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Montpellier are still not good enough to challenge OL

A 5-0 demolishing at the hands of the champions showed Montpellier HSC just how far they have to go before they can match up with the top two in France.

Montpellier HSC v Olympique Lyonnais - Women’s D1 Arkema Photo by Alexpress/Icon Sport via Getty Images

Saturday evening saw Montpellier HSC Féminine host Olympique Lyonnais Féminin for the first time this season. It was to be a true test of just how far Montpellier had come this season as they looked to chase down the top two in France for a UEFA Women’s Champions League place and stake their claim as one of France’s top teams. The weather was abysmal and so was the home side’s performance.

From the first whistle it was essentially one way traffic. Leonie Pankratz was left with her head spinning once the game was over as Delphine Cascarino ran circles around the German defender every chance she got. The first goal of the game saw Cascarino muscle Pankratz off the ball before picking out Dzsenifer Marozsán who was unmarked near the penalty spot. The German midfielder then headed goalwards powerfully in the fifth minute to give OL the lead. If you were looking for a reaction after going down so early from the hosts, none was forthcoming. Marozsán then turned provider in the seventh minute when her free kick found the head of Amandine Henry who couldn’t miss at the back post. Pankratz’ bad night continued when in the 21st minute, she was spun by Cascarino who then picked out Eugénie Le Sommer for her third goal of the season.

The visitors were three-nil up at half-time and Montpellier had wilted at the first sign of danger. In fact, Sarah Bouhaddi could have brought out a chair and warmed herself up in the cold, that’s how unaffected the Lyon backline was by anything Montpellier put together in attack.

The second half was no different except that OL decided to slow down the tempo and see out the game without putting in much more effort. That didn’t stop them from finding two more goals though to make this an emphatic victory for the champions. Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir picked up a goal for herself in the 72nd minute after Cindy Perrault’s punch didn’t land far enough away from goal and Kadeisha Buchanan found the back of the net in stoppage time as she deflected in Henry’s header from another set piece.

Montpellier had looked to prove themselves this season but after heavy defeats to Paris Saint-Germain Féminine and now Olympique Lyonnais, they know they have a lot more work to do before they can challenge either of these teams. The gulf in quality was all too apparent on Saturday night and seemingly will not be minimised any time soon.

  • A brace from Marie-Antoinette Katoto along with goals from Kadidiatou Diani and Irene Paredes ensured a four-nil win for PSG against FC Fleury 91. Despite being away from home, not many expected anything less from the Parisiennes as they look to keep pace with Lyon at the top.
  • FC Girondins des Bordeaux Féminine bounced back from their previous loss with a five-one win over Dijon FCO. Claire Lavogez’ 11th minute goal and Maëlle Garbino’s 87th minute goal bracketed a hat trick from Khadija Shaw. Rose Lavaud put the away side ahead in the fifth minute before Lavogez pulled Bordeaux back on level terms six minutes later. A red card for Léna Goetsch in the 31st minute made things harder for Dijon who had managed to stave off Bordeaux up until that point. The second half saw Bordeaux take advantage of the extra player and thus find the back of the net four more times.
  • Paris FC found a big win for themselves against Reims Football Féminin thanks to a hat trick from Clara Mateo. Mateo put the hosts ahead in the 14th minute but Rachel Corboz drew Stade de Reims level again when she converted a 34th minute penalty. Mateo then made sure of the points for Paris with two more goals in the 40th and 56th minutes of the game.
  • The game between En Avant de Guingamp Féminines and Le Havre AC Féminine started off quickly. Faustine Roberts put Guingamp ahead in the second minute but Berglind Björg Þorvaldsdóttir brought Le Havre right back in it with a goal two minute later. Sarah Cambot scored what proved to be the game winner in the 79th minute when she made her way past a defender before firing low into the corner.
  • Issy FF pushed themselves off the bottom of the table with a one-nil win over ASJ Soyaux Féminine. Batcheba Louis was picked out by a long ball forward and she used her pace and skill to beat a defender before firing over the goalkeeper for the only goal of the game in the 12th minute. It was a moment of brilliance in game that lacked overall quality.