It took three rounds into the new Division 1 Féminine and Olympique Lyonnais Féminin to face their first test of the season. On Sunday night, the French and European champions lined up at home against potential dark horses FC Girondins de Bordeaux Féminine. Both sides had seen players come in and out during the transfer season but it was the champions who had seen the more prominent incoming and outgoing transfers. In what was predicted to be a difficult game for both sides, it took goals from Ellie Carpenter and Eugénie Le Sommer to make sure of the three points for Lyon.
Both sides looked to contain each other as much as possible and because of that, the game didn’t see a lot of goal-mouth action in the first half. The biggest talking point of that half came in the 35th minute when Saki Kumagai had to be substituted out of the game with some kind of knee injury. Nikita Parris, who had been a regular starter for Lyon last season, came on for the veteran midfielder, changing the tactical shape of Lyon a little more than they would have liked at that point of the match.
The change in formation worked out well for the hosts as they found the breakthrough in the 42nd minute. Amel Majri and Delphine Chatelin collided inside the penalty area and allowed Carpenter to latch on to the loose ball without a defender near her. The Australian international made no mistake and blasted home her first goal for Lyon into the near side of the goal.
In the second half, the pouring rain which had been present throughout the first half made the flow of the game that much more difficult for both teams. Fortune favoured Lyon however when in the 52nd minute, Le Sommer’s long range effort was deflected into her own net by Vanessa Gilles. Bordeaux continued to try and find a way back into the match and seemingly did so in the 72nd minute when Ouleymata Sarr raced onto a through ball and beat Sarah Bouhaddi who had come out to close down the shot.
Despite their efforts, Bordeaux could not find the second goal that would tie the game for them and Lyon came away with a big three points this early in the season. They now sit on top of the league, two points ahead of would-be challengers Paris Saint-Germain Féminine and despite not being at their best yet, still picking up wins.
- Speaking of PSG, they demolished newcomers to the league, Reims Football Féminin by four goals to nil in their Round 3 matchup at home. Kadidiatou Diani scored a brace with goals in the fifth and 44th minutes, Nadia Nadim picked up her own in the 23rd and Signe Braun scored the final goal of the match in the 89th minute. Despite their blip in the last round, PSG continue to stay right on Lyon’s heels as they look to finally wrestle the title away from their rivals.
- Montpellier HSC Féminine continued their good start to the season with a 4-1 win over ASj Soyaux. German international Lena Petermann got her team off to a great start with goals in the 17th and 27th minutes and Swede Marija Banušić made sure of the points with goals in the 54th and 64th minutes of the game. Montpellier now sit in third, level on points with PSG and looking to push the Parisiennes as far as they can for that Champions League spot.
- Another surprising start to the season comes from FC Fleury 91 Féminine who also sit on seven points after three rounds of matches. Their 1-0 win away at newly promoted side Issy FF was not a great match to watch but Fleury did enough through Marina Makanza’s 28th minute goal to pick up all three points. It’s been a tough start for Issy and it won’t get any easier as they continue to sit at the bottom of the table. Their next match will be against Stade Reims and they will need to win it to get out of this rotten start they have had.
- After an opening day loss, Dijon FCO have now won two in a row with a 2-1 win away at En Avant de Guingamp. The match took a long time to get going but once it did, the goals came flying in. Desire Oparanozie opened the scoring in the 70th minute and Rose Lavaud put the visitors up by two in the 76th minute. Faustine Robert clawed one back for Guingamp in the 84th minute, leading to a nervy finish to the game but Dijon hung on for the win. Dijon are now in fifth while it’s grim reading for Guingamp who have lost their first three games of the season, and sit near the bottom of standings.
- Paris FC continue to flatter to deceive as they could not find a winner against Le Havre AC. In fact, it was the visitors who found the first goal of the match in the 87th minute thanks to Berglind Björg Þorvaldsdóttir. Unfortunately for Le Havre they could not see out the game as Clara Mateo equalised for Paris in the 89th minute. Despite the gulf in class between the two sides, Le Havre put forward their best foot while Paris were not as impressive despite their superior roster. Due to goal difference, Le Havre sit one place higher than Paris in the table in sixth and will look to keep picking up points in their effort to stay in the top flight next season.