When May 8th, 2017 rolled around into France, Olympique Lyonnais knew that a win against their opponents on the day, ASJ Soyaux, would be enough to secure another Division 1 Féminine title. They not only won the game but put nine goals past a Soyaux team that is better than their showing against OL.
All of OL's stars were in top form during this game and Eugénie Le Sommer pushed herself ahead of Ada Hegerberg in the race for the league's top goal scorer. Full credit must go the champions as they cemented their legacy in the history of Division 1 Féminine and not many will bet against them repeating their success in the near future.
OL's 'Ceberus' style attack proves too much for Soyaux
With the addition of Alex Morgan, OL had arguably three of the best strikers in the women's game plying their trade for the club and against Soyaux, those three players came to the fore. The goals did not come until the 21st minute of the match but once they did, they seemed to be never-ending. Camille Abily played Morgan through and the US international used her pace to put pressure on her defender.
Soyaux's goalkeeper, Romane Munich, came out of her box to gather the ball but it deflected right into Morgan's path again who then squared the ball for Le Sommer in the box. The ball came off of Cynthia Viana and into the net for OL's first of the day. Hegerberg made it two three minutes later after some fine work on the flank by Jessica Houara-d'Hommeaux found Dzsenifer Marozsán in the penalty area.
The German was unable to control her first touch cleanly and the ball fell kindly to Hegerberg who finished from close range. Morgan was the provider for Hegerberg's second of the game in the 32nd minute when she played a great long ball for the Norwegian to chase down and nip between Munich's legs as the goalkeeper came out to close her down.
Morgan then got onto the score sheet when Le Sommer turned int he box and slipped the ball through for her to chip over the goalkeeper for her fourth goal in OL's colours. Saki Kumagai then closed out the half with a well taken penalty in the 43rd minute after Julie Thibaud had been adjudged to have blocked a shot on goal with her hand.
The home side were not down and kept the pedal floored as the grabbed more goals in the second half. Amel Majri found Le Sommer at the far post to score Lyon's sixth in the 46th minute and Morgan got her second of the day in the 51st minute after creating some space for herself and finishing well as she was falling. Hegerberg then turned creator in the 59th minute as her pull back found Le Sommer and the French international got her second of the day.
Lyon were cutting through the Soyaux backline with ease and they did not let up as they looked to stamp their mark on another title-winning season. Abily's corner kick delivery in the 68th minute was nodded home by Lyon's captain, Wendie Renard, who got her fifth of the season. The quality that OL have all over the pitch was evident in this match and puts them in good stead for their UEFA Women's Champions League final against rivals Paris Saint-Germain. If the front three of Lyon play like they did against Soyaux, PSG will have a hard time containing them.
Prêcheur set to leave after 'disagreements' with Aulas
Gérard Prêcheur led his team to a league title and looks to be ready to lead them to another Champions League title but the manager is set to end his time in Lyon at the end of the season. It came as a surprise for many when he first announced his intentions in February but then rumours began to emerge of Prêcheur's unhappiness with OL's president, Jean-Michel Aulas and how he has conducted his transfer business this season.
In particular, Prêcheur seemed unsure of why Morgan was needed in his squad when he already had to capable strikers in Le Sommer and Hegerberg and the likes of Andrea Norheim and Delphine Cascarino waiting in the wings. To Morgan's credit, after a slow start, the US superstar is making her mark in both the league and in Europe but it has seen minutes being limited for the lesser known players in Lyon's ranks.
That is not to say that Aulas' transfer policies need to stop. The enigmatic owner of the team has always prided himself in making the team the best team the women's game has ever seen and has never shied away from doing whatever it takes to achieve that goal. Morgan is not the first US international to play for Lyon as the likes of Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe in most recent memory have appeared in the white and blue.
Other players like Swedish great Lotta Schelin spent most of their career at Lyon and have nothing but good things to say about Aulas and the facilities that he has provided for his players. Speculation has swirled that Aulas is looking to bring another US player, Allie Long, to Lyon and that may have been the tipping point for Prêcheur. No one has yet been named as the next coach for this star-studded team but whoever ends up at the helm will have to balance playing time with winning and Aulas' wishes to make OL's brand even bigger than it is. So far, that has worked for Lyon but it may not do so in the future.