The Division 1 Féminine kicked off this weekend and all the teams predicted to win did so, in varying fashions. Olympique Lyonnais sent out a warning to the rest of the league while Dijon FCO gave Montpellier HSC a tough opener in their first top flight match.
Matches will not come much harder for Lille OSC this season than against OL. They were absolutely no match for a rampant visiting OL side and were brushed away by eight goals to nil. Things started off early as new signing Carolin Simon picked out Ada Hegerberg with a beautiful cross in the fifth minute and the Norwegian duly dispatched the header into the near corner of the goal. Amel Majri then finished off a flowing attacking move in the 12th minute by the away side as she got on the end of Shanice van de Sanden's cut back. At that point anyone watching knew that this would be a long afternoon for Lille. Hegerberg then turned provider in the 33rd minute as she got to the byline before picking out van de Sanden who made no mistake from six yards out.
The second half started off the same way as the first half, with Simon finding Hegerberg inside the area and the striker adding a second to her tally that afternoon in the 46th minue. England midfielder Isobel Christiansen then marked her debut with a goal after a scramble in the box left her free to tuck it in form close range in the 64th minute. It continued to be one-way traffic for OL as Amandine Henry, Lucy Bronze and Majri all picked up goals in the 72nd, 87th and 90th minutes respectively.
Lille barely had a sniff all game and will want to put this performance behind them as soon as possible. OL on the other hand, have shown that even with key figures such as Camille Abily retiring, they are still a force to be reckoned with and with Hegerberg in fine form already, they are going to be difficult to stop. Simon and Christiansen have also settled in well early on, which makes stopping OL from winning another league title a daunting task for their rivals.
Dijon 0 - 1 Montpellier
Montpellier HSC had to wait until the 76th minute to break the deadlock against Dijon FCO in their first game of the season. Dijon, for the most part, held steady with an inexperienced team against the quality that Montpellier had on offer on Saturday afternoon. Sandie Toletti and Stina Blackstenius tested the Dijon backline during the first half but could not find a way through the dogged defending Dijon had on display. The introduction of Sofia Jakobsson in the second half helped tilt the game in Montpellier's favour and they began to pressure Dijon continuously. The breakthrough finally came from Anouk Dekker who was the first to Linda Sembrant's knock on during a corner kick.
Dijon gave a good account of themselves in their first game and if they can continue on in that vein, the newly promoted side have a good chance of avoiding the drop. Montpellier will know that they have a lot more work to do if they want to have any hope of challenging OL to the title. Considering the talent at their disposal, they should not have struggled so much against Dijon. It is still only the first game of the season so there is time for Montpellier to find their rhythm as the season goes on.
Paris Saint-Germain also struggled in their opening match away at Fleury 91. Fleury 91 had been a difficult team to overcome last season for PSG and with a depleted side at their disposal, the Parisiennes knew that it would not be an easy opening day match for them. It took a foul by Alex Lamontagne on Grace Geyoro which led to a penalty for PSG that Eve Perriset dispatched coolly for the visitors in the 24th minute. Fleury tested PSG in the second half with a few chances of their own but were unable to get the draw that their overall performance deserved.
Like Montpellier, PSG were not entirely impressive in their opening match and they would have watched what OL did to Lille the following day with some concern. Again, it is early days yet but PSG will need to be much better going forward if they want to remove the strangle hold that OL have on the Division 1 Féminine title. For Fleury, their performance against one of the league's heavyweights will give them great self-belief going forward. If they can replicate that kind of performance against the other stronger teams in the league and pick up points against those around them, they will have every chance of staying up this season.
Paris FC were expected to win against EA Guingamp in their first match of the season and they duly obliged with a solid 2-0 win over the visitors. At the heart of Paris' performance was new signing Linda Sällström, who not only got on the scoresheet but also constantly created havoc in the Guingamp backline. Sällström opened the scoring in the 10th minute, meeting Clara Matéo's cross with a flick over the advancing goalkeeper and a smart finish into an empty net. Sällström was not finished and in the second half, helped her team get the second. The Finnish striker broke down the left hand side of Guingamp's defense and crossed into the box, looking to find Matéo. Instead, Claudine Meffometou unfortunately ended up putting the ball into the back of her net in an attempt to clear the ball away.
Paris FC got off to a good start against Guingamp and Sällström has certainly made her mark with her new team. Whether or not that will be enough to challenge for a continental place remains to be seen but Pascal Gouzènes will be happy with how his team played this weekend. Guingamp look like they may struggle this season. They hardly troubled Paris and will need to find a way to get the ball to their strikers in dangerous positions more often.
ASJ Soyaux seemingly picked up where they left off last season with a 3-1 win over Rodez AF. Hawa Cissoko bombed down the right hand side before finding Anna Clérac inside the box in the seventh minute of the match. Clérac swiftly turned and finished low past the goalkeeper to give Soyaux the start they would have wanted. Rodez responded with a goal of their own in the 20th minute when Flavie Lemaitre played Laurie Cance through on goal and Cance was equally as clinical as Clérac with her finish. Neither side could break the deadlock in the first half but Soyaux came out strong in the second half and took over the game. Clérac turned provider in the 72nd minute as she beat her marker to the ball and nodded the ball towards Siga Tandia. Tandia then rose highest to reach the knock on first and finish from close range. Laura Bourgouin then sealed the three points for Soyaux in the 88th minute when she got to the rebound first after had hit the crossbar.
The star of the match was clearly Anna Clérac who had an outstanding start to her season with Soyaux. It seems as though the team have found another outlet for them to rely on apart from Bourgouin and that can only help Soyaux in the long run. Rodez were good in the first half but faltered in the second half and could not respond again when Soyaux went up a gear. This could be another difficult season for Rodez based on their performance this weekend.
The match between FC Metz and FC Girondins de Bordeaux was postponed until a later date.