Gérard Prêcheur schemed and every player pulled their weight as savvy Paris Saint-Germain sent Lyon packing in a classic smash and grab 1-0 win at Groupama Stadium late Sunday night.
Circumspect for the greater part of the match, both teams gave little away as they sized each other up in search of loopholes.
A 36th minute yellow card to Les Parisiens defender Élisa de Almeida became the major event of the first-half as both teams were content with little. The half-time whistle was blown and both teams retreated to the locker-room in a perfect opportunity to rejig for the second stanza.
The balance of play continued in the second-half with both teams unwilling to give much away. The home side made the first substitution in the 73rd minute when Damaris Egurrola made way for Amandine Henry in a like for like swap. Strikers Melvine Malard and Eugénie Le Sommer made way for teenage forward Vicki Jessy Becho Desbonne and Signe Bruun in the 82nd and 86th minutes respectively as Lyon planned a late onslaught.
The flurry of changes by Les Gones, which also saw Daniëlle van de Donk sub out for Dzsenifer Marozsán in the 86th minute, seemingly gave PSG renewed impetus as they found the breakthrough immediately after when mercurial goal-getter Kadidiatou Diani placed home a Élisa de Almeida perfect pass in the 87th minute to send the away side into a frenzy.
Gérard Prêcheur made a late change introducing midfielder Lieke Martens for fellow midfielder Sandy Baltimore deep into added time in an attempt to run down the clock.
The win ensured that PSG retreat for the winter break a point ahead of Lyon on 29 points from 11 games as well as potentially set up a fierce battle for the top gong when the season resumes on the 14th of January 2023.
On the other hand, Lyon, in their defeat, which also is their first of the current campaign, will look to return for the title onslaught a recharged side come January next year.
Elsewhere, third-placed Paris FC returned to winning ways when they thrashed Soyaux-Charente 6-0 away at Stade Léo Lagrange on Saturday afternoon.
Needing a positive result having lost to city rivals PSG on matchday 10, every player selected by manager Sandrine Soubeyrand pulled their weight as five different players found the back of the net on top of an own goal by Soyaux-Charente defender Ipek Kaya.
The rout kicked off in the 39th minute when the rearguard of the home side was caught flat-footed and Ipek, in an effort to clear the lines, miscued her clearance and found the ball in the back of her own net.
The goal opened floodgates as the home side soon found themselves 3-0 down courtesy of goals from striker Clara Mateo and Ouleymata Sarr in the 41st and 45th minute respectively and teams went for the break with Paris FC leading 3-0.
The onslaught continued in the second period when defender Annaïg Butel added her name on the goal scorers’ sheet with a 50th minute strike. Midfielder Louise Fleury made it 5-0 16 minutes before fulltime to put the game beyond Soyaux-Charente. Trusted goal-getter Mathilde Bourdieu completed the half-dozen right at the stroke of fulltime when she stabbedhome her seventh goal of the season.
The win ensured that Paris FC go for the winter-break with third-spot well within their firm grip on 21 points from 11 matches. As for Sayaux-Charente, the fight is on for relegation survival as they plunged to the bottom of the log courtesy of an inferior goal difference to Rodez who occupy 11th.
A match between Le Havre AC and Montpellier HSC at Stade Océane on Sunday afternoon finished 1-0 in favour of the visitors who climbed back to fourth having temporarily lost the place to Fleury who played a day earlier.
A cagey first-half saw the referee brandish three yellow cards, two to Montpellier players Maelys Mpomé and Celeste Boureille in the 12th and 45th minutes respectively and one to Le Havre’s midfielder Salomé Elisor in the 33rd minute as the match went for the breather locked goalless.
The second-half kicked off with more vigour as Montpellier showed more intent, breaking the deadlock on the 61st minute courtesy of a strike by midfielder Cyrielle Julie Blanc.
Soon after claiming the lead, the visitors seized control of the game as they expertly held-on the slender lead until the final whistle.
The win took Montpellier’s tally to 19 points just one point ahead of Fleury who have 18 and are on position number five. As for the home side, it was their fourth loss in five matches having last won on the 26th of November. They remain on 13 points, three places from the drop zone.
FC Fleury 91 made it four wins and one draw from five matches when they beat FC Girondins de Bordeaux 2-0 at Stade Auguste Gentelet on Friday night.
Striker Batcheba Louis struck in the 22nd minute when she turned home a perfectly weighted pass from captain Léa Le Garrec.
The visitors made changes in the second-half in an attempt to salvage a positive result. Mickaélla Cardia came in for Jelena Karličić in a like-for-like swap. In the 66th minute midfielder Serena Pinto De Queiros came in for Sisca Folkertsma in another effort from the visiting dug out to kick-start a comeback.
Marine Dafeu scored the insurance goal when she converted a 74th minute penalty.
The visiting side failed to mount a serious challenge and saw the match come to an end without any response.
The win was enough to see Fleury increase their points tally to 18. The defeat curtailed Bordeaux’s renaissance, which had seen them raise to seventh with 15 points, as they saw their two-match winning streak come to a halt.
In a match pitting Dijon Football Côte d'Or and Stade de Reims at Stadium Poussots on Saturday, Stade de Reims put four past the home team with no response to register their second win on the trot.
Striker Kessya Bussy bagged a hattrick to take her season’s tally to seven.
Melchie Dumornay ignited the goal fest when she struck in the 29th minute, thanks to a Bussy lay through. It was soon two when Bussy opened her account when she drilled home a pass from midfielder Rachel Corboz in the 34th minute.
The teams retreated for the breather with the away team in control of proceedings.
The balance of play continued in the second-half with Bussy doubling her game’s tally 12 minutes after half-time.
She ensured that she carries the match ball home when she completed her hattrick on the 77th minute mark when Dumornay turned provider.
The victory saw Reims take their tally to 17, mounting pressure on Paris FC, Montpellier and Fleury for a top-four finish. As for the home team, the loss saw them plummet to a minus 26 goal difference with a meagre eight points from 11 matches.
En Avant Guingamp moved a one place above the drop-zone when they beat Rodez Aveyron Football 2-1 at Stade de la Roque 1.
Striker Sarah Cambot opened the scoring as early as the eighth minute when she turned home an Aissata Traoré assist. Traoré made it two when she struck home from close quarters, this time with an assist from midfielder Marie-Charlotte Léger and the two goals were enough to ensure that Guingamp went for the breather with a two-goal cushion.
The second half started in frantic fashion with Rodez aiming to creep back into the match. Defender Maud Antoine reduced arrears in the 54th minute when she drilled home a pass from midfielder Solène Champagnac to set up a photo finish.
The visitors held on the one goal margin as they recorded their second victory on the spin.
The victory saw Guingamp leapfrog Rodez and Soyaux-Charente, who are on five points each, to 10th on the log with seven points. Rodez, on the other hand, saw their woes further compounded as they realize that the league is ruthless for hothouse flowers from the lower division.
RESULTS (FRIDAY): FC Fleury 91 2 – 0 FC Girondins de Bordeaux
RESULTS (SATURDAY): ASJ Soyaux-Charente 0 – 6 Paris FC; Dijon Football Côte d'Or 0 – 4 Stade de Reims; Rodez Aveyron Football 1 – 2 En Avant Guingamp
RESULTS (SUNDAY): Le Havre 0 – 1 Montpellier HSC; Olympique Lyonnais 0 – 1 Paris Saint-Germain FC