Olympique Lyonnais' quality prevails over Paris FC
Credit: Joerdeli Photography | Daniela Porcelli

Olympique Lyonnais' quality prevails over Paris FC

Five goals secured the champions another three points as they march on towards another title crown

Gianluca Lia

Olympique Lyonnais chalked up their fourth win in as many games played after hitting five past Paris FC to remain joint-leaders with rivals Paris Saint-Germain in Division 1 Féminine.

It was another commanding showing by Reynald Pedros' clan, who soon after the win, was named The FIFA Best women's football coach of the year this week.

Stalwart Ada Hegerberg netted a hat-trick as she now moves into pole position in the race for the D1F golden boot with six goals. ?Two ahead of team-mate Amel Majri and PSG's Marie-Antoinette Kakoto

Le Sommer's work ethic

While Lyon dominated their opponents throughout the 90 minutes, the team never showed signs of complacency. As usual, Saki Kumagai - the press-resistant midfielder - orchestrated the middle of the pitch with her dialogues. There was little Paris could to breakdown the five-time European champions. 

Pedros shaped his team in a 4-1-4-1 system with Hegerberg as lone striker with Eugenie Le Sommer featuring on the left-hand side, a move which completely shifted the balance towards Lyon.

The French international, who was also fulfilling the role of a false winger at times, played a key part in the win with her successful dribble attempts that allowed Lyon to have a numerical advantage inside the final quarter of the field. In fact, whenever she was in a one on one situation, she either whipped in crosses or drew fouls.

As the half wore on, the team was changed to a 4-3-3 shape to allow Lucy Bronze more space on the right-hand side.

With Le Sommer covering the upper part of the left flank and also the half-spaces, there was plenty of room for Selma Bacha to advance from her full-back role.

Hegerberg's first goal arrived from a Bacha's cross when as usual, the Norwegian striker condemned her opponents as soon as she was left unmarked. 

Captain Wendie Renard doubled the score from a set-piece earned by Le Sommer while Amandine Henry made it 3-0 from another fine piece of right-hand side distribution.

Notably, all three goals came from headers, showcasing OL's aerial ability as of the traits that makes them a fearful side both in France and in Europe. 

As soon as Le Sommer switched flanks, from left to right, she immediately left her mark when, on her first successful dribble, she found Hegerberg in the box and the latter extend the lead to 4-0 with a simple tap-in. 

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Individual superiority

OL's at its best when the individuals on the field connected with each other, forming a collective solidity that it is difficult to break up.

Against Paris, various members of the team showcased their skills, maintaining a high level play on the field throughout the entire 90 minutes.

At the back, the central pair formed by Renard and Griedge Mbock excelled, especially when they had the ball at their feet. Their ability of either moving forward with the ball or unlocking their wingers with their distributions helped the team to overcome the first line of pressure while their offensive colleagues cover more area up front. 

In the middle, Kumagai always presents herself as another option for the team to start any offensive plays, especially if their opponents are pressing high. In this game, Paris did not press high, as their first line of pressure was behind the middle of the pitch. Nonetheless, the Japanese star still took the reins in her hands, moving along the spaces to connect with the wingers or the forwards. 

In the second half, Shanice van de Sanden was introduced on the field and like Le Sommer in the first half, her speed and change of direction enabled the team to have an additional fresh of pair legs up front. 

'Never stress, always focus'

After the game, Pedros, Henry and Hegerberg spoke to the media and all underlined the same concept, "never stress, always focus."

"The first half was very good. Breaking the score so early was vital for us as it gave us a little more confidence," Pedros said to Canal +.

"Everything went well with our offensive counterparts and aerial duels as this is the solution to breakdown low-block defences," Henry explained to the same TV channel. 

Meanwhile, Hegerberg said, "We have completely achieved what we wanted today. It's positive. It's important that everyone scores. We have been effective."

International duties

Meanwhile, several Lyon players will be joining their national teams next month.

Seven members of OL will join up with the France selection as they play Australia and Cameroon. These are Sarah Bouhaddi, Majri, Mbock, Renard, Henry, Le Sommer and Emelyne Laurent who has earned her first call-up to the senior team. 

Bronze and Izzy Christiansen will be representing England as they host Brazil and Australia. Meanwhile, Carolin Simon will be part of Germany's squad as they take on Austria