Division 1 Féminine Week 18 Review: Montpellier take a giant step towards Champions League football

Division 1 Féminine Week 18 Review: Montpellier take a giant step towards Champions League football

With only a few more rounds of Division 1 Féminine football left to play, Montpellier HSC's win over Paris Saint-Germain may prove to be a vital one.

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Kudzi Musarurwa

The biggest clash in Week 18 of the Division 1 Féminine saw Montpellier HSC and Paris Saint-Germain go head-to-head in what could prove to be a pivotal tie in both the title chase and the race for European football next season.

The weekend's round of action also clashes at the bottom of the league that could potentially determine who stays up and who goes down when all is said and done.

Montpellier 3 - 0 PSG

Montpellier put on a show for their fans | Source: mhscfoot.com
Montpellier put on a show for their fans | Source: mhscfoot.com

Most people would have had this game noted down in their calendars but they probably did not think that this would be the scoreline when the final whistle blew.

Montpellier produced an outstanding display against PSG and end up being 3-0 winners on the day. The deadlock wasn't broken until the second half but once it was, PSG were powerless against a Montpellier team determined to bounce back from being eliminated midweek from the UEFA Women's Champions League

Sofia Jakobsson scored her sixth of the season from inside the box in the 49th minute and Janice Cayman stepped up to convert from the spot in the 66th minute. Stina Blackstenius, who has been in great form this season for the home side, made it three in the 75th minute and completed a great day out for Montpellier.

PSG were completely outplayed by Montpellier and Marie-Antoinette Katoto, who has been one the league's best players this season, was kept out of the game by a resilient Montpellier backline. Montpellier have not only increased their odds of making the Champions League next season, albeit having played a game more, but have also dented PSG's title hopes.

Both teams are eleven points away from the league leaders and even if they win all of their remaining games, PSG will have to hope that Olympique Lyonnais slip up in order for PSG to wrestle the title away from them.

OL 4 - 0 Albi

Renard celebrates her goal with her teammates | Source: S. Guiochon-Le Progres
Renard celebrates her goal with her teammates | Source: S. Guiochon-Le Progres

Olympique Lyonnais continued to steamroll past the rest of the league with a 4-0 win over ASPTT Albi. OL were not at their very best which was understandable given their Champions League exploits so it took Ada Hegerberg rising to the fore once again to keep her team ahead in the league. Wendie Renard opened the scoring with a solid header in the fifth minute but it took until the 33rd minute for OL to seal the three points. Selma Bacha​'s cross found Hegerberg's near post run and the Norwegian made no mistake from that range. Hegerberg than scored her 24th of the season in the 66th minute when her header from a Dzsenifer Marozsán free-kick took a deflection on it's way to goal. Eugénie Le Sommer then combined with Camille Abily in the 80th minute to ensure another solid win by the current champions.

With 54 points, OL are now clear of the chasing pack and will know that potentially three more wins will guarantee them their 12th Division 1 Féminine title. Albi, who were powerless against OL's quality, slide into tenth place, only one point above the relegation zone. They will know that it may go right down to the wire for them as to whether or not they will stay in the top division for another season.

Rodez 2 - 1 Lille

Rodez AF took a big step towards safety with a 2-1 win over Lille OSC this weekend. Flavie Lemaitre scored the first goal from the penalty spot in the 62nd minute when she sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to give Rodez the lead. Navy Sousa then made it two in the 85th minute with a great run down the right-hand side that saw her beat her defender and then finish well into the far corner. Rachel Saidi pulled one back for Lille in the 87th minute, making it a nervy finish to the game but ultimately, Rodez held on and picked up a big three points.

Rodez sit just one point away from ASPTT Albi in eleventh place and will know that they have every chance of saving themselves from relegation over the next few weeks. With this loss, Lille have been sucked into the battle for survival as they are only two points away from Rodez at this point in the season. If they want to remain in the top division next season, Lille will have to pick up points quickly from those around them and stay above the relegation zone.

OM 0 - 1 Fleury 91

Olympique de Marseille​ could not build on their previous win as they succumbed to another loss thanks to a solitary goal by Sarah Palacin in the 37th minute. Fleury 91​pushed OM from the first whistle and could have taken the lead earlier in the game if their finishing had been better. Salma Amani picked her way through the OM backline before squaring the ball to an unmarked Palacin who then scored the only goal of the game.

OM stay at the bottom of the division but still have some hope as they are only five points away from pushing themselves away from relegation. Fleury's win today puts them three points above the relegation zone and in good position to solidify their spot in the top division for another season.

Guingamp 1 - 0 Soyaux

​In the battle of the mid-table teams, EA Guingamp came out on top, thanks to substitute Amandine Bache​'s stoppage time winner. Beche's was the first to get her head to a late corner that the home side had won and finished well to give her team the win.

Both Guingamp and ASJ Soyaux should be safe from relegation this season but they will probably want to pick up a few more points just to secure their position and not have to look behind their shoulders going into the last round of matches this season.

Paris 1 - 1 Bordeaux

Paris FC's rotten form found some reprieve with a 1-1 draw against FC Girondins de Bordeaux. After three consecutive losses, the home side had Clara Mateo to thank as she found the back of the net in the 89th minute to gain a draw for Paris FC. Nadjma Ali Nadjim had given Bordeaux the lead in the 83rd minute when she was the first to react to a deflected ball in the box but the visitors could not hang onto their lead and had to settle for a draw.

Similar to Guingamp and Soyaux, Paris FC and Bordeaux are safely ensconced in the league and will not have to worry about what is going on below them. They are also both too far away from the top three sides to mount any serious challenge for a spot in European football next season so it's now the aim is to finish the season strongly for both sides.

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