The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset summarizes the fourth round of the 2022/23 D1 Arkema season (3/10/22).

Above: Alexandria Lamontagne, Rodez’s goalkeeper as impressive during the warm-up as she was during the game against Olympique Lyonnais. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

There were several surprises during this round of matches with Bordeaux earning a draw at Montpellier despite fielding a team with an average age of just 22. Le Havre, just promoted, grabbed a sensational draw against Paris Saint-Germain, and Fleury were held at home to Soyaux. So, Olympique Lyonnais took advantage to increase their lead at the top of D1 Arkema to two points from Paris SG.

Le Havre obtained a superb draw 2-2 at home against Paris Saint-Germain, coming from 2-0 down in the process. It is the biggest surprise of this round. Le Havre were second best, but tried to play their game and fought hard for every ball to earn a point. PSG had only a few more opportunities to score, especially in the first half and at the end of the game, even if they had almost 70% possession. This draw is all the more surprising given that Paris SG were leading by two goals after just 24 minutes in a game against a team who have just been promoted to D1 Arkema.

Le Havre did though benefit from a big error by Sarah Bouhaddi, who has replaced Matildas shotstopper Lydia Williams between the sticks. Bouhaddi completely missed her clearance after 39 minutes which gave the corner from which Le Havre scored their first goal thanks to Eva Sumo’s header. Bouhaddi made an identical mistake five minutes later but this time the corner was dealt with. To be noted, Christy Gavory scored an outstanding goal from 25 meters just in the upper left-hand corner of the net after having won the ball in midfield and exchanged a one-two with Laura Rueda. With this draw, Paris SG let Lyon alone at the head of D1 Arkema. Goals for Le Havre from Eva Sumo (39), Christy Gavory (52). Goal for Paris SG from Kadidiatou Diani (9 penalty), Ramona Bachmann (24).

Above: Kadidiatou Diani puts PSG ahead at Le Havre from the penalty spot. Photo: L.Pestel/PSG.

Montpellier shared the points at home to Bordeaux in a goalless draw. Bordeaux fielded the 17-year-old pair of Marion Haelewyn and Fiona Liaigre amongst a team with an average age of just 22. This meant that Ella Pallis, 23 had to step up to be the leader on the field to counsel her young teammates. It was not a great game from a purely football point of view, but it remained very watchable due to the back-and-forth nature of the play.

Fleury were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Soyaux. It was not a good result for Fleury who are aiming for third place and Champions League football at the end of this season. This result means their current run of form is a draw and a loss. In my own point of view, Manon Heil, Fleury’s goalkeeper, could, even should, have prevented Ipek Kaya’s goal by catching the ball as it headed towards the corner of the net. Batcheba Louis was a particularly strong performer for Fleury. Goal for Fleury from Batcheba Louis (12). Goal for Soyaux from Ipek Kaya (55).

Above: Christy Gavory scored an outstanding goal after 52 minutes to earn Le Havre a superb draw against PSG. Photo: Le Havre (HAC Féminines Facebook page).

Paris FC won 2-0 away to Dijon. Paris FC produced a strong performance in this victory. The visitors have started the season brilliantly and are already second spot in D1 Arkema, and put their main opponents for third place, and Champions League qualifying – Montpellier, Reims, and Fleury three, four, and five points behind respectively. Goal for Paris FC from Célina Ould Hocine (10), Gaëtane Thiney (78 penalty).

Reims won 3-0 at home against Guingamp. Reims obtained their second win of the season without difficulty. They produced an excellent display, never giving Guingamp a chance. Rachel Corboz showed once again her skills from free kicks by putting a ball against the crossbar from 25 meters which led to a goal from Julie Pasquereau who scored with a header. With this win, Reims are now fifth. Goals for Reims from Monique Ngock (30), Julie Pasquereau (32), Kethna Louis (45+1).

Above: Lindsey Horan in action for Lyon against Rodez with her national flag behind her. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Olympique Lyonnais won 2-0 at home against Rodez. For this game, Sonia Bompastor, Lyon coach, left several key players on the bench – Christiane Endler, Selma Bacha, Daniëlle Van de Donk, Janice Cayman, Signe Bruun, and Lindsey Horan. However, Lyon completely dominated the game with almost 70% possession, even if they only scored two goals despite creating more than 20 opportunities. To be noted was the good performance of Alexandria Lamontagne, Rodez’s goalkeeper, who had a lot of work but preserved her goal several times. Delphine Cascarino produced another outstanding performance with a goal and a decisive pass and was named player of the match. To be noted the great performance of Perle Morroni as left defender, and the good performance of Janice Cayman who played right defender in the second half. Goal for Lyon from Delphine Cascarino (5), Eugénie Le Sommer (32).

Above: Delphine Cascarino putting Olympique Lyonnais ahead after five minutes. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.
Artwork: D1 Arkema.

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