and feels better than a five-point lead, so Roma had everything in the world to play for today at the Stadio Tre Fontane.
While Inter was able to tame the Roman beast for 20 minutes or so, i Lupi could only be held down so long. With striker Valentina Giacinti shielding defenders at the right edge of the box, Roma's number nine did exceptionally well to settle a long looping ball in the first place, but she held her ground as two Inter defenders desperately tried to dispossess her.
And while she won't get credited for an assist, Giacinti hung onto the ball just long enough to ensure that, when it was poked away from the defense, it still gently rolled to Benedetta Glionna, who scooped it up and, without batting an eye, rifled it underneath the crossbar, a hair's breadth away from the keeper's outstretched arms.
Giacinti would play the role of quasi-creator in the 33rd minute when her one-v-one attempt was parried away by Inter keeper Alessia Piazza. As far as Piazza was concerned, the only problem was that she left the rebound right on the doorstep, which Andressa was more than happy to tap home to push Roma's lead to 2-0.
Sadly, Roma's lead would soon shrink after Inter forward Tabita Chawinga pulled one back in the 47th minute, but that's to be expected; she is the league's top scorer, after all. With a 2-1 lead at home, Roma strapped themselves in for a nervy finish, especially when Inter appeared to equalize in the 53rd minute when Inter forward Elisa Polli volleyed home a free kick only to be caught offside.
But the Giallorosse were soon rescued by the local kid, Giada Greggi.
In a sequence that underscores precisely what sort of player she will become, Giada Greggi harried the Inter defense as they attempted to build from the back, pressing and ultimately forcing Irene Santi into a turnover deep in the final third. From there, Greggi stripped it, gripped it, and ripped it, dispossessing Santi and taking a couple of touches before burying the ball in the far post.
But Inter wasn't done yet and would cut the deficit to one goal again after Marta Pandini got on the end of a long, looping cross to shrink Roma's lead to 3-2. And with nearly 25 minutes of regulation and stoppage time to cover, the Giallorosse ran themselves ragged defending their lead, but in the end, they held serve, winning their eight-straight match in all competitions.
If you missed the action, please enjoy the highlights of Roma's 3-2 victory over Inter Milan.