Paris Saint-Germain knocked out Olympique Lyonnais this weekend thanks to goals by Sandy Baltimore, Kadidiatou Diani and Marie-Antoinette Katoto. It was a sweet, sweet victory for PSG who were thumped 6-1 the last time the two teams met.
Those goals weren’t the full story of the match however. It was Grace Geyoro, PSG’s captain. She not only dominated proceedings but also set the tempo that her teammates duly followed. Without her overall work in midfield, PSG wouldn’t have been able to keep Lyon’s as quiet as they did throughout. Before the match, Geyoro was quoted as saying that PSG “can be favourites too”. She had full belief in herself and her teammates and it showed on the pitch.
Lyon weren’t exactly at the top of their prowess but they looked to push PSG back with a midfield that consisted of Selma Bacha, Griedge Mbock and Catarina Macario. Geyoro and PSG flipped that script by making sure that Lyon’s midfield were the ones defending and not theirs. With Sara Däbritz and Kheira Hamraoui behind her, Geyoro was able to push forward and keep Lyon’s defenders honest while also providing an attacking platform for her forwards to spring forward from.
Any time that PSG come up against Lyon, there’s always a battle whereas in most matches that PSG play in, Geyoro has an easy time roaming around in midfield. Against Lyon, Geyoro knows that she has to be at her absolute best and she was today. She was quick into challenges, smart at cutting out Lyon’s passing lanes, harassing Wendie Renard at every opportunity while still opening up herself for a pass from a teammate and quickly turning that pass into something positive for PSG.
As the match wore on and Lyon started to fade, Grace Geyoro just got even more determined to see out this win. Even with the new players in midfield she squared up against as Lyon made substitutes did not deter Geyoro from putting in one of the more complete performances you’ll see this year. She was the catalyst for PSG to work off of while preventing Lyon from gaining any momentum to come back into the game.
Although she didn’t get on the scoresheet herself, Geyoro was everywhere today. The play above came from her not only cutting off passing lanes so that PSG could win the ball up high but once they did, she was making her forward quickly so she could try and create an opportunity for someone else. Geyoro did this all game long and didn’t give any quarter to Lyon. That defeat in November had firmly been on her mind before the match and she wanted to make sure there would be no repeats of that today. She did.
PSG’s midfield will undoubtedly be the story of this match due to how they nullified Lyon’s midfield. Grace Geyoro was the heartbeat of that performance, putting the shellacking she endured late last year from the same opponent firmly behind her. With Lyon out of the competition, PSG should go all the way as the most dominant team left in the Coupe de France. As long as their captain performs like she did today, I wouldn’t bet against them.