By any measure, this has been a dream season for Alessandro Spugna and the Giallorosse. After ripping through the regular season with a 16-0-2 (W-D-L) record, Roma entered the new Scudetto Pool playoffs with an eight-point cushion. Thanks to that lead, Elisa Bartoli and the rest of the Giallorosse sealed the Scudetto with three weeks to spare, affording Spugna the chance to rest his regulars ahead of today's Coppa Italia final against Juventus.
After clinching the league title in late April, Roma's performance has been somewhat inconsistent. They drew against Milan, defeated Inter, and suffered a loss to Juventus a week and a half ago. However, given that the title was already secured and Spugna was rotating his squad, these outcomes were not entirely unexpected.
Before Roma's star players start thinking about this summer's World Cup in New Zealand, there's one final matter of business to settle: the 2023 Coppa Italia, which is being played in Salerno rather than at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome—so much for giving calcio femminile the spotlight, huh?
I'll get back on that soapbox another time, but for now, let's focus on the major plot points as Roma looks to add another trophy to their list of honors.
What to Watch For
Would a Domestic Treble Interest You?
Although Roma advanced much further in the Champions League than any of us possibly imagined, they were never likely to win a traditional league title/domestic cup/Champions League treble. Nevertheless, with the Scudetto and the Supercoppa Italiana in the bag, Roma can strengthen their claim as Italy's best team by adding the Coppa Italia to that list of honors.
On the prospect of completing the domestic treble, Spunga didn't mince words when speaking to the club's social media channels.
Roma's main objectives, winning the league title and qualifying for the Champions League next season, have long since been secured, so win, lose, or draw today, this season has been a resounding success. Still, it would be awfully nice to see Roma sporting both the Scudetto tricolore and the Coppa Italia badge on their new Adidas kits next season, wouldn’t it?
(And to add a cherry on top of all their good fortune, with Barcelona winning the Champions League, Roma gets to skip over the play-in tournament set for late August and go straight to the group stage.)
Can Roma Reverse Their Juve Hex?
Despite dominating the league this season, Roma has seldom, if ever, held serve over Juventus, who won the four previous league titles. Since Roma entered the league in 2018, they've faced Juve 16 times in all competitions and have beaten the Old Lady only three times. So while they don't have the same inferiority complex against Juventus as the Roma men, history hasn't been kind to the Giallorosse whenever they face the women in black and white.
A victory today, coupled with a strong showing on the summer transfer market, should ensure that Roma enters next season as favorites to repeat, so let's hope Spugna can break this historical hex.
Can Roma Score More Than Once?
Let's get the obvious out of the way first: Roma's chances of victory against Juventus climb exponentially when they score more than one goal. History hasn't always been on Roma's side when they face Juve, but the Giallorosse's best chances have always come in the highest-scoring matches.
Case in point: Roma's first and only league victory over Juventus on April 22nd. Despite compiling only 1.7 xG in that match, thanks to some clinical finishing from Andressa, Valentina Giacinti, and Sophie Roman Haug, Roma narrowly edged out Juve in a 3-2 victory.
We also saw a similar pattern in their first league meeting this season. Despite falling 4-2 on that frigid December afternoon, Roma outpaced Juve in the xG battle, took more shots, and put more on target than their northern neighbor. But, with 13 shots either saved, blocked, or striking the woodwork, luck simply wasn't on Roma's side that afternoon.
So, if Roma stands a chance at completing their domestic treble, to say nothing of reversing historical trends against Juventus, they simply must score more than once. Hell, if we're being honest, they'll probably need two or three goals to topple the Old Lady.
But what a way to cap off the best season in club history than by defeating and denying Juve a trophy.