The Division 1 Féminine reached its conclusion this weekend and while the title race had been decided the week before, the relegation battle was not over and it took until the final whistle on May 5th to determine which teams would be playing in the Division 2 Féminine next season.
FC Metz knew that they had a very small chance of winning against Olympique Lyonnais and would have to hope that those below them in the table would be unable to pick up enough points to leapfrog them. Metz were soundly beaten away to the champions and were fortunate to only concede three goals. Metz' day started off in the worst possible way as Hélène Fercocq was the scorer of the first goal of the game. Wendie Renard got on the end of a corner in the 23rd minute which she nodded back to goal and Fercocq tried to clear the knock back but ended up putting it into her own net instead. Fercocq's miserable afternoon continued as she fouled Carolin Simon at the end of the first half and conceded a penalty. Saki Kumagai stepped up and slotted the penalty home easily to give the hosts a two-nil advantage at half time. The final goal of the game arrived in the 81st minute as OL caught Metz out on the break and Shanice Van de Sanden picked out Ada Hegerberg who controlled the pass well before curling it past the goalkeeper.
OL finished off their season with a strong performance, having already been crowned champions in the previous round of matches and will now look to complete the treble with finals in the Coupe de France Féminine and the UEFA Women's Champions League to look forward to. Metz had to nervously wait out to hear the final result of the matches but were relieved to find out that this loss had not resigned them to the second division and they could now prepare for another season in the top flight.
Montpellier 3 - 2 Lille
A fierce battle between Montpellier HSC and Lille OSC occurred on the final day as Lille looked to avoid relegation with an improbable win. Montpellier had finally found some form coming into this match and they had to rely on all of their quality to see out a 3-2 win against Lille. The away side started off brightly but it was Montpellier who took the lead when Valérie Gauvin's shot was parried into her own net by the goalkeeper in the 17th minute. Clarisse Le Bihan then made it two in the 41st minute after she was picked out well by Sofia Jakobsson's cross. The game should have been finished as a contest in the first half but Janice Cayman hit her penalty off the post and away from goal before half time. Lille found another gear in the second half and scored a goal of their own in the 58th minute when Hannah Diaz scored a lovely effort but Montpellier surged further ahead two minutes later when a poor backpass allowed Sakina Karchaoui to surge forward and score Montpellier's third. The game was not over however as Lille continued to battle, knowing their top flight status was at stake if they did not win today. A poorly defended corner in the 62nd minute allowed Morgane Nicoli to take a touch before finishing past the goalkeeper at the far post, making the game closer than Montpellier would have liked. Lille pushed for an equaliser and a potential match winner but in the end, could not do enough to get them the three points.
The loss leaves Lille relegated out of Division 1 Féminine and leaves Metz safe from the drop. Lille fought hard to remain in the division but ultimately fell short with just one point separating them and Metz in the end. Montpellier finish the season in third and after the start they had, that is a reasonable finish. They will now look to push forward next season and challenge the top two for a spot in the Champions League.
Dijon FCO made Rodez AF final game in the top division one to forget as they brushed aside the hosts by four goals to one. Elise Bussaglia got the visitors in front in the 44th minute as her late run was picked out by Léa Declercq. Kimberley Cazeau answered back for the hosts in the 46th minute as Dijon were caught out on the break and Cazeau raced past the backline before angling the ball into the far corner of the goal. The game remained at one-all until the final ten or so minutes when Dijon poured on the miser for Rodez. Lindsey Thomas put Dijon back in front in the 80th minute and five minutes later, Allison Blais made sure of the points for Dijon. Laura Bouillot then poured salt on the wound for Rodez as she managed to add a fourth in stoppage time to widen the lead before the final whistle.
Rodez' campaign ended with a dismal performance which exemplified their season overall. With only three wins and thirteen points throughout the course of the season, Rodez' have been poor in far too many matches and have paid the price for that. Dijon sit comfortably in eighth at the end of the season and although they were close to the relegation zone, they had enough quality in them to never be fully dragged into the relegation battle.
ASJ Soyaux and FC Fleury 91 knew that they were both safe from being involved in a relegation battle on the final day and it was the hosts who came away with the win. Julie Machart-Rabanne put Fleury ahead in the 16th minute but the home side responded well and found the equaliser in the 40th minute thanks to Laura Bourgouin. Bourgouin then got the game-winning goal in the 81st minute with a fine finish and ensured that her team finished the season with a win in front of their fans.
Soyaux end their season in sixth and will be happy with their overall position as they look to stabilise themselves in the top flight. Fleury 91 dropped down into ninth but with three points separating themselves from the final relegation spot, will be happy to see the season end with them guaranteed another season in the Division 1 Féminine.
With the title already gone, Paris Saint-Germain did not have much to play for against En Avant de Guingamp and as such, fielded a slightly weaker team to end their season. Both teams had early chances to go ahead but could not find the back of the net. The game then took an interesting turn in the 36th minute when PSG goalkeeper Christiane Endler was sent off after taking out Emelyne Laurent who was through on goal. Léa Le Garrec stepped up to take the penalty only to see it cannon off the crossbar and over the goal. It was the Parisiennes who took the lead in the 42nd minute when a short corner resulted in Irene Paredes breaking free inside the area and finishing powerfully past the goalkeeper. Being reduced to ten players did not help PSG keep the lead and in the 67th minute, the hosts tied up the match. Julie Debever was the first to a corner and her near post run resulted in a smart finish that brought her team level in the match.
Guingamp were unable to find the winning goal but with them safely secured in the top flight for another season, they will be happy with how well they tested PSG througout the game. They end the season in seventh, a respectable position for a team of their size. PSG end their season in second as they have been for most of the season. The 5-0 demolishing they suffered a few weeks ago at the hands of their rivals will hurt and they will look to address the gap in quality this summer with some new signings.
FC Girondins de Bordeaux finished their season strongly with a one-all draw against Paris FC. Both teams exchanged opportunities in the first half but could not find the back of the net. Linda Sällström, one of the biggest positives from Paris' season, scored her 12th goal of the campaign with the opening goal of the game in the 55th minute. Bordeaux did not let up their pressure despite going down a goal and got their reward in the 73rd minute when Claire Lavogez set piece found Kathellen Sousa who knocked the ball past the goalkeeper to tie up the game. Both teams could not find a winner and the game ended with a goal apiece for each team.
Bordeaux, who have been the story of the season, finished in fourth and will look to keep their momentum going with more astute signings in the summer. Paris, who should have had a better campaign, will look to build a team that can produce more consistently or they will continue to be a part of the midtable teams instead of chasing trophies like they would like.