Matchday 20 in the Division 1 Féminine rolled in this weekend with some fascinating results at the top and the bottom of the table. Title frontrunners Olympique Lyonnais are due to play this morning so the focus over the weekend was elsewhere as Montpellier HSC and Paris Saint-Germain battle it out for second place and FC Girondins de Bordeaux took one step closer to safety.
Montpellier make short work of Metz
The side currently in second, Montpellier, knew that they would be facing a FC Metz side which has struggled all season long and the home side wasted to time finding their way to a 6-0 win. Valérie Gauvin started things off in the 12th minute and Dutch midfielder Anouk Dekker made it two in the 43rd minute, giving the hosts a good lead going into half time. The break did nothing for Metz as Montpellier continued to dominate proceedings and pile on the misery for a team that will surely be relegated at the end of the season. Gauvin added her second of the day in the 67th minute, Marie Léger scored her third goal of the season in the 81st minute, Lindsey Thomas made it five in the 84th minute and Dekker then grabbed her brace right at the death.
The win sees Montpellier continue their resurgent form and remain in second, five points away from leaders OL. Should they carry on in this vein, they may end up featuring in Europe next season for the first time in their history. Metz on the other hand, stay rooted at the bottom of the table and three points away from safety. They had previously found three wins in three but Montpellier proved to have too much quality for the newcomers to the top division this year.
PSG keep right on the heels of Montpellier
Paris Saint-Germain are perennial runners-up in the league and although this year they were hoping to challenge for the title, which they seemed to be doing until late last year, now their focus is on making it back to the UEFA Women's Champions League next year. A 4-0 win over visitors ASPTT Albi this weekend kept them just one point behind Montpellier in third and also keeps them in an unlikely title chase. Cristiane, who has been in fine form this season, opened the scoring in the fourth minute to get her eleventh goal of the season. Coline Gouineau then extended PSG's lead in the 22nd minute with an unfortunate own goal and seemingly put the game to bed. Marie-Laure Delie then scored her 15th of the season in the 56th minute and Canadian international Ashley Lawrence finished things off with a goal in the 65th minute.
PSG are by no means out of anything yet, even the title race should OL not win their match today, and with a final berth booked in this season's Champions League season, they still have plenty to play for. Albi are now in eighth and will want to try and push up the table to finish better than their ninth-placed finish last season. PSG was always going to be a tough ask for Albi away and that proved to be the case.
Bordeaux look to rally late in the season
Sitting in eleventh is not where Bordeaux want to be but they made strides to lift themselves closer to safety this weekend with a 1-0 upset away to Olympique de Marseille. Emeline Laurent scored the only goal of the game in the 88th minute when Bordeaux caught Marseille on the counter late in the game. It was a big goal for the side as Marseille had had their chances to win the game themselves throughout the earlier parts of the match.
The win leaves Bordeaux within one point of AS Saint-Étienne with two more games to go. After only picking up one win in the last five games, this will give the Bordeaux fans and players alike a renewed hope as they head into the last stages of the season. Marseille will be disappointed in their inability to finish off their chances in this game. The loss keeps them in fourth and after the season they have had, this loss will be a disappointment for Christophe Parra's players.
Thiney helps Juvisy past Guingamp
FCF Juvisy's 2-1 win over EA Guingamp was a microcosm of their season so far which has seen a team that always been near the top of the table slide to fifth for most of the season. It took a captain's performance from Gaëtane Thiney to see her team take a late three points at home. Thiney converted the penalty that Juvisy was awarded in the 20th minute to put the home side 1-0 up. Agathe Ollivier then scored her first goal of the season in the 53rd minute to draw Guingamp level again. Both teams pushed for the winner but it was Thiney that found the clinical edge in front of goal to grant the home side all three points when she tucked her chance away in injury time.
This was Juvisy's third win in five games and keeps them in fifth. They are not in the title race and will not be in Europe once again this season. Even with the form they are now showing, this will go down as a poor season for one the league's bigger teams. Guingamp will be disappointed in giving away such a vital goal so late in the game which leaves them in seventh. It also pushes their run of games without a win to six games now and that is surely not how they want to end this season.
Saint-Étienne salvage an important point against Rodez
With only two games left in the season, any point is a welcome one for Saint-Étienne who are trying to stay above the relegation zone. Things did not start well for the visitors when Flavie Lemaitre gave Rodez AF the lead in the 41st minute. After that, Rodez seemed to keep Saint-Étienne at bay for most of the match, as they looked to see out their narrow 1-0 lead. Unfortunately for them and defender Oceane Daniel, they conceded the late draw with an own goal by Daniel right before the final whistle blew.
Rodez are still three points ahead of Saint-Étienne and will likely keep themselves away from the bottom of the table by the time the season ends. Saint-Étienne will be happy with the point as it keeps them one point away from Bordeaux and one more game closer to staying in the top division for another season.