Rearguard Wendie Renard was in red-hot scoring form as she twice proved the redeemer for reigning champions Olympique Lyonnais in their 3-2 victory over Paris FC on Sunday.
Lyon were the first to score when Renard broke through in the 17th minute but Paris FC quickly responded courtesy of striker Mathilde Bourdieu in the 19th minute when she drilled home a perfectly weighted pass from winger Ouleymata Sarr.
End-to-end action unfolded as both teams looked to gain advantage before the breather to no avail with both teams heading for the dressing a goal apiece.
The second-half kicked-off in frantic action and Paris FC regained the lead when Mathilde Bourdieu scored her second in typical goal-poacher’s fashion immediately after resumption.
Both teams made strings of changes as they attempted to wrestle control of the game with Sonia Bompastor introducing attacker Signe Bruun for midfielder Daniëlle van de Donk on minute 60 and Paris following suite with midfielder Daphné Corbozmade making way for fellow midfielder Coumba Sow in the 64th minute.
The 67th minute tweaks by Lyon which saw forward Melvine Malard coming off for defender Selma Bacha and midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsán taking the place of teenage forward Inès Benyahia swung the match in favour of Lyon with Renard levelling the score in the 70th minute.
Forward Delphine Cascarino settled the match for Lyon in the 80th minute when she hit home from close range.
The win took Lyon to 25 points, two in front of Paris Saint-Germain and kept their aspirations for the title alive.
Elsewhere, PSG laboured to a 1-0 win over Guingamp courtesy of a Kadidiatou Diani strike at home on Saturday.
The leading goal-scorer obliged in the 30th minute in emphatic fashion when she smashed home her eighth goal on the local front.
In a match where they dominated their opponents left, right and centre, enjoying a lion’s share of the ball possession with 71-29, the home side had a curiously slow day in the office in terms of chance conversion as they only had six of their 13 shots hitting the target.
The solitary goal came after some fine work by midfielder Oriane Jean-François who laid through for top markswoman Diani to smash home. This was Jean-François second goal involvement in two matches having scored her first the previous week.
The victory ensured Les Parisiens continue to crank up the pressure up top as they look to wrestle the title charge from defending champions Olympique Lyonnais. As for Guingamp, the battle for survival continues as they have only a single point on the board from a possible 27.
Montpellier HSC finally remembered how to win when they eased past Rodez Aveyron 2-1 on Saturday.
There was a sense ahead of kick-off that this was a must-win game for La Paillade having failed to collect maximum points on three attempts going into this match and the team obliged by scoring two goals within the first 20 minutes to set off the agonizing past three match days.
Striker Faustine Robert broke-through for the home side in the sixth minute when she drilled home a Léa Khelifi pass to take her season’s tally to four. American midfielder Celeste Boureille doubled the score 11 minutes later when smashed home from close quarters.
The balance of play did not change much in the second-half as the home side looked to safeguard their two-goal advantage.
Defender Luna Gevitz made way for Maelys Mpomé, in a like-for-like change for Montpellier as they looked to shore-up their rear guard.
Striker Sofia Guellati pulled one back in the 75th minute to set up a frantic final 15 minutes.
The pendulum swung in favour of Rodez as they finished the match strongly with changes made by Mathieu Rufie proving to be very effective.
The win takes Montpellier to 15 points, three adrift of Paris FC who occupy third spot on the standings whilst Rodez remain on five points, just one spot above bottom-placed Guingamp.
FC Fleury 91 continued with their redemption when they posted a hard-fought 1-0 win over Stade de Reims at home on Saturday.
With three yellow cards shown in the first-half, the match threatened to degenerate into a scuffle as both teams attempted to wrestle control of the match. Reims’ defender Magou Doucouré was booked in the 11th minute, Fleury’s defender Marie Levasseur in the 36th minute and Fleury’s midfilder Léa Le Garrec just before the breather.
Midfielder Ewelina Kamczyk found the only goal of the match six minutes after the resumption when defender Chantelle Swaby’s pass found her within shooting range.
The goal proved to be all that Fleury needed to post their third victory on the trot.
The win took the home side to 14 points, just one point shy of Montpellier who occupy fourth place on the log. As for Stade de Reims, the defeat means they remain on ninth place.
Le Havre put five past Dijon as they posted the match day’s biggest victory at home on Saturday.
The win came as a surprise as the debutants dominated the perennial top division side in every aspect of the game.
An own goal from goalkeeper Lisa Lichtfus in the 13th minute opened the floodgates for Dijon as they failed to keep to pace with the hosts. Striker Kelsey Beth Brands Araújo opened her hattrick account in the 19th minute home when she drove home a perfect ball from fellow attacker Sh'Nia Gordon. Araújo scored her second in the 42nd minute to ensure Le Havre retreat for half-time with a healthy 3-0 lead.
The balance of power continued in the home side’s favour as they added their fourth in the 56th minute when midfielder Nora Coton-Pélagie tapped home a Christy Gavory ball. Araújo completed her threesome two minutes later to kill the match as a contest.
The emphatic win took Le Havre to 13 points from nine matches as they look to avoid relegation in their first year amongst the big-guns.
On the other hand, Dijon were left with all to do going into the last few matches before the league takes the mandatory winter break in two weeks’ time.
FC Girondins de Bordeaux collected maximum points on the road when they defeated ASJ Soyaux-Charente 1-0 on Saturday.
Lynchpin Maelle Garbino scored her seventh goal of the current campaign in the 51st minute to ensure that the visitors compounded woes on perennial strugglers Soyaux-Charente. Her latest goal keeps her within touching distance of PSG’s Diani who leads the scorers charts with eight domestic goals.
The win was enough to ensure Bordeaux, on 12 points, remain prominent in the pressure-cooker mid-table scenario where fourth-placed Montpellier are on 15 points, four in front of eighth-placed Stade de Reims, who have 11 points.
RESULTS (FRIDAY): FC Fleury 91 1 – 0 Stade de Reims
RESULTS (SATURDAY): Paris Saint-Germain FC 1 – 0 En Avant Guingamp; Montpellier HSC 2 - 1 Rodez Aveyron Football; ASJ Soyaux-Charente 0 – 1 FC Girondins de Bordeaux; Le Havre 5 – 0 Dijon Football Côte d'Or;
RESULTS (SUNDAY): Paris FC 2 – 3 Olympique Lyonnais