Seven reasons Roma Women’s second Scudetto was even sweeter than the first

Roma Women have been the standout team in Serie A Femminile for two seasons running, winning the league in 2022-23 and 2023-24.

Since Alessandro Spugna has been in charge of Roma, they have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Initially, Spugna took them into the Champions League for the first time by securing a maiden runners-up finish, and the Giallorosse have kicked on since then.

Roma claimed their first ever Scudetto in Spugna’s second season and they have followed it up instantly in his third after a campaign of almost complete dominance.

Nostalgically, there will always be something special about Roma’s first ever Scudetto since their emergence in women’s football. The purpose of the following feature is not to discredit that magical season, but to emphasise just how incredible 2023-24 has been afterwards.

Here are seven factors that have made Roma’s second Scudetto even more enjoyable than the first.

Lack of back-to-back success in club history

Before winning their first Serie A Femminile title, the other two trophies Roma had put in the cabinet were the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana. In neither case were the team able to retain those trophies the season after they were won.

Even before the women’s team was founded, fans of Roma rarely got to see their team win consecutive honours. The only examples for the men’s team of retained trophies were the Coppa Italia in 1979-80 and 1980-81, and then again in 2006-07 and 2007-08.

For context, there was a 41-year gap between the first two Serie A titles won by Roma’s men’s team.

But after establishing themselves as the team to be beaten in Serie A Femminile, the Giallorosse stamped their authority on the competition again at the first time of asking.

It prolonged the feeling of jubilation at being champions from last season, making it an enjoyable journey throughout and ensuring the sense of pride continues for much more time to come.

Leading the way from start to finish

That sentiment was strengthened by the fact that Roma were always top of the tree this season and never part of the chasing pack.

In 2022-23, they were top after the first and second matchdays of Serie A Femminile, but a loss to Juventus on the third matchday dislodged them as Inter went top. Roma subsequently took top spot back after beating Como on matchday seven and never let it go from there.

In 2023-24, no one other than Roma was ever top of the league after the completion of a matchday, thanks to the season starting with a 4-2 win over Milan. From there, Spugna’s side completed a perfect first half of the season; in fact, they had a 100% record until around three-quarters of the way into the regular season.

No one can argue that the title was entirely deserved. Let it sink in: if you’re a Roma fan, you support a team that’s been top of the league for more than a whole year.

Beating the biggest challengers

As mentioned earlier, then-reigning-champions Juventus inflicted Roma’s first defeat upon them in 2022-23, winning 1-0 at Vinovo. In December 2022’s reverse fixture, hosts Roma lost 4-2 to Juventus, despite taking an early lead.

In the Scudetto Pool, though, Roma enhanced their lead by beating Juventus 3-2, which effectively moved them one win away from the title (which they clinched by beating Fiorentina a week later; indeed, being able to win the title on the pitch, and not just by their closest challengers dropping the crucial points in one of their own games to make it mathematically confirmed, would be a counter-argument for the first title being more enjoyable).

This time around, in 2023-24, Roma didn’t wait that long to beat Juventus. Upon their first meeting, Roma dominated, taking a three-goal lead for the first time ever against that particular opponent. Eventually, it finished 3-1. The first meeting of the season between the two main title rivals ended in Roma’s favour, and convincingly.

So did the second, which Roma also won 3-1 (with Juventus’ consolation not coming until stoppage time in this instance). For the first time ever, the Giallorosse had done the double over the side that had traditionally been the strongest in the league as long as they had been in it. The tides were well and truly turning.

Roma even added a third win of the season against Juventus in the Scudetto Pool, before – like last time – losing their last matchup in that part of the campaign. By that point, the loss was inconsequential. Roma stood out as the strongest and this time even the runners-up in the league were barely any match for them.

Better goal difference

While Roma’s point-margin at the top of the table was 11 this time around, rather than 13 from the first Scudetto season, they improved their goal difference in both directions.

In 2022-23, Roma scored 68 goals and conceded 26, leading to a goal difference of +42.

In 2023-24, Roma scored 74 goals and conceded 24, giving them a goal difference of +50.

During the first Scudetto season, Juventus actually scored one more goal than Roma. But in the second, Roma boasted the best records for and against.

Wider share of goals

One of the key differences that made Roma worthy title contenders – and conquerors – originally was the addition of Valentina Giacinti as a prolific striker in 2022. The former AC Milan captain made the difference up front, along with capable deputy Sophie Roman Haug.

Giacinti scored 13 league goals in 2022-23, more than anyone else ever had for the club in a single campaign. Andressa Alves also hit double figures, while Norwegian pair Emilie Haavi and Haug were useful contributors with eight and seven respectively.

But Giacinti was certainly the focal point, responsible for just over 19% of Roma’s Serie A Femminile goals in 2022-23.

While still the team’s main striker (especially after the summer departure of Haug) and hitting the double figures mark, Giacinti has shared the goalscoring duties more in 2023-24.

Whereas she was one of 14 players to score for Roma in Serie A Femminile in 2022-23, there were 16 in 2023-24.

This time around, the top scorer was Evelyne Viens with 14, which equated to 18.9% of the team’s total – a slightly smaller reliance on one main goalscorer than in the previous season.

And this time, there were three goalscorers with double figures; as well as Viens and Giacinti, Manuela Giugliano notched 10.

Roma were clearly a flourishing side who expressed confidence from all angles of attack.

Having the league’s top scorer

That said, Viens’ record of 13 strikes in the league – during her debut campaign in Italian football, and not including any penalties – was better than any other player in the division.

It is the first time Roma have ever had Serie A Femminile’s golden boot winner, since it was Inter’s Tabitha Chawinga in 2022-23.

In fact, Roma had the top two scorers in 2023-24, with Giacinti finishing as the runner-up behind Viens.

Chance to do the double

Let’s not jinx it, but Roma could follow up their second Scudetto with a second trophy lift in the space of a few days.

Their last game of the season will be the Coppa Italia final against Fiorentina on Friday, and after beating the same opponents 5-0 on the final day in the league, Roma have to be classed as favourites.

They will have to earn it on the pitch, but given that the men’s side have never won a league-and-cup double, the Giallorosse – who did win the Supercoppa Italiana as well as the 2022-23 Scudetto, but not the Coppa Italia – have the chance to make this season even more memorable.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.