Division 1 Féminine - Matchday 12 Review: Top three land on equal points
Image credit: VAVEL

Division 1 Féminine - Matchday 12 Review: Top three land on equal points

The highly-anticipated game week didn't disappoint with shock results and movement at the top of the table.

Rosie Filby

A highly anticipated weekend in Division 1 Feminine lived up to expectations with surprise results and movement at the top of the table. The top three teams are now on 30 points each, making for a thrilling and closely contested title race, and a gripping fight for the two UEFA Women' Champions League places that are both still to play for.

New signings Alex Morgan for Olympique Lyonnais and Stina Blacktenius for Montpellier made their debuts, making an impact in Division 1 with both being influential in their matches.

The match scheduled for Sunday between Saint-Etienne and Metz was postponed, and will be re-scheduled for another date.

Lyon top the table after hitting three against Guingamp

Olympique Lyonnais showed an impressive display on Saturday with a 3-0 win against Guingamp, taking them to the top of the table thanks to goal difference. Alex Morgan made her long-awaited debut in a match that allowed her to show her worth, providing an influential performance that included an assist.

The 27-year old forward had the first chance of the game as her close-range first time shot from Eugenie Le Sommer lay-off was impressively kicked away by Guingamp’s Maryna Gignoux-Soulier. However, it only took 20 minutes to break the deadlock which involved the two forwards once again. Le Sommer scored in the six yard box from Morgan’s left-footed pass, which Gignoux-Soulier had no chance of saving.

Le Sommer bagged herself a brace only six minutes later due to poor defending from Guingamp, as they failed to clear a goal-mouth scramble in the penalty area. The French international is the league’s second top goal scorer behind Montpellier’s Sofia Jakobsson.

Surprisingly, Ada Hegerberg wasn’t in Lyon’s starting 11; however the prolific Norwegian forward was substituted on in the second half - and rather unsurprisingly made an impact. A daring pass from the centre of the park went over and in behind the defence of Guingamp, where Hegerberg dribbled and drilled the ball in to the near post to make it 3-0. With very little chances and a lack of quality all over the pitch for Guingamp, the match finished 3-0.

Three points for Lyon take them into first position, but only due to goal difference. Guingamp expected defeat so this result won’t dampen their spirits too much, yet a good display – despite the result - from Gignoux-Soulier in goal, gives hope for the team from Brittany.

PSG’s unbeaten season comes to an end as Montpellier cause a shock

Prior to this fixture, Paris Saint Germain had an unbeaten run and an impeccable conceding statistic: letting in no goals all season. However, this all changed on Saturday as underdogs Montpellier did the unlikely, beating PSG in a highly entertaining match that ended 2-1.

PSG started on the front foot, looking the more lively side in the first half. Their dominance paid off after 21 minutes as they scored from the unlikely source of defender Eve Périsset. Montpellier failed to get going in a disappointing first half for the team in blue and orange, however only one goal separated the whistle blew for the half-time break.

The tables turned in the second half, with Montpellier proving to have found their feet with an impressive display that made PSG look average. A free-kick swung in by Sandie Toletti was poorly cleared into the path of the league top-goal scorer Sofia Jakbsson who smashed home to equalise and keep title hopes alive, creating an exciting and edge-of-the-seat atmosphere. This was the first goal that PSG had conceded all season.

Adding insult to injury for The Parisian, it wasn’t until the 88th minute that three points were awarded to the hosts. A drilled in corner met the right foot of new signing Stina Blackstenius, as she smashed home a volley that proved to be the winning goal that was vital for Montpellier’s title hopes. The win for Montpellier not only gave them the three points, but took points away from rivals PSG as they look to cause an upset and snatch the title.

This highly anticipated match didn’t disappoint; Montpellier have now overtaken PSG which places them in second, one place above PSG who have started 2017 disastrously.  The two swedes - Jakobsson and Blackstenius – were the outstanding performers as they proved the difference between the two teams. The win keeps Montpellier in title contentions and increases their chance of bagging themselves a champions league place, but can they keep up their winning form long enough to actually win the league or steal a champions league spot? 

Juvisy regain winning form with a comfortable victory as ASPTT Albi’s relegation threat continues

Juvisy started 2017 in winning ways as they triumphed in a 3-0 win over ASPTT Albi. Demotion to Division 2 Feminine looks even more likely for ASPTT Albi as they remain in the relegation zone.

19 year-old Thea Greboval broke the deadlock after just nine minutes to make it 1-0 to Juvisy. Almost 10 minutes later they threatened once again with Kadidiatou Diani, but this time the ball went wide of the post.

Juvisy’s dominance continued which resulted in a second goal being scored before the half-time break. Forward Camille Catala scored past APTT Albi’s Perrault Cindy to mark her seventh goal of the season.

A disappointing display in the first half for ASPTT Albi continued into the second half. A third was scored for Juvisy in the 77th minute thanks to a sweet finish from youngster Clara Mateo.

ASPTT Albi will be disappointed with their first performance of 2017 as the pressure heats up for them to avoid relegation. Juvisy climb the table into fifth place, overtaking Guingamp following their loss versus Lyon. Any chance of a champions league place look very slim for Juvisy, yet they will have to continue winning games in order to fight for fourth place.

Olympique Marseille beat Rodez after being going a goal down

Olympique Marseille hosted Rodez in an exciting mid-table matchup, with just one point separating the sides prior to this fixture. It lived up to expectations with surprises that finished in a 3-1 win for Marseille, as they overtake Rodez in the league standings.

After 28 minutes Rodez took the lead through Romanian international Anne-Marie Banuta. However their lead didn’t last long with Nora Coton-Pelagie equalising for Marseille seven minutes later. A closely-contested first half resulted in 1-1 scoreline at the break.

The second half continued to be a close match, however a sending off for Rodez for a foul in the penalty area was converted by forward Viviane Asseyi mid-way through the second half. Charlotte Loze added insult to injury, making it 3-1 to Marseille as any hopes for Rodez to gain any points from the match faded away.

Three points means that Marseille have now overtaken Rodez in the table, but both teams are too far off title contentions, and will most likely avoid relegation.

Soyaux tackle relegation concerns with a win against Bordeaux

Soyaux break away from the bottom four as they provided a well-rounded display that resulted in a 2-0 victory against 10th place Bordeaux. Bordeaux have a relegation threat to be worried about, and will need to pick up points soon if they wish to avoid demotion.

Soyaux’s Pamela Babinga added to her scoring tally this season with her fourth of the season two minutes before the half-time break. An impressive display and a well-deserved lead from Soyaux meant they entered the second half with a 1-0 lead.

Boredaux looked more dangerous in the second half, especially through Juliette Loumagne and former Soyaux forward Eva Sumo. However they failed to take advantage their dominance, and in the 88th minute Soyaux went 2-0 up. A corner from Laura Bourgouin reached the head of Lydia Belkacemi to score her first goal of the league campaign.

An important three points for Soyaux relieves pressure of the relegation threat as they climb the table. Bordeaux lie one place above the relegation zone, as the tension mounts for them to gain points.