Home News

Opinion: How Roma Women made January their highest scoring month yet

Our columnist takes a closer look over a blistering start to 2023 for the Giallorosse!

Having ended 2022 as the leaders in Serie A, it has been a case of picking momentum back up for Roma Women in the New Year so far.

Alessandro Spugna’s side have simply been on a roll this season, but striving for major honours is a case of showing sustained strength in mentality, meaning there was plenty of work to do as January began.

Although Roma’s recent form was reason for confidence, few could have seen coming just how emphatic they would be in the first month of 2023.

Indeed, when Roma narrowly crossed the finishing line as winners of their Coppa Italia group by drawing 1-1 with Como in their first game of the New Year, it looked as if it might take the team some time to get back to full efficiency again.

In actual fact, it was the start of the highest-scoring month Roma Women have ever experienced.

This content is provided by a third party. Because of the choice you have made about cookies on our website, the external site does not have permission to display here.
If you would like to see the content, please change your cookie choices using either of the buttons shown.

The draw with Como was followed by four consecutive wins: in the league against Fiorentina, Parma and Sassuolo, and in the cup against Pomigliano.

The magnitude by which Roma have been winning some of these games has been eye-catching, to say the least.

They put seven goals past Fiorentina, three past Parma, eight past Pomigliano and five past Sassuolo.

Hence, with 24 goals on their record in January – a whole 10 more than they managed in December, which had been a month of three wins – Roma have hit the ground running again in 2023. Needless to say, they have maintained their position at the top of the table.

But where has this ruthless side to their game come from? They have always been capable of high-scoring wins – having had at least one victory by a six-goal margin or more in each of their five seasons so far, while also being the highest-scoring team in Serie A last term – but the calibre of club they are sweeping aside seems to be on the increase.

For example, the 7-1 win against Fiorentina was a significant statement of intent, since it was against a usually formidable opponent who up until that point had been in the top three all season.

Emphasising how strong they are becoming, Roma proved why they have deservingly been leading the way in the division since October.

They have mastered a number of different ways to inflict damage upon opponents. In that game alone, for instance, there were two goals that came after long passing moves – Zara Kramzar got her first goal for the club at the end of a 20-pass sequence that started with a throw-in, before impressively setting up Manuela Giugliano to wrap things up with a 16th uninterrupted pass of another chain – but also one that came from a high-speed transition from defence to attack.

For the goal that made it 4-1, there were only about six seconds between Giada Greggi gaining possession after a loose Fiorentina pass and Andressa Alves finishing past Rachele Baldi.

Instincts of that sort were also on display when Nina Kajzba finished to put Roma eight goals up against Pomigliano, and for poacher Valentina Giacinti’s second goal in the 5-0 triumph over Sassuolo a few weeks later, for example.

From their first league game of the month to the most recent, Roma showed the patient and more ruthless aspects of their approach – a balance that all teams striving for their ambitions aim to find.

This content is provided by a third party. Because of the choice you have made about cookies on our website, the external site does not have permission to display here.
If you would like to see the content, please change your cookie choices using either of the buttons shown.

The Fiorentina game had begun with Roma’s second fastest league goal of the season up to that point (only bettered before by Annamaria Serturini’s strike against Juventus in December, and since also usurped by Giacinti’s opener against Sassuolo), setting up another theme that would become prevalent in the cluster of games to follow. Time and again, Roma have been earning early advantages.

Against La Viola, it was Andressa putting Roma ahead within four minutes. Against Parma, Roma actually fell behind first, but their equaliser came via Emilie Haavi quickly enough in the eighth minute.

Against Pomigliano, Giugliano opened the scoring inside two minutes – with Benedetta Glionna following it up four later – and against Sassuolo, as aforementioned, Giacinti got things going in the third minute.

And Spugna’s side have been equally effective at the opposite end of matches.

In the Fiorentina match, with three goals in the last five minutes, they began to race away as the game approached its conclusion – something that has occurred in some other big wins this season too. It is evidence of how Spugna’s players are maintaining their concentration and effectiveness up until the end.

The winner against Parma, meanwhile, was an Andressa penalty at a crucial stage of the game within the final quarter of an hour, when things could easily have been getting tense.

Going on to score braces against Pomigliano and Sassuolo, Andressa already has seven goals to her name in 2023, replicating the way she stormed away in the goalscoring stakes at a similar time two years ago.

The Brazilian has sometimes played further forward than before, acting as a supporter to the main striker. In the process, she has enjoyed some freedom in and around the final third, regularly looking to play forward.

Now, she has surpassed double figures of goals for the season, although Roma’s top scorer in 2022-23 is someone else whose identity won’t be too much of a surprise.

Indeed, the other player to get a brace in the Sassuolo clash was Giacinti, who in the process set a new record for the most goals scored by a Roma Women player in a single season with 15. Already.

The summer signing hit the ground running at Roma with 11 goals in the second half of 2022, as many as anyone had ever contributed for the club in a whole calendar year.

She has set off on the right foot again in 2023, with the Sassuolo double being the first instance of her scoring multiple times in the same match for Roma.

In the process, Giacinti found the net for the Giallorosse in three consecutive games. The fact that it is the second time she has done so in one season represents another unmatched accomplishment in the club’s story so far.

While she is undoubtedly Roma’s focal point up front, there were eight other scorers for the team in January. Obviously, Andressa was among them, while positive contributions from the likes of Haavi, Giugliano and Glionna are unsurprising.

Giugliano deserves particular praise, having matched her best goalscoring tally in a Roma season with two of the highlights of the month, latterly her first-time volley from the edge of the box against Sassuolo. It was the perfect way to follow up a looping half-volley from a wider angle against Pomigliano, encapsulating the style and variety Roma have been showing in front of goal.

This content is provided by a third party. Because of the choice you have made about cookies on our website, the external site does not have permission to display here.
If you would like to see the content, please change your cookie choices using either of the buttons shown.

But throughout the month, there were also some rarer names on the scoresheet – such as Greggi getting her first goal of the season with a curled effort against Fiorentina, and Kramzar, Norma Cinotti (from outside the box) and Kajzba opening their accounts for the club.

Kajzba’s brace came in the 8-1 thrashing of Pomigliano, representing the culmination of the young talent’s journey back from a serious injury and offering a glimmer of hope for the future as Roma’s goalscoring sources expand even further.

Incidentally, this is the second consecutive season in which Roma have scored eight goals in a single match. Becoming a fully functioning unit, they are developing an understanding of how to not only win games, but take them away from teams.

If January has proven anything, it is that Roma’s self-belief should be at an all-time high.

Follow Samuel Bannister on Twitter: @SamBanno1