French Football

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset summarizes the France Cup 2022 Final.

Above: Paris St. Germain lift the France Cup after their 8-0 win over Football Féminin Yzeure Allier AuvergnePhoto: PSG Feminines.

Paris Saint-Germain (D1) won 8-0 against Football Féminin Yzeure Allier Auvergne (D2). This final took place in Dijon in front of a crowd of 7 000 spectators, of which 1,900 fans came Yzeure (almost a sixth of their population of 13 000).

Paris SG were relentless and won their third France Cup (2010, 2018, 2022) in a one-sided game. The difference between the two teams was not only an entire division, but budgets at opposite ends of the scale.

Yzeure has the lowest budget in France D2 (€275,000), which represents the annual salary of a single average player in PSG squad, which has a budget around 30 times greater than Yzeure. The second-tier side are also a fully amateur team with all their players working or in college or university but still find a way to train five times during the week and play on weekends while Paris SG are fully professional.

Above: Football Féminin Yzeure Allier Auvergne pictured after the game – it was a heroic cup run for the second-tier side. Photo: La Montagne Terre de Sport.

Furthermore, on the team sheet, Yzeure had only four players as substitutes including their own coach Ophélie Meilleroux. Still, we must note that Sara Däbritz produced a superb performance with three decisive passes from corners (to Marie-Antoinette Katoto 7th minute, to Paulina Dudek 9th minute, to Ashley Lawrence 12th minute), and two goals (13th minute on a pass from Kadidiatou Diani, 72nd minute with a cross-shot from 18 meters).

Teams: PARIS ST. GERMAIN: Voll, Lawrence, De Almeida, Dudek, Karchaoui, Fazer, Geyoro, Däbritz, Diani (Baltimore 63′), Bachmann (Cascarino 63′), Katoto (Huitema 63′).

Scorers: Katoto 3’, 7’, 31’. Dudek 9’ Lawrence 12’, 59’. Däbritz 13’ 72’.

YZEURE ALLIER AUVERGNE : Beitz, Surpris, Moreira, Manie, De Sousa (Barka 82′) – Woedikou (Shtainshnaider 73′), Ou Mahi, Seddaoui Tsadjia (Rousset 90+1′), Goumeziane, Mbengue.

Stop press news: There is mounting speculation that Sara Däbritz will leave PSG to join Olympique Lyonnais for next season. If it is confirmed. There are also rumours that another PSG star, Marie-Antoinette Katoto could also be on her way to Lyon.

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset summarizes the 20th round of D1 Arkema.

Above: With 45 minutes played, Ada Hegerberg scores for Olympique Lyonnais after being played in by Amandine Henry. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Montpellier won 3-0 at home against Soyaux. This game was edged by Montpellier (55% possession). However, after their goal at the 12th minute, they had to wait until the end of the game for their second (86th) and third goals (90th+1). Their final strike came from Matildas star Mary Fowler, who only came onto the pitch six minutes earlier. With this win, Montpellier stay in fifth place, but only three points ahead of Reims who are down in seventh. Goals for Montpellier from Faustine Robert (12, 86), Mary Fowler (90+1).

Above: Mary Fowler (far right) celebrates her last gasp goal for Montpellier that sealed their 3-0 win over Soyaux. Photo via: The Matildas.

Guingamp won 4-0 at home against Dijon. Guingamp were the dominant force against a Dijon team that was never really in a situation to put them in danger. With this loss, Dijon’s place in next season’s D1 Arkema is still uncertain. They have two games left and are only four points ahead of Soyaux who are 10th. On the other hand, with this win, Guingamp is now sure to be in D1 Arkema next season. Goals for Guingamp from Aissata Traoré (48), Sarah Cambot (68, 79), Alison Péniguel (84).

Fleury won 5-0 away from home against Issy. In a game largely dominated by Fleury (63% possession), Issy only managed three shots on target and had never really the opportunity to win this game.  Apart from two saves, Fleury goalkeeper Emmeline Mainguy had little to do during this game. The first save came after nine minutes with her right hand and second save two minutes into stoppage time at the end of the match. Fleury put a lot of pressure during all along the game and won many balls between the 30 and 50 meters zone of Issy’s part of the field but still they had to wait the second half to start to score. To be noted: Kenza Chapelle, 19 years old, scored her first two goals in D1 Arkema. Rosemonde Kouassi, 20 years old, scored one goal and made two decisive passes. Marine Dafeur also made two decisive passes. Goals for Fleury from Julie Debever (55), Rosemonde Kouassi (68), Kenza Chapelle (85, 90+1), Léa Le Garrec (89).

Above: Sonia Bompastor (left hand side), Lyon coach, and Sandrine Soubeyrand (right hand side), Paris FC coach, in discussion during the warm-up of their two team’s encounter at the weekend. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Reims won 1-0 at home against Saint-Etienne. In a level game, Reims had to wait until two minutes into stoppage time at the end of the 90 minutes to score and win the game. With this victory, Reims, currently seventh, can still hope to finish as high as fifth place as Montpellier and Bordeaux (respectively fifth and sixth) are only three points ahead of them. Goal for Reims from Melchie Daëlle Dumornay (90+2).

Paris St. Germain won 5-1 away from home against Bordeaux. Despite the scoreline, it was a pretty even game. The difference was that PSG were more efficient and converted their opportunities. Kadidiatou Diani hit a hat-trick. Despite this win, Paris SG are still five points behind Lyon who they face next in Paris. Goals for Paris SG from Kadidiatou Diani (14, 51, 87), Marie-Antoinette Katoto (66), Jordyn Huitema (90+4). Goal for Bordeaux from Mélissa Gomes (76).

Above: Delphine Cascarino slots home Olympique Lyonnais’ second after Catarina Macario’s assist. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Olympique Lyonnais won at home 2-0 against Paris FC. In a game between the teams placed first and third, Lyon had a little bit more opportunities, and it was a very pleasant game to watch between two excellent teams. Paris FC showed that they deserve their third place in the league, and they could have scored several times if Christiane Endler, Lyon’s goalkeeper, and her defence had not been on top form. We had to wait the end of the first half to see Lyon taking the lead when Ada Hegerberg scored after Armadine Henry’s pass. The scoring was completed after the hour when Delphine Cascarino received a pass from Catarina Macario to net. Goals for Lyon from Ada Hegerberg (45), Delphine Cascarino (61).

Above: The Paris FC team that played Olympique Lyonnais this weekend. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset summarizes the 19th round of D1 Arkema (19/4/22).

Above: Katriina Talaslahti makes a save for Fleury against Olympique Lyonnais. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Reims won 2-1 away from home against Soyaux. In a very even game, Reims was a little bit more efficient. With this win, Reims are now sure to finish no lower than seventh the standing. Goals for Reims from Kethna Louis (32), Tanya Romanenko (83). Goal for Soyaux from Camille Collin (50).

Bordeaux won 2-0 away from home against Dijon. In a game edged by Bordeaux (58% possession), they were only a little bit more efficient, and it was enough to score twice. Goals for Bordeaux from Katja Snoeijs (15), Melissa Gomes (32).

Guingamp away from home, won 3-1 against Saint-Etienne. In a game slightly dominated by Guingamp, only the shots on target made the difference between these two teams. Goals for Guingamp from Maïwen Renard (26), Sarah Cambot (36), Laurie Teinturier (65). Goal for Saint-Etienne from Kelly Gago (65).

Above: Rosemonde Kouassi (13 far left) scored at the 36th minute for Fleury. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Paris Saint-Germain won 6-1 at home against Issy. With 73% possession and 23 shots with 11 on target, Paris SG largely dominated this game and won easily even if the score was only 1-1 at half time. Goals for Paris SG from Marie-Antoinette Katoto (31, 83), Grace Geyoro (49), Sara Däbritz (65), Kadidiatou Diani (68), Ramona Bachmann (90+1). Goal for Issy from Julie Perruzzetto (35).

Olympique Lyonnais won away from home 2-1 against Fleury. Even if they dominated the game (61% possession), it was far from an easy game for Lyon. Fleury showed that they have made a lot of progress since the beginning of this season and scored first. They could have scored more goals with a little bit more efficiency in front of the goal; they hit the bar twice. We must note that most of the Lyon players were back only three days before this game from their international duty and that it had not helped them to deliver their usual game.

Katriina Talaslahti, Fleury goalkeeper, injured her right eye by one of her teammates during a corner just before Catarina Macario flag kick flew straight in. Speaking to me after the game, Talaslahti said: “I did not see clearly the ball on the corner from Catarina.” The injury was unfortunate as prior to this, the Fleury keeper made several good saves. She was replaced just after the goal after 62 minutes. I just had a talk with Talaslahti while I am finishing this report, on April 18 in the evening, and she told me: “It’s better now, I will see the doctor tomorrow morning.” Goals for Lyon from Katariina Talslahti (37 Own Goal), Catarina Macario (60). Goal for Fleury from Rosemonde Kouassi (36).

Above: Own goal from Katriina Talaslahti following a shot from Lyon’s Delphine Cascarino just under the crossbar. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus

Paris FC won 3-1 at home against Montpellier. The pressure from Montpellier’s players during the first quarter prevented Paris from getting going. Then the game was pretty even with Paris FC having more opportunities, but their strikers did not always make the best decision. At the 24th minute, after a clearance by Lisa Schmitz, the Montpellier goalkeeper, following a shot from Rachel Corboz and a block on the line by Maellys Mpomé, Clara Matéo opened the score.

One minute later, Ouleymata Sarr scored on a counterattack after a pass from Gaétane Thiney. Then, at the end of the first half, Lisa Schmitz was not lucky because Gaétane Thiney put her penalty against the cross bar, but the ball bounced onto her back to finish in the net.

At the beginning of second half, Mathilde Bourdieu had a huge opportunity to score for Montpellier, but she lost her one to one by shooting directly on the goalkeeper. Montpellier had a very good first quarter, and Mathilde Bourdieu had two other opportunities without scoring: at the 50th minute when she put the ball over the cross bar from 6 meters, and at the 62nd minute when she put again the ball at the goalkeeper who cleared with her hands. With this win, and the loss of Fleury, Paris FC are now sure to finish third in the standing and qualify for the UEFA Women Champions League next season. Goals for Paris FC from Clara Matéo (24), Ouleymata Sarr (25), Lisa Schmitz (41 Own Goal). Goal for Montpellier from Nérilia Mondésir (50).

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset summarizes the 18th round of D1 Arkema (5/4/22).

Above: Action from Guingamp (red) against Olympique Lyonnais. Photo: OL Feminin.

Fleury won 1-0 away to Soyaux. In a game edged by Fleury (57% possession), Soyaux was not able to score as Fleury players showed once more that they know how to play together to pull off important wins. It is important to note the good performance of the young Rosemonde Kouassi. There was another clean sheet for FC Fleury 91 and another great performance by goalkeeper Katriina Talaslahti, who made 10 clearances with her feet, one with her fists, seven catches, and one outstanding save when a shot was heading into the top left-hand corner of the goal. With this win, Fleury can still dream of Champions League. Goal for Fleury from Dominica Grabowska (55 penalty).

Reims won 2-1 away from home against Montpellier. Montpellier just about had the better of the play (58% possession) but Reims were more efficient in front of goal. Even if Montpellier scored first at the very end of the first half, which is normally not very good for the spirit of the team that is behind, Reims never stopped believing they could win. It moved the visitors to seventh place in the standing with a ten-point cushion over eighth. For Montpellier, it is a very bad result because with this loss they are now five points adrift of fourth place and 11 points from third which brings a Champions League spot, which they can forget about now. Goals for Reims from Lou-Ann Joly (74), Kethna Louis (81). Goal for Montpellier from Maëlle Lakrar (45+5).

Bordeaux won 3-0 at home against Issy. In a game edged by Bordeaux (57% possession), Issy had only six shots and Bordeaux could have scored at least three more goals if they were more efficient in front of the goal. Claire Lavogez and Katja Snoeijs (one goal and two decisive passes) were hugely impressive for Bordeaux. Goals for Bordeaux from Katja Snoeijs (10), Claire Lavogez (59), Eve Périsset (77).

Above: A midfield battle in the game between Bordeaux and Issy Photo: Régis Hazenfus.

Olympique Lyonnais won 2-0 away at Guingamp. Guingamp tried to put a lot of pressure on Lyon’s players during the game, but the visitors dominated with 64% possession, and could have scored more goals. Despite this, Lyon keeper Christiane Endler had to pull off a great save on a shot just under the cross bar from Louise Fleury after five minutes. Overall though there was not a lot of suspense in the game. Cindy Perrault, Guingamp’s goalkeeper was impressive, making two big saves at the 62nd minute on a one to one against Selma Bacha and at the 90th+1 minute from a Wendy Renard header following a good cross from Catarina Macario. Goals for Lyon from Catarina Macario (10), Ada Hegerberg (37).

Paris FC obtained a draw 0-0 at home in their derby game with Paris Saint-Germain. In an enjoyable game which was very even, neither team could score despite several opportunities. The best chance for Paris FC came in the third minute when they were awarded a penalty. Unfortunately for them, Daphne Corbos did not hit it very well and Barbora Votikova, PSG’s goalkeeper, dived the right way and caught the ball. Chiamaka Nnadozie, Paris FC’s goalkeeper, the youngest goalkeeper in D1 Arkema at 21 years old, was very impressive. With Lyon’s win at Guingamp, Paris St. Germain are now five points behind and it seems that the 2021-2022 D1 Arkema title race is all but over.  

The match between Saint-Etienne and Dijon was postponed due to a snowstorm in Saint-Etienne. There is still no news about the decision of FFF commission following the incident at the end of Paris FC and Reims game, (see report from the game here: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/03/22/the-view-from-france-37/ We should know more next week.

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset summarizes the 17th round of D1 Arkema (22/2/33).

Paris Saint-Germain won 2-0 at home against Soyaux. It was a straightforward win for PSG against the team placed 11th in the table. The hosts dominated the game with 72% possession and took the lead after 13 minutes. They were unable to increase their lead until the 84th minute. Goals for Paris SG from Sakina Karchaoui (13), Aminata Diallo (84).

Olympique Lyonnais won 3-0 away from home against Dijon. Lyon controlled the game with 67% possession, 31 shots on goal with 11 on target) while Dijon had no shots at all. Even though they played better than last week, there is still a lack of efficiency in front of goal by Lyon. Hopefully, the return of Catarina Macario and Delphine Cascarino to the squad will allow Lyon to quickly improve. Nine minutes into the game, after having winning the ball back in the midfield, Delphine Cascarino delivered a perfect cross for Catarina Macario to score.

Macario scored her and Lyon’s second goal after 35 minutes by a curling right-foot shot from 20 meters which found the right upper corner of the goal. Delphine Cascarino sent another perfect cross on the head of Melvine Malard for the third goal. Selma Bacha produced yet another good performance prior to being injured after 70 minutes. As yet, we do not know yet the severity of her injury. Lyon welcomed back Sara Björk Gunnersdottir four months after having her baby; she played the whole second half. Goals for Lyon from Catarina Macario (9, 35), Melvine Malard (62).

Paris FC away from home won 2-1 against Reims after a hugely controversial ending. In a game dominated by Paris FC with 61% possession, Reims relied on the counterattack. This was reasonably successful as the score was still 1-1 four minutes into stoppage time at the end of 90 minutes. Reims had opened the scoring at the 62nd minute and they would have deserved a draw as they fought as a team during the whole game. Then arrived the fifth minute of stoppage time.

From Paris FC’s attack, a shot went out just on the right of the goal and the referee inaccurately gave a corner to Paris FC, who scored. The ball did not hit a Reims player before it went out of the field and there should not have been a corner awarded. To make matters worse, the corner was taken from the left instead of the right side as stipulated in the rules (a corner must be shot from the corner the closest to where the ball went out of the field). Reims complained and asked for the corner to be taken again and from the right corner, but the referee validated the goal. Reims’ captain wrote immediately a technical communication and the FFF (French Football Federation) commission should look at this during the week which may result in the game being replayed. Goals for Paris FC from Mathilde Bourdieu (67), Ouleymata Sarr (90+5). Goal for Reims from Kethna Louis (62). Red card for Sonia Ouchène (90+6) Reims.  

Above: Fleury celebrate in their game against Bordeaux. Photo: D1 Arkema.

Fleury won 2-0 at home against Bordeaux. In this even game, Fleury again showed a great team spirit. The whole team fought very hard to obtain this win and clean sheet. Katriina Talaslahti, Fleury’s goalkeeper, contributed largely to this new clean sheet, producing a good performance with more than 10 saves, clearances, or catches. To be noted also the great performance of Fleury’s young player Rosemonde Kouassi (just 20 years old) from the Ivory Coast who scored once and made a decisive pass to Léa Le Garrec after a run of more than 60 meters. Goals for Fleury from Rosemonde Kouassi (8), Léa Le Garrec (75).

Montpellier won 6-0 at home against Guingamp. If we look just at the statistics, this game was equal (48% possession for Montpellier) but Montpellier was far more efficient than Guingamp and scored six times. Goals for Montpellier from Faustine Robert (3, 60), Nérilia Mondésir (10, 41), Lena Petermann (28), Esther Mbakem-Niaro (88).

Issy won 4-1 at home against Saint-Etienne. In a strange game dominated by Saint-Etienne with 63% possession, Issy scored four times from their five shots on target while Saint-Etienne scored only once with 7 shots on target! Goals for Issy from Julie Rabanne (34), Roselord Borgella (46, 75), Batcheba Louis (77). Goal for Saint-Etienne from Esther Okoronkwo (13).

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset summarizes the 16th round of D1 Arkema (15/3/22).

What a strange and desperate round! The two “supposedly” best teams in French league could not win. Paris Saint-Germain drew 0-0 with sixth placed Montpellier, and Lyon were held 1-1 against bottom club Saint-Etienne. These two results are not very reassuring with the UEFA Women Championships’ League games coming up in two weeks.

Issy away from home won 1-0 against Dijon. It was a logical win for Issy in an even game where Batcheba Louis (24 years old), from Haiti, scored at the 73rd minute with a beautiful shot. With this second consecutive win, Issy continues to move up in the standings and can still stay in D1 for next season. Goal for Issy from Batcheba Louis (73).

Reims won 1-0 away from home against Guingamp. In another equal game, and in which there were a lot of stray passes and lost possession (around only 60% of successful passes for each team), Reims scored at the very end of the match thanks to Océane Deslandes after a great pass from Rachel Corbos. With this win, Reims consolidate their seventh place in the league. Goal for Reims from Océane Deslandes (90).

Bordeaux away from home won 3-0 against Soyaux. In a game edged by Bordeaux, the visitors was a little bit more efficient even if they had to wait until the 90th and three minutes into stoppage time to score their second and third goals. Bordeaux and Montpellier are now both on 26 points in fifth and sixth place in the standings respectively. Goals for Bordeaux from Julie Dufour (53), Mélissa Gomes (90), Maëlle Garbino (90+3).

Paris FC won 3-1 at home against Fleury. In this important game between two teams battling it out for the  third Champions League qualifying spot, Paris FC dominated this game and Fleury, despite the fact they put a lot of impact suffered. Paris FC, which had lost against Fleury last week in France Cup, were able to react. After their goal in the 13th minute and up to the first goal of Paris FC, Fleury thought that they could do it again and beat Paris FC. On the second and third goals for Paris FC, Katriina Talaslahti, Fleury’s goalkeeper, alone in front on Paris FC strikers, got a touch on the shots but not enough to prevent them from going into goal.

Paris FC are now nine points ahead of Fleury but nothing is completely decided because they had four big games (Paris SG and Montpellier at home, Lyon and Bordeaux away from home) in their future schedule while Fleury had only one big game against Lyon at home. Goals for Paris FC from Mathilde Bourdieu (27, 61), Clara Matéo (88). Goal for Fleury from Dominika Grabowska (13). 

Paris Saint-Germain at home drew 0-0 against Montpellier. This game was edged by Paris SG (61% possession). All along the game, Montpellier were aggressive and put a lot of pressure on Paris SG players. For Paris SG, Paulina Dudek, their captain, had to be replaced at the 20th minute due to injury. PSG were lacking support, presence, and accuracy in front of the goal; Marie-Antoinette Katoto was several times alone with no solution proposed by her teammates. Even if Sandy Baltimore entered at half time, the strong pressing of Montpellier did not allow Paris SG to develop their game. This combined with the great performance of Gabrielle Lambert, Montpellier goalkeeper, allowed Montpellier to obtain a deserved draw.

Olympique Lyonnais were held 1-1 away from home against Saint-Etienne. In this game, Lyon were dominant (65% possession, 28 shots with 13 on target, nine corners), yet they were below par throughout. How they could not score more than one goal from 28 shots is a staggering and a such lack of efficiency in front of the goal for the “supposedly” best team in the world is not only a shame but also very disturbing. Even if we must point out the great performance of Emily Burns, Saint-Etienne goalkeeper, we have to say that she was helped by the poor shooting of Lyon strikers in the six yards area with most of the shots straight at her.

There are also question marks about Lyon coach Sonia Bompastor’s team selection for the match. Why was Griedge MBock played in front of the defence, where she is obviously not at ease, instead of reintegrating Damaris Egurrola, who was available, in the team and put MBock back in the central defense instead of Kadeisha Buchanan? Why not try to put Sara Gunnarsdottir in midfield during the second half? Why not put Janice Cayman, who produced great performances each time she is on the field upfront from the beginning of the game? A lot of questions and a lot of disturbing thoughts before the UEFA Women’s Champions League in two weeks. Goal for Lyon from Melvine Malard (79). Goal for Saint-Etienne from Manon Uffren (73).

The View From France

Above: Fleury goalkeeper Katriina Talaslahti makes the decisive save in her team’s penalty shoot win over Paris FC. Photo: Anne Talaslahti.

Jean-Pierre Thiesset summarizes the France Cup 2022 Quarter-Finals (8/3/22).

Paris Saint-Germain won 3-1 at Montpellier. Paris SG made a serious game and passed this round easily. No surprise, and the best team won. Goals for Paris SG from Kheira Hamraoui (35), Grace Geyoro (51), Marie-Antoinette Katoto (63). Goal for Montpellier from Maëlle Lakrar (72).

Fleury needed a penalty shoot-out to overcome Paris FC after a 1-1 draw. Even if Paris FC scored first in the 20th minute, Fleury never stopped thinking that they could change the course of the game and equalized at the 59th minute. Katriina Talaslahti needs priase for her performance after a return from injury (cut on the right index finger), as she saved Paris FC’s final penalty to seal the win for her team. Goal for Paris FC from Gaëtane Thiney (20). Goal for Fleury from Ewelina Kamczyk (59).

Penalty Shoot-Out: Fleury: Dominika Grabowska – Goal (0-1), Paris FC: Gaëtane Thiney – Goal (1-1), Fleury: Marine Dafeur – Goal (1-2), Paris FC: Julie Soyer – Missed (1-2) Fleury: Ewelina Kamczyk – Goal (1-3), Paris FC: Théa Greboval – Goal (2-3), Fleury: Julie Piga – Missed (2-3), Paris FC: Mathilde Bourdieu – Goal (3-3), Fleury: Jeannette Grace Ngock Yango – Goal (3-4), Paris FC: Daphne Marie Corboz – Saved by Katriina Talaslahti (3-4).

FFYAA (Football Féminin Yzeure Allier Auvergne) won 1-0 at Rodez AFF (Rodez Aveyron Football Féminine). This game between two teams from the France D2 (second division) saw the team fourth in D2 Group B standing win against the team first in the standing with only one goal scored in the first quarter of the game. Even playing at 10 against eleven during the last 30 minutes, Yzeure kept the score to 1-0 up to the end of the game. Goal for Yzeure from Seynabou Mbengue (12). Red card for Yzeure Mafille Woedikou (64).

Second Division Nantes defeated D1 Arkema side Reims on penalties after a 0-0 draw away to the higher division side. Even with 8 minutes of stoppage time at the end of the second half, none of both teams scored a single goal. The team first in the D2 Group A standing eliminated the team seventh in D1 Arkema. Penalties shoot-out: Nantes: Océane Ringenbach – Missed (0-0) Reims: Julie Pasquereau – Missed (0-0) Nantes: Pauline Dhaeyer – Goal (0-1) Reims: Océane Deslandes – Missed (0-1) Nantes: Margaux Bueno – Goal (0-2) Reims: Chloé Philippe – Missed (0-2) Nantes: Thelma Eninger – Goal (0-3)

The View From France

Above: Action from Olympique Lyonnais’ game at Reims last weekend. Photo: OL Feminin.

Jean-Pierre Thiesset summarizes the 15th round of D1 Arkema (3/3/22).

Montpellier at home won 2-0 against Dijon. It was an easy game for Montpellier who dominated (64% possession, 19 shots with eight on target). However, they had to wait until the very end of the first half to score their first goal. With this win, Montpellier close the gap on Fleury to three points from the fourth spot. Goals for Montpellier from Faustine Robert (45+2), Lena Petermann (61 penalty).

Issy won 5-1 at home against Soyaux. In a game where Soyaux had more possession than Issy (62%-38%), Issy were more efficient and won comfortably. This was an important game for both teams as Issy were bottom of the table were Soyaux 10th at the beginning of the game. With this win, Issy move up to 11th and are only three points behind Soyaux, and they can still hope to save their season. Goals for Issy from Allie Thornton (7), Batcheba Louis (17, 40), Roselord Borgella (45+1), Océane Daniel (56). Goal for Soyaux from Eden Avital (81).  

Bordeaux at home won 3-0 against Saint-Etienne. Despite the scoreline, it was an even game. Bordeaux were a lot more efficient and won easily to consolidate their sixth place in the standings. Goals for Bordeaux from Claire Lavogez (33), Daphne Mélissa Herrera Monge (52), Maëlle Garbino (90+1).  

Paris FC won 5-2 away from home against Guingamp. In an even game from a statistical point of view, Paris FC were more efficient and won this game.  With this win, Paris FC secures its third place in terms of qualifying for UEFA Women’s Champions League and are now six points ahead of Fleury. To be noted, that the Paris FC goals were scored by five different players. Goals for Paris FC from Daphne Marie Corboz (12), Louna Ribadeira (15), Clara Matéo (29), Célina Ould Hocine (37), Mathilde Bourdieu (69). Goals for Guingamp from Sally Julini (42 penalty), Louise Fleury (79).

Above: Fleury and Paris SG teams’ presentation. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Olympique Lyonnais away from home, won 2-0 against Reims. This was largely dominated by Lyon: 70% possession, 27 shots with 14 on target, 525 passes with 85% successful, and 14 corners. However, the score was still 0-0 at half time and the second goal was scored at the very end of the game (90+3). So large domination by Lyon but without being able to be more efficient. To be noted, it was the 100th game for Selma Bacha as a professional player for Lyon at only 21. Goals for Lyon from Melvine Malard (61), Wendie Renard (90+3).  

Paris Saint-Germain won 4-0 away from home against Fleury. This game was largely dominated by Paris SG: 74% possession, 653 passes with 84% successful, but only 11 shots with five on target. Fleury coach, Fabrice Abriel, had decided to play in a 5-4-1 formation to try to limit Paris SG strikers but this has consequently left the ball to Paris SG in midfield depriving Fleury’s strikers of the ball (only five shots from Fleury). I am not used to speaking about referees, but in this game, Fleury could have had a penalty and we must note that with about the same number of fouls (13 for Fleury against 11 for Paris SG) Fleury had two yellow cards. However, Paris SG won, and the gap in quality was high for Fleury. Goals for Paris SG from Grace Geyoro (8), Paulina Dudek (22 penalty), Kadidiatou Diani (62), Ramona Bachmann (89).

The View From France

Above: Catarina Macario scores for Olympique Lyonnais in the 38th minute. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

By Jean-Pierre Thiesset (14/2/22)

Two games were played on Friday as games cancelled due to COVID were rescheduled.

Paris Saint-Germain at home won 5-0 against Dijon. It was an easy game for Paris SG which completely dominated with 71% possession, 19 shots with 10 on target. Again Marie-Antoinette Katoto scored twice and extended her tally as PSG’s all-time record goalscorer to 134 goals. Goals for Paris SG from Grace Geyoro (3), Marie-Antoinette Katoto (15, 42), Sandy Baltimore (58), Sara Däbritz (70).

Olympique Lyonnais won 8-0 at home against Soyaux. This game was almost too easy for Lyon with the exception of the opening 20 minutes.

Sonia Bompastor, Lyon coach, was missing most of her key players for this game, and this is probably what explain that the first 20 minutes were not so easy. Injured were: Amandine Henry, Damaris Egurrola, Daniële Van De Donk, Christiane Endler, Amel Majri; Sick: Delphine Cascarino, and Perle Morroni; still coming back from injury: Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir and suspended: Eugénie Le Sommer.

Above: Laurine Baga, 18 yers old, in action during the game against Soyaux. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

So, in this game we saw the young players from Lyon: To start the game, Selma Bacha (21 years old), Emelyne Laurent (23), Inès Benyahia (18), Melvine Malard (21). Coming on as subs: Alice Sombath (18), Laurine Baga (18), Kysha Sylla (18), Celia Bensalem (17). This young team largely dominated the game (62% possession, 27 shots with 15 on target, eight corners). Inès Benyahia scored her first goal in D1 Arkema on her debut, Ada Hegerberg scored three goals and Catarina Macario scored twice. Goals for Lyon from Ada Hegerberg (19, 52, 70), Catarina Macario (38, 86), Griedge MBock (45+1), Melvine Malard (71), Inès Benyahia (77).

Artwork: D1 Arkema.

The View From France

Above: Ellie Carpenter crosses for Melvine Malard to score Olympique Lyonnais’ winning goal against Bordeaux. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Jean-Pierre Thiesset summarizes the fourteenth round of D1 Arkema (7/2/22).

Fleury won 1-0 at home to Montpellier. While they were dominated by Montpellier (62% of possession for Montpellier) who put a lot of pressure on during this game, Fleury was able to claim another clean sheet. In a game with a lot of duels, Fleury imposed their collective strength. After scoring in the fourth minute, Fleury had several opportunities during the first 60 minutes. However, after this point, Montpellier took over the game to their own, but could not break down the home side’s defence. Goal for Fleury from Nikola Karczewska (4).  

Soyaux won 1-0 away from home against Dijon. In an even game, Soyaux ended their run of three straight defeats. This win gives them the hope to save their season as they are now only two points behind eighth-placed Dijon. Goal for Soyaux from Siga Tandia (42).  

Above: USWNT’s Lindsey Horan on her Olympique Lyonnais debut this weekend. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Paris FC won 2-1 at home against Saint-Etienne. Paris FC dominated this game (64% of possession) and were never really in danger even if Saint-Etienne scored first and if the score was tight at the end of the game. Goals for Paris FC from Léonie Multari (41 Own Goal), Gaëtane Thiney (56). Goal for Saint-Etienne from Kelly Gago (23).  

Reims won 4-3 at home against Issy. In a seven goal thriller of game, Reims had by far the most opportunities (23 shots with 10 on target, 11 corners) than Issy but could not shake off their stubborn visitors. Reims had to wait the last minute of the game to put the winning goal. Goals for Reims from Melchie Dumornay (8), Océane Deslandes (28), Vicki Becho (45), Tanya Romanenko (90+2). Goals for Issy from Allie Thornton (5), Julie Rabanne (52), Emily Alvarado (82 Own Goal).  

Paris Saint-Germain away from home won 6-2 against Guingamp. It was an easy game for Paris SG which dominated (62% possession, 18 shots with 11 on target). Marie-Antoinette Katoto scored twice and became the club’s record goalscorer with 132 goals at only 23-years-old. Goals for Paris SG from Grace Geyoro (21), Sara Däbritz (28, 42), Marie-Antoinette Katoto (37, 67), Kadidiatou Diani (56). Goals for Guingamp from Sarah Cambot (75), Louise Fleury (80).

Above: Melvine Malard (second left) scores the only goal of the game for Olympique Lyonnais against Bordeaux. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Olympique Lyonnais won 1-0 at home against Bordeaux. It was another difficult game for Lyon in front of a team of Bordeaux that needed a win not to be distanced from the 4th place in the standing. It has been a hard game with a lot of pressing from each team. Patrice Lair, Bordeaux coach, who has trained Lyon and won several titles with Sonia Bompastor, Lyon coach, as a player, knew how to set up a team and a game which worried Lyon. However, Bordeaux did not have true opportunities to score even after Eugénie le Sommer received a red card for a second yellow card at the 56th minute. Goal for Lyon from Melvine Malard (25) on a cross from Ellie Carpenter.

Artwork: D1 Arkema

Lyon Sent Packing By PSG

Paris St. Germain 3-0 Olympique Lyonnais

By Jean-Pierre Thiesset (29/1/22)

Above: Paris St. Germain celebrate during their superb performance in defeating Olympique Lyonnais today. Photo: PSG Feminines.

In a game without any Lyon fans, because Paris St. Germain decided to play in a stadium where only 250 spectators were allowed, the home side ran out winners in this French Cup last sixteen tie due to simply wanting the victory a lot more than Lyon.

Above: Midfield action in this afternoon’s Paris St.Germain v Olympique Lyonnais French Cup tie. Photo: PSG Feminines.

PSG put a lot of pressure on Lyon players all through the game, not letting them put in place their game based on passes. The home side was also more efficient when they won the ball and found themselves easily and quickly in midfield. Lyon strikers were rarely found by their midfielders.

This loss is quite worrying when we look back at the last Lyon defeat against Bayern Munich (1-0) – another game where players put a lot of pressure on Lyon players and prevented them from plating their game.

We can think that these two teams, Paris SG and Bayern Munich have found how to beat Lyon. Warning signs were there for Lyon against Levante but they were still able to win both games 2-1.

Above: Paris St. Germain celebrate this afternoon. Photo: PSG Feminines.

Lyon will be hoping that other teams will not learn too much from this or coach, Sonia Bompastor will have to work hard to find a solution to these problems.

Throughout the game, PSG was impressive and showed themselves to be a mature team that was confident in their capabilities to win the game. 

Goals for Paris St. Germain: Sandy Baltimore (49), Kadidiatou Diani (76), Marie-Antoinette Katoto (85).

The View From France

Above: Kadidiatou Diani in action for PSG at Saint-Etienne, where she scored her team’s second goal. Photo: PSG Feminines

Jean-Pierre Thiesset rounds up the twelfth and the thirteenth rounds of D1 Arkema (24/1/22)

Twelfth round (January 15, 2022):

This was a much-truncated round of matches with three games postponed: Guingamp-Bordeaux, Olympique Lyonnais-Soyaux, and Paris Saint-Germain-Dijon.

In the games that did take place, Paris FC won 1-0 at home against Issy. While they largely dominated this game (67% possession, 30 shots with nine on target), Paris FC was not able to score more than once. Goal for Paris FC from Mathilde Bourdieu (15). 

Montpellier won 3-0 at home against Saint-Etienne. Montpellier edged this game (56% possession) but was more efficient than Saint-Etienne. With this win, Montpellier continues their good run and closes the gap with the top of the table slightly. Their next game will be a test against Lyon. Goals for Montpellier from Johanna Elsig (13), Faustine Robert (15, 49). 

Fleury won away from home 1-0 against Reims. In an even game, Fleury scored at the end of the game and is still in the run for third place in the table. Goal for Fleury from Jeannette Grace Ngock Yango (86).

Thirteenth round (January 22 & 23, 2022):

Guingamp won 2-0 away from home against Issy. In an even game regarding ball possession and passes, Guingamp was a lot more efficient with 14 shots with seven on target while Issy had five efforts, none of which were on target. With this win, Guingamp is now in ninth place with four points ahead of Soyaux. Issy stay bottom with only one win and a draw after 13 games. Goals for Guingamp from Sana Daoudi (26), Margaux Le Mouël (74).

Above: Paris FC had plenty to celebrate as they consolidated third place in the table. Photo: D1 Arkema.

Paris FC won 3-1 away from home against Soyaux. Paris FC just about edged the possession (59%) and gave Soyaux very few chances, even if they score once at the 64th minute. With this win, Paris FC consolidate their third place in the standing. But Fleury, which did not play as their game was cancelled due to COVID cases in Dijon is still just behind. Goal for Soyaux from Anissa Lahmari (64). Goals from Paris FC from Clara Matéo (36, 47), Louna Ribadeira (80).

Bordeaux won 3-1 at home against Reims thanks to a hat-trick from Katja Snoeijs. Even if Reims had a clear opportunity at the 21st minute by Naomie Feller on a pass from Kessya Busy and scored first at the 30th minute on a penalty, this game was largely dominated by Bordeaux which did not let Reims put in place their counterattack plays after the 30th minute. Statistics for Bordeaux: 68% possession, 571 passes with 82% successful, 22 shots with six on target, 10 corners.

After another coaching dismissal in Bordeaux, things seem to be back in normal order. Patrice Lair, their coach, departed after the loss against Lyon in France Cup at the beginning of January. But most of Bordeaux players asked the team owner to bring Lair back as their coach and he was back in role for this game. Goal for Reims from Rachel Corboz (30 penalty). Goals for Bordeaux from Katja Snoeijs (33, 50 penalty, 66).

Above: Lyon remain top of the table thanks to a last gasp win at Montpellier. Photo: OL Feminin

Olympique Lyonnais won 3-2 away from home against Montpellier. It was a very difficult game for Lyon in front of a team of Montpellier that played a hard game and did not let Lyon put in place their game by pressing all along the game. Sonia Bompastor, Lyon coach, had to play with two defenders missing (Ellie Carpenter and Perle Morroni) and one not fully fit (Selma Bacha) and started with a 3-4-3 formation.

Twice Lyon was ahead in this game and twice Montpellier came back quickly, and we had to wait the 89th minute of the game to see Griedge MBock scored her second and winning goal for Lyon.  Lyon dominated but was not able to convert this inti goals. Statistics for Lyon: 63% possession, 496 passes with 74% successful, 21 shots with seven on target, six corners.  

To be noted is the good performance of Janice Cayman, even if she conceded a penalty against Marion Torrent at the 44th minute, with the following statistics recorded by Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus during the game: 49 balls played, 30 passes with 90% successful, seven crosses, six recuperations, five losses. Cayman shows that she really deserves her Golden Shoes as the best Belgium player of 2021 year. Goals for Lyon from Griedge MBock (5, 89), Eugénie Le Sommer (42). Goals for Montpellier from Lena Petermann (18, 44 penalty). 

Paris Saint-Germain away from home won 5-0 against Saint-Etienne. It was an easy game for Paris SG which dominated (70% possession, 27 shots with 10 on target). They had too much for Saint-Etienne who was never able to be dangerous.

Marie-Antoinette Katoto scored a hat-trick, increasing her total as the top scorer of D1 Arkema this season to 11 goals; she also delivered a decisive pass to Kadidiatou Diani (45+2). Sandy Baltimore increased also her number of decisive passes (58 for Paulina Dudek, 68 for Marie-Antoinette Katoto) and stays ahead in the standing with nine decisive passes so far this season. Goals for Paris SG from Marie-Antoinette Katoto (10, 64, 68), Kadidiatou Diani (45+2), Paulina Dudek (58).

The scheduled match between Dijon and Fleury was postponed.

Artwork: D1 Arkema.

Katriina Talaslahti: Rising Star in Goal

Impetus’ French editor Jean-Pierre Thiesset spoke to FC Flury ’91’s Finnish goalkeeper Katriina Talaslahti, a player with a rising reputation in a team challenging for their first-ever UEFA Women’s Champions League qualification (20/12/21).

Katriina Talaslahti who celebrated her 21st birthday on September 21, is one of the youngest goalkeepers in D1 Arkema, the top flight of the French Women’s Football Championships. In a competition where the average age of goalkeeper is around 25 years old, only Chiamaka Nnadozie, Paris FC’s goalkeeper, is younger than Talaslahti and only by two and a half months. As a matter of fact, the two youngest goalkeepers in D1 Arkema are in the two teams who fight for third place in the table which gives a qualification spot for UEFA Women’s Champions League.

After two years with Olympique Lyonnais as their third goalkeeper, Katriina signed with FC Fleury 91 in early August 2021 willing to be number one in her new team. She started the third game of the season against Bordeaux away from home and Fleury won 2-1. Since, she kept the number one spot with three clean sheets (Soyaux 1-0 and Reims 1-0 at home, Saint-Etienne 4-0 away from home).

Above: Katriina during the game against Lyon on December 5thPhoto: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Interview:

Jean-Pierre Thiesset: Do you speak French now?

Katriina Talaslahti: I can communicate with my friends. I have been in France for two and a half years and it is still quite hard, but it is getting better, and it is good to communicate in French.

JPT: So, we can do the interview in French?

KT: No, let’s do it in English (laughs).

JPT: How was your arrival at Fleury?

KT: The welcome was very nice. The area where I lived is different than when I was in Lyon because I was in the centre of a big city and now, I am in a smaller town, but I like it and it is not so far from Paris. I am getting used to France and I like it.

The players were really welcoming to me, and they wanted to speak to me straight away. It took a little bit of time to get into the team, and it is normal, but now I have good friends here and it feels more like a home; it is nice to go out with the girls when we have one evening free.  

From the staff, when I arrived, they had to see me and test me, and I think I gave them the trust that they needed. Everything is very well scheduled here. The training sessions are somewhere similar to what it was in Lyon, and it feels like a normal daily rhythm.

The facilities are different because Lyon is a bigger club, but it is fine, and we have everything we need to train professionally. The coaches bring good training sessions and for my part as a goalkeeper, my coach is very good, and I like his training sessions. They are enjoyable and I like to go there because I know something different is coming each day and because I am getting better by doing it. So, it is not a lot of changes for me, it is the same amount of training, and it is just a new staff and new players.

JPT: What makes Fleury a good club to play for?

KT: Most of the players are a little bit older and they are experienced, so they bring this atmosphere of confidence to the game. Fleury is a smaller club than the others I have been in, but it gives them even more motivation to get bigger and higher. You can see from the players, from the staff, and from the organization that they want to grow and learn; It does not need to always be the biggest but the mentality in the club is to progress and I like that.

Our President, Mr. Pascal Bovis, is very polite to everybody, he is caring about the women’s team, and he comes to watch the games.

JPT: How do you feel being the number one goalkeeper for FC Fleury 91, and one of the two youngest goalkeepers in D1 Arkema as well?

KT: Obviously, it takes a lot of work to be number one. When I came to Fleury, I did not play the first two games, so it was sad for me because I came quite late in the season; but I was happy when I arrived at Fleury and now, I get to play so it feels exciting. Obviously, I still need to do a lot of work because it is not a final status, as you all know no player has a permanent place in the team, and every day it is like a fight to keep the spot by doing hard work, and I like it. I am very happy, yes, I am very happy. I have a nice feeling about it, and it keeps the motivation on. I am very happy that FC Fleury 91 trust me and they want to put me in the goal, it is very nice from them. I heard that I am one of the youngest goalkeepers in D1 Arkema and it is a nice feeling.

Above: Katriina attentive to catch the ball during the game against Lyon on December 5thPhoto: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

There are a lot of goalkeepers that are much older, and they are really experienced, but it also shows from the club that they want to put in the goal the girl that they think is the best one and I think it gave me the chance to show them that I can do the job, and it motivates me to be on the field. I want to show that even if I am young, I am capable to play in D1 Arkema because I think I have a good background from Lyon and Bayern.

JPT: FC Fleury are fighting for third place in the table. How do you feel about that?

KT: I think that for us it is a good challenge to try to reach third place because you can qualify for the Champion’s League so that gives the whole team even more motivation to push harder and to win the games and I am very happy at the moment.

The spirit in our team is that we are really motivated to win, and this is why you can see in the training sessions that we are giving one hundred percent because as a team we want to develop and to get better. To win the games to reach third place, we still have to work hard. There are good teams we play against and even for me it is better to have work to do as a goalkeeper; imagine I would be only standing in the goal and with nothing to do and that’s not work for me.

Most of the games, it is going back and forth, so it is a lot of work and I really like it because I am the last person on the field (laughs). And when we do not win, we want to win the next one. In this year’s team, since I arrived, I have noticed that when we start to win the games, the girls get more confident, and it is nice to see it from the team. This is what I like about the team. I think we are really capable and that we are a good team, a professional team in the D1 Arkema league. Everything comes also because we have confidence in the team, and that we have older players that bring confidence into our game. The average age in our team is around 26, I guess, and there are not a lot of young players, and I am happy to be one of them (laughs).

JPT: To reach the third spot you should beat Lyon in December?

KT: Oh yeah (laughs). It will be a difficult game but as I always like to say, it is difficult, but it is possible. I am really looking forward to it.

JPT: You can also beat Paris St. Germain; Lyon will like it.

KT: Yes, for us also, we must beat all the Paris teams (laughs).

JPT: Could you tell us what is the strategy regarding your plays as a goalkeeper, when to go out for the ball, when to stay on the goal line?

KT: I think it depends on the team we play against. We also must follow what the coach tells us. More importantly, we must adapt regarding how other teams are playing. I am a very tall girl and for all the balls that come to the box it is just a matter of a lot of little details; Is it a high ball, is it a ball at the level of the head of the defence players, so you must always read it quickly to take the good decision. Obviously, for my first year as a playing goalkeeper in D1 Arkema league in France, I still have a lot to learn but I think it just depends on the situation.

Above: Katriina Talaslahti in the air to catch a ball against Ada Hegerberg head and avoid a goal during the game against Lyon on December 5thPhoto: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Furthermore, in each situation, you have less than one second to make your decision if you go out or not.

JPT: Against Guingamp, they scored twice, how do you feel about not keeping another clean sheet?

KT: It was unfortunate, we got a penalty, and we got an own goal. It happens in a game, it is a game, it is football. But at the end it was a good result (6-2); obviously, it was sad that we conceded two goals, but we keep going.

JPT: How do you feel about playing against your ex-teammates in Lyon in December?

KT: I would say … uh … exciting (laughs). It is going to be a difficult and hard game, and I think it will be a lot of work for me and for the team. But we are positive, and I would say we cannot wait to go to Lyon because it is a big game for both of us, the biggest for us; We want to get third place and Lyon want to stay in first place.

There has been a long time I have not been there, and it is also nice to see old teammates because I have a lot of friends there. It is going to be nice to say hello to all of them and to the fans because it is good to have all these fans around. So, it is lovely to be there soon; in one and a half weeks.

JPT: Is there something you want to say to your fans from Fleury and from Lyon?

KT: It is very important to have fans that support you because that makes your carrier more interesting. Thank you for the support, it has been nice to get to know you. I want to make time for you and if you come by, I would like to say “Hi”. Even when I do not have time, I try to make time to see you. And Merry Christmas to everybody.

Addendum:

On December 5, 2021, Fleury played in Lyon and lost 4-0 in a tough and physical game between the two sides. Fleury showed that they were not in fourth place in the table by chance and gave Lyon a stern test. Katriina produced another good performance but could not really do a lot on the four goals as the gap between her team and Lyon is still pretty large.

Above: Katriina in action to stop Ada Hegerberg’s shot during the game against Lyon on December 5thPhoto: Guillaume Charton FFM.

Katriina told me at the end of the game that it was difficult but that they will continue to work and fight for third place in the standing. She was a little bit disappointed but at the same time very pleased to see all her fans in Lyon. Katriina spent a lot of time signing photos and taking selfies with her fans at the end of the game for the greatest pleasure of all.

Bacha’s Influence Seals Lyon Win

Olympique Lyonnais 4-0 BK Häcken 

Words and Pictures by Jean-Pierre Thiesset direct from the Groupama Training Centre (18/12/21).

Above: Catarina Macario in action for Lyon during the game against BK Häcken. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

As expected in a game between the top UEFA-ranked side, Olympique Lyonnais, and 27th placed BK Häcken, this game was won by Lyon. The French side earned 59% of possession, 555 passes with an 82% success rate, 24 shots with 12 on target, and seven corners. For BK Häcken, 41% of possession, 409 passes with 72% successful, four shots with one on target, and no corners.

However, it was not an easy game for Lyon in the first half against a physical team that tried to play their game which perturbed the home players who had to wait until the 35th minute to score. Catarina Macario hit the crossbar after receiving the ball from Selma Bacha’s cross but was able to put the rebound into the net.

The Swedish visitors continued to push up to the end of the first half but without really being able to threaten the Lyon goal.

Above: Ada Hegerberg makes it 2-0 for Lyon in the 52nd minute. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

The second half started with Lyon’s players more aggressive and more accurate on their passes and the game quickly turned to their advantage with a goal from Ada Hegerberg after 52 minutes again following a cross from Selma Bacha.

With 76 minutes on the clock, Amandine Henry scored solo goal after intercepting the ball 20 meters from goal, the consequence of a high press.

Above: Amandine Henry – who scored Lyon’s third goal, in action during the game. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Janice Cayman made it 4-0 when she hit a half volley on a pivot on a cross from Melvine Malard to score a wonderful goal just three minutes later.

Above: Janice Cayman, who made it 4-0, in action during the game against BK Häcken. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Without a great performance from BK Häcken goalkeeper, Jennifer Falk, especially in the second half, Lyon would have scored a lot more. Falk made several excellent saves.

Above: One of the great saves by BK Häcken goalkeeper Jennifer Falk against Lyon. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Selma Bacha, who was voted the best D1 Arkema player of the month in September and November, delivered another great game as a left-sided striker. She made two decisive passes in this UEFA Women Champions League game. Bacha continues to put in outstanding performances whatever she plays as a left defender or left striker.

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset summarizes the eleventh round of D1 Arkema.

Above: Olympique Lyonnais’ Ellie Carpenter salutes the crowd after her team’s 2-1 win at Paris FC. Photo: @OLFeminin

Fleury won 1-0 at home against Issy. In a game dominated by the hosts (66% of possession and 17 shots), we had to wait the 71st minute to see Fleury score. If they had been a little bit more efficient, they could have scored more. With this win, Fleury stay fourth place in the table but are now only one point behind Paris FC. Goal for Fleury from Nikola Karczewska (71).

Above: Nikola Karczewska, Fleury’s goalscorer. Photo: @FCF91_feminines.

Reims won 1-0 away from home against Saint-Etienne. Saint-Etienne edged the possession with 60%, but was not able to score, whilst Reims obtained a penalty which was scored by Rachel Corboz in the 15th minute. Goal for Reims from Rachel Corboz (15 penalty).

Montpellier won 1-0 away from home against Soyaux. With this win, Montpellier are now five points ahead of Bordeaux. Goal for Montpellier from Dominika Skorvankova (20).

Above: Montpellier celebrate after Dominika Skorvankova’s winning goal at Soyaux. Photo: @MontpellierHSC

Guingamp obtained a 1-1 at Dijon. In an even game, Dijon were not able to do better than a draw. Both teams have the same results over the past five games: Lost, Draw, Lost, Draw, Draw. Goal for Dijon from Desire Oparanozie (19). Goal for Guingamp from Héloïse Mansuy (52).

Paris Saint-Germain won at home 1-0 against Bordeaux. Paris SG dominated this game with 70% of possession, 29 shots with 11 on target. However, they were not efficient enough to score in the first half and scored only once in the second half. Goal for Paris SG from Sakina Karchaoui (69).

Above: Selma Bacha, who delivered a decisive pass for Ada Hegerberg to score Lyon’s second at Paris FC. Photo: @OLFeminin

Olympique Lyonnais won 2-1 away from home against third-placed Paris FC. This game was level pegging with Paris FC trying to play offensively against a team stronger on paper in Lyon. It was clear that Lyon were tired from Champions League tie against Benfica in Portugal during midweek. Positively for Lyon, Delphine Cascarino unlocked the game with an individual goal after 38 minutes and Selma Bacha delivered a perfect pass to Ada Hegerberg a minute later for the second goal. Goals for Lyon from Delphine Cascarino (38), Ada Hegerberg (39). Goal for Paris FC from Théa Greboval (45+1). Red card for Sophie Vaysse (64), Paris FC.

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset summarizes the tenth round of D1 Arkema (6/12/21).

Above: Fleury goalkeeper Katariina Talaslahti tried her best but was not able to avoid conceding four goals on her return to Lyon. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Paris FC obtained a draw 0-0 at Montpellier. In an equal match, neither of the teams were able score with only three shots on target each. Even with Mary Fowler who entered at the 66th minute and had a few opportunities, Montpellier conceded a draw at home.

Reims won 3-1 at home against Soyaux. Another even game on a statistics point of view but in which Reims were more accurate in their shots with 12 on target from 15 attempts. With this win, Reims returned to winning ways after three games. However, we had to wait the 58th minute to see the first goal from Soyaux. But, once again, it was Rachel Corboz who put her team back on track by equalizing two minutes later. The two young players of Reims closed the game towards the end by scoring twice. Goals for Reims from Rachel Corboz (60), Kessya Busy (87), Naomie Feller (90). Goal for Soyaux from Laura Bourgouin (58).

Saint-Etienne gained a draw 1-1 away from home against Guingamp. Not a good result for either team who are struggling at the bottom of the table. Furthermore, Saint-Etienne had a red card at the 44th minute (Elise Bonnet). Goal for Saint-Etienne from Laury Jésus (78). Goal for Guingamp from Sarah Cambot (29).

Above: Delphine Cascarino flying in mid-air to control the ball for Olympique Lyonnais against Fleury. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Dijon away from home came back with a draw 1-1 against Bordeaux. In a game dominated by Bordeaux (65% of possession and 19 shots), Dijon scored just before half time. As in their last game against Montpellier, Bordeaux dominated, had more shots, scored first, but still cannot do enough to win. Goal for Dijon from Desire Oparanozie (44). Goal for Bordeaux from Mélissa Gomes (14).

Paris Saint-Germain won away from home 3-0 against Issy. Paris SG dominated this game. For Paris SG, 75% of possession, 613 passes with 84% successful, 17 shots with 7 on target, 10 corners. However, Paris SG were not able to score more than three times against the last team in the standing. Goals for Paris SG from Léa Khelifi (53, 80), Kadidiatou Diani (90+2).

Olympique Lyonnais won 4-0 at home against Fleury. Lyon dominated largely this game. Statistics of the game for Lyon, 66% of possession, 586 passes with 85% successful, 18 shots with 7 on target. With Damaris Egurrola and Daniëlle Van De Vonk out injured for several months and Catarina Macario out for a week or two, Sonia Bompastor, Lyon coach, put Griedge MBock, usually acentral defender, in midfield alongside Amandine Henry. More positive news was the return of Wendie Renard in defence and Ada Hegerberg back in attack. In a tough and physical game, Lyon secured its first place in the table.

Bacha’s Breathtaking Bow For France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset watches a sensational debut for 21-year-old Lyon born Selma Bacha (29/11/21).

Above: Selma Bacha in action on debut for France against Kazakhstan. Photo: News In 24.

On her debut for the senior French squad, Olympique Lyonnais’ 21-year-old defender earned the player of the match award after a starring performance in France’s 6-0 win over Kazakhstan in Vannes, Brittany on Friday.

Statistics recorded by myself during the game revealed that Bacha played almost 100 balls and made 71 passes with 93% successful, 10 crosses, 13 successful tackles, only one ball lost. In addition, the Lyon-born star had two shots on goal with one on target.

Bacha supplied the cross after five minutes for Viviane Asseyi and was at the originator of the move that lead to France’s fourth goal from Eve Perisset where (one-two with Delphine Cascarino ended with a pass from Bacha to Cascarino who delivered a decisive back pass to Perisset.

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset summarizes the ninth round of D1 Arkema 25/11/21

Above: Fleury celebrate their 6-2 win over Guingamp. Photo: @FCF91_Feminines.

Soyaux won 2-1 at home against Saint-Etienne. In an equal game between two teams which were both at the bottom of the table, Soyaux scored twice in the last 20 minutes. With this win, Soyaux are now three points ahead of Saint-Etienne who continue their poor run and stay bottom. Goals for Soyaux: Shana Battouri (71’), Anissa Lahmari (82’). Goal for Saint-Etienne: Marie-Charlotte Léger (20’ OG).

Paris FC won away from home 2-0 against Dijon. Paris FC dominated this game with 67% of possession. This win ensures that they stay third, three points ahead of Fleury. Goals for Paris FC: Coumba Sow (53’), Ouleymata Sarr (80’).

Fleury won 6-2 at home against Guingamp. In a game marginally dominated by Guingamp (58% of possession), Fleury was a lot more efficient. With this win, Fleury stay close to Paris FC and still have a chance to grab third place in the table. Katriina Talaslahti couldn’t do anything to prevent the two goals from Guingamp, the first being an own goal from her teammate Charlotte Fernandes and the second a penalty. Goals for Fleury: Marine Dafeur (8’), Dominika Grabowska (34’), Nikola Karczewska (59’, 69’), Marie Levasseur (71’), Julie D’Ebever (76’). Goals for Guingamp: Charlotte Fernandes (55’ OG), Aissata Traoré (88’ penalty).

Above: Lena Petermann dispatches her penalty for the winning goal for Montpellier at Bordeaux. Photo: @MontpellierHSC.

Montpellier won 1-0 away from home against Bordeaux. In a game that saw Bordeaux gain 59% of possession and have 12 shots, Montpellier scored the only goal from a penalty at the end of the first half. Bordeaux could have had a penalty too and lost a game that they should have won. This result now puts Montpellier fifth in the table two points ahead of Bordeaux. Goal for Montpellier: Lena Petermann (39’ pen).

Paris Saint-Germain won at home 7-0 against Reims. Paris SG gave Reims a chance to score and dominated this game with 77% of possession, 651 passes with 88% successful, 19 shots with 14 on target, and three corners. Goals for Paris SG: Léa Khelifi (5’, 38’), Paulina Dudek (25’), Kadidiatou Diani (45’, 85’ pen), Sandy Baltimore (55’ pen), Jordyn Huitema (74’).

Olympique Lyonnais won 4-0 away from home against Issy. Lyon controlled the game with 74% of possession, 623 passes with 85% successful, 32 shots with 16 on target, and nine corners. Without a great performance from their goalkeeper, Cosette Jolee Morché, the score would have been even greater. Selma Bacha, who played left piston of Lyon attack, delivered another good performance with the following personal statistics (recorded by Jean-Pierre Thiesset during the game): 69 balls played, 38 passes with 91% successful, eight crosses. Goals for Lyon: Melvine Malard (4’), Catarina Macario (5’), Signe Bruun (71’), Ada Hegerberg (79’).

Above: Olympique Lyonnais dominate in the air away to Issy. Photo: @OLFeminin

Lyon Show PSG Who Is The Boss!

Impetus‘ French editor Jean-Pierre Thiesset was pitchside EXCLUSIVELY for us as Olympique Lyonnais recorded a sensational result against their big rivals Paris St. Germain. He also rounds up all the weekend’s other action in the D1 Arkema 15/11/21.

Above: Ada Hegerberg converts Ellie Carpenter’s cross to put Lyon 5-1 up over Paris St. Germain. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Olympique Lyonnais recorded a sensational 6-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain, the team who ended their dominant run both in the D1 Arkema and the UEFA Champions League last season.

In a game where Paris SG had only two shots, Lyon set the record straight and never gave any chance to Paris SG to win the game. The statistics show the total domination of Lyon: 59% of possession, 416 passes with 81% successful, 17 shots with 13 on target, 7 corners. For Paris SG, 41% of possession, 309 passes with 72% successful, two shots on target, one corner.

We saw on the field that Lyon’s players wanted to show who was the boss in D1 Arkema this year and that they were back to win everything. All players were fully involved, and it is difficult to identify one player as the standout star of the game.

The return of Selma Bacha on the left-wing of the attack brought more possibilities to the team. Bacha, although she was a little diminished due to her recent quadriceps injury played with heavy strapping and posed a lot of problems to PSG defence during the 58 minutes she was on the field. Bacha delivered two decisive passes in the 18th minute for Daniëlle Van De Donk and the 53rd minute for Melvine Malard.

The performance of Daniëlle Van De Donk who was seen everywhere on the field, also needs to be celebrated. On top of this, she scored in the 18th minute.

This game saw also the return of Ada Hegerberg on the score sheet after almost two years. Entering the pitch at the 74th minute, Hegerberg scored twice, with her left foot at the 79th minute from Ellie Carpenter’s cross from the right side and with a header after 82 minutes from Perle Morroni’s cross from the left side.

Goals for Lyon: Catarina Macario (15′ pen), Daniëlle Van De Donk (18′), Melvine Malard (53′), Damaris Egurrola (59′), Ada Hegerberg (79′, 82′).

Goal for Paris SG: Amanda Ilestedt (75′).

Red card: Ashley Elizabeth Lawrence (26′).

The game in photos from Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus:

Above: Catarina Macario’s penalty puts Lyon 1-0 ahead after 15 minutes. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset
Above: Daniëlle Van De Donk converts Selma Bacha’s cross to make it 2-0. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.
Above: 30th minute, Sonia Bompastor (Lyon head coach) gives instructions to Daniëlle Van De Donk. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiersset.
Above: 53rd minute, Melvine Malard makes it 3-0 from on Selma Bacha’s cross. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset
Above: 59th minute, Damaris Egurrola makes it 4-0 from Catarina Macario’s cross. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.
Above: 75th minute, Amanda Ilestedt gets a goal back for Paris St. Germain from Sara Daebritz’s ball in. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.
Above: 82nd minute, Ada Hegerberg converts Perle Morroni’s cross to make it 6-1. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset

Elsewhere in Round Eight, Bordeaux won 3-1 away from home against Paris FC. While Paris FC had more ball possession than Bordeaux, 57% against 43%, and better statistics Bordeaux had more shots than Paris FC, 23 shots with nine on target against 11 shots with three on target. Being more efficient when they had the ball, Bordeaux logically won this game closing on the 4th place in the standing and stopping a series of 3 wins in a row of Paris FC.

Goals for Bordeaux from Vanessa Gilles (4), Mélissa Gomes (22), Eve Périsset (90+5). Goal for Paris FC from Clara Matéo (75). Red card: Oriane Jean-François after 2 yellow cards (18 and 51).

Fleury won away from home 4-0 against Saint-Etienne. In a game dominated by Saint-Etienne if we just look at the statistics, Fleury was a lot more efficient when they had the ball. Game statistics: For Fleury, 41% of possession, 337 passes with 70% successful, 11 shots with five on target, three corners; For Saint-Etienne, 59% of possession, 475 passes with 77% successful, 12 shots with three on target, two corners. As a matter of fact, Fleury’s defense stopped most of Saint-Etienne attacks well helped by their goalkeeper, Katriina Talaslahti, who put in yet another good performance and gained once more a clean sheet for Fleury. Talaslahti made three stops from shots on target (9th minute at ground level on a free kick from 25 metres, 45th+2 minute at ground level on a shot near her right post, 74th minute in the air on a shot from 25 metres), one catch on a cross (70th), two clearances on Saint-Etienne shots (47th minute with her fists on a corner, 85th minute with her hands on a close shot from her right). Fleury are now fourth in the table only three points behind third placed Paris FC. Saint-Etienne have lost four games in a row are now one off the bottom with only four points like Issy (10th) and Soyaux (12th).

Goals for Fleury: Maria Diaz (39), Marine Dafeur (45), Nikola Karczewska (57, 90+2).

Montpellier beat Issy 3-0 at home. It was a straightforward win for Montpellier who dominated this game as shown by the statistics: For Montpellier, 64% of possession, 525 passes with 82% successful, 16 shots with eight on target, five corners; For Issy, 36% of possession, 301 passes with 64% successful, 14 shots with seven on target, five corners. With this win, Montpellier stays in the middle of the table and Issy in the bottom. To be noted, the great performance of Mary Fowler who crucified Issy by scoring twice at the 61st minute, two minutes after entering in the game for Ashleigh Weerden, and at the 63rd minute. Goals for Montpellier: Maelys Mpomé (12), Mary Fowler (61, 63).

Guingamp were not able to do better than a draw 2-2 at home against Soyaux, who are bottom of the table. In a game edged by Guingamp (58% of possession), both teams scored alternatively without being able to keep the lead when they had it.

Goals for Guingamp: Maïwen Renard (57), Laurie Teinturier (64); Goals for Soyaux: Marie-Charlotte Léger (37 penalty), Laura Bourgouin (84).

Dijon obtained a draw 1-1 away from home against Reims. In a game just edged by Dijon (58% of possession), both teams had problems creating opportunities and scored only a single goal each. Both teams had the same results on their four last games (Loss, Win, Win, Loss) and continue together.

Goal for Reims: Melchie Dumornay (29); Goal for Dijon: Jenna Dear (43).

Janice Cayman: The “Belgian Knife” of Women’s Football

Olympique Lyonnais and Belgian international Janice Cayman spoke EXCLUSIVELY to Impetus’ French editor Jean-Pierre Thiesset about her career, life off the pitch and how she got her unique nickname 5/11/21

Above: Janice Cayman in action during Olympique Lyonnais’ game against Fribourg (Switzerland) on July 31, 2021. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Janice Cayman was born on October 12, 1988, in Brasschaat, Belgium and she started to play football with the boys’ team at Ossmim, her hometown club at the age of six.

Janice played for several Belgian clubs up to 2009 including the TKV Tienen with which she played three games in Women UEFA Champions League in the 2008-2009 season. Then, before joining Olympique Lyonnais on June 18, 2019, Janice also played for:

  • 2009: Pali Blues, California, USA (10 games)
  • 2009-2012: Florida State Seminoles, USA (48 games, 16 goals)
  • 2012-2016: Juvisy (now Paris FC), France (90 games, 13 goals); 1 semi-final of UEFA Women’s Champions League
  • 2016-2017: Western New York Flash, New York, USA
  • 2017-2019: Montpellier, France (52 games, 18 goals)

Janice won three titles in France with Olympique Lyonnais in 2020: France D1 Arkema Championships, France National Cup, UEFA Women’s Champions League. Since 2019 with Lyon, she has played:

  • 18 games (2 goals) in France D1 Arkema Championships
  • 3 games (1 goal) in France National Cup
  • 9 games (1 goal) in Women UEFA Champions League.

In international football, Janice played for Belgium U17 from 2003 to 2005 (three games, one goal), U19 from 2005 to 2007 (18 games, three goals), and the national senior team from 2007 onwards (115 games, 42 goals). Janice became only the second to earn 100 caps with the Belgium squad.

Janice has a bachelor’s degree in STAPS “Sciences et Techniques des Activités Physiques et Sportives” (Sciences and Techniques of Physical and Sport Activities) from KUL (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven – Catholic University of Leuven), Belgium and a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from Florida State University, USA. Right now, she is in progress to follow the courses of the UEFA A level (highest level before the PRO level) to becomes coach.

Interview:

Jean-Pierre Thiesset (JPT): What is your preferred position and which other positions could you play?

Janice Cayman (JC): My preferred position is offensive right or left as it is my training position, but I can play in defence on the right too. It is what is good with Lyon because it is a team which often dominates, we can go forward and use the right-hand corridor. I think that it is very good also to play several positions because we learn how a striker and a defender think and what they will try to do. I play mostly on the right because I am right-handed even if I play sometimes on the left even as a defender when the left defenders were injured last season. 

JPT: Is it true that your nickname is the “Belgium Knife” (in reference to the “Swiss Knife” with which we can do everything) because you can play almost everywhere?

JC: Yes, some people say that (laughs). It is the coach Jean-Luc Vasseur that gave me this nickname when he started to make me play in defence.

Above: Janice Cayman, during the game against Reims on August 27, 2021. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

JPT: Who/what inspired you to become a football player? It is my family because my father and my three brothers played football and I joined them in a men’s team. We also watched a lot of football on TV, and it was the happiness to be the whole family together.

JPT: What are your favourite women players? (French and foreign)

JC: It is difficult to say because I know so many players but at Lyon there are great players, and it is an honour to play with them daily. We have also several good young players in Belgium squad that I like.

JPT: Who is your role-model if you have one?

JC: It was more men players than women players because in my time there was not a lot of women football on TV. When I was young, I liked Romário (Brazil) and then Diego Forlán (Uruguay).

JPT: What is your greatest challenge on the pitch?

JC: It is to succeed in my game for my teammates and that we do a good collective match. I am rather a team player.

JPT: What is your greatest challenge off the pitch?

JC: It is to do as much as possible of my days and to have a good time with my teammates off the pitch. There is a lot of focus on football because it is our job, but we are very lucky because it is also a passion. In the past I worked in a supermarket, and it is different to wake up to go there than for playing football.

JPT: Who are your closest teammates? JC: I get along very well with everybody, but it is true that between the foreigners we are a little bit closer.

JPT: What do you like to get up to off the pitch?

JC: I like to listen to music; I do that a lot. I like a bit of everything. I also read a little bit. I have a guitar, but I need to take lessons, what I hope to start soon.

JPT: What makes Olympique Lyonnais such a great club to play for? JC: It is the best club in the world. I played against Lyon with Juvisy (now Paris FC) and Montpellier and it was difficult, now I am pleased to be on the right side and it is only happiness. There are good players at every post, and we must be at the best of ourselves during the week in the training sessions to play the weekend; it forces us to progress.

JPT: You have been Captain for 20 minutes, how it feels?

JC: Yes, it was an honor for me and above all it was a special moment with Wendie (Renard) for her 400th game; it was a great pleasure when she gave the armband to me for the rest of the game. I would never have thought in my career that I could be captain even for only 20 minutes.

Above: Janice Cayman, with the Captain Armband during the game against Dijon on September 12, 2021. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

JPT: What would you like to do when you stop football?

JC: I do not yet know exactly what I want to do next, but what is certain is that it will be something in football (laughs).

JPT: What is your favourite animal?

JC: A dog. When I was younger, it was more a Dolphin, but it is difficult to have one in a house; I think it would not enter in my apartment (laughs). I had a Dalmatian when I was with my parents, and I will have a dog for myself when I stop football.

JPT: What are your preferred foods? JC: I am vegetarian, and I like grilled tofu so I cook Thai pasta with grilled tofu.

JPT: What is your main quality?

JC: I try to see the good in everyone. I always focus on the good and I am positive.

JPT: What is your main fault? JC: I am too nice sometimes.

JPT: What do you need to improve in your game? JC: There are many things (laughs). I think that I could improve my depth management because it is something special to defenders.

JPT: Is there a message you would like to give to your fans? JC: I am so happy that they can watch us again. They are present at the matches and their support warms our hearts. After the game, it also very nice that they are still there to say hello and speak to us. The fans are there for us every game, so I think it is normal that we be available for them too.

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset summarizes the seventh round of D1 Arkema. 1/11/21

Fleury won 1-0 at home against Reims. In a game between two teams who are fighting to get to fourth place. The game was marginally dominated by Reims (58% of possession for Reims), but Fleury were more efficient and could even have scored more goals if Léa Le Garrec was a little bit more successful. With this win, Fleury is now fourth in the standings while Reims stays in the middle at the eighth place. Léa Le Garrec had a very good game, scoring a great goal with a shot just under the crossbar from around 25 meters (57′) and had three other big opportunities to score at the 41st minute (shot from 20 meters deviated from the corner), 50th minute (shot just to the left of the goal), 55th minute (shot stopped by the Reims goalkeeper).

Without another great performance from Katriina Talaslahti, the Fleury goalkeeper, who did not let any ball enter the Fleury goal and allowed her team to make another clean sheet, one goal would not have been enough to win this game. Katriina made five stops (10th minute on a long shot, 28th minute at the feet of Reims striker, 43rd-minute ground stop at her left post, 65th minute on a cross at the first post, 80th minute on another long shot), and three clearances (21st minute with her fists on a corner, 35th minute with her foot on a back pass from one of her teammates, 53rd-minute clearance with her foot just in front of Kessya Bussy ready to score). Goal for Fleury from Léa Le Garrec (57).

Paris FC won away from home 5-0 against Issy. There was no suspense at all in this game as it was fully dominated by Paris FC (73% of possession). Even if we had to wait the 21st minute to see the first goal for Paris FC, with only three shots Issy were never able to bring any danger to the Paris FC goal. Paris FC consolidates its third place in the table only three points adrift of Lyon and Paris St. Germain but with already six points clear of the fourth place. Goals for Paris FC from Julie Soyer (21), Mathilde Bourdieu (32), Ouleymata Sarr (37), Clara Matéo (90), Oriane Jean-François (90+2).

Above: Paris FC had plenty to celebrate during their match with Issy. Photo: @PFC_Feminines

Montpellier won 2-1 away from home against Saint-Etienne. In a strange game which was pretty even in terms of possession and passes as shown by the statistics (For Montpellier, 54% of possession and 301 passes with 71% successful; For Saint-Etienne, 46% of possession and 292 passes with 71% successful), Montpellier shot 20 times (9 on target) while Saint-Etienne shot only four times (two on target). However, as Saint-Etienne scored first in the sixth minute and as Montpellier was not able to put the ball in Saint-Etienne goal despite their great number of shots, we could have thought that Saint-Etienne would win this game. Unfortunately for Saint-Etienne, and hopefully for Montpellier, Sarah Puntigam and Lena Petermann scored both in the last minutes of the game giving the win to their team. There were also two red cards in this game: Kelly Gago, Saint-Etienne (60); Nérilia Mondésir, Montpellier (85). Goal for Saint-Etienne from Esther Okoronkwo (6); Goals for Montpellier from Sarah Puntigam (90), Lena Petermann (90+4).

Bordeaux won 3-0 at home against Guingamp. Another equal match, and even slightly dominated by Guingamp in terms of possession and passes (For Bordeaux, 46% of possession and 370 passes with 73% successful; For Guingamp, 54% of possession and 427 passes with 70% successful), but not in terms of shots (For Bordeaux, 20 shots with eight on target; For Guingamp, five shots with four on target). Bordeaux were more efficient, scoring three times. With a little bit more realism, Claire Lavogez, who still delivered a good performance in this game with one goal (39′) and one decisive pass (13′), could even have scored another goal in first half. Goals for Bordeaux from Maëlle Garbino (13), Claire Lavogez (39), Katja Snoeijs (68).

Above: Action from Montpellier against St. Etienne during week seven. Photo: @D1Arkema

Paris Saint-Germain won away from home 3-0 against Dijon. Paris SG dominated this game but still didn’t scored as many goals as we could expect when we look at the statistics of the game: For Paris SG, 73% of possession, 653 passes with 89% successful, 21 shots with six on target, six corners; For Dijon, 27% of possession, 249 passes with 65% successful, seven shots with one on target, no corner. Sara Däbritz, Paris SG, missed a penalty at the end of the game (90+3). Goals for Paris SG from Kadidiatou Diani (24), Léna Goetsch (58 Over Goal), Marie-Antoinette Katoto (60).

Olympique Lyonnais won 6-1 away from home against Soyaux. Lyon were totally dominant and could have scored a lot more goals if they were more efficient in attack. Statistics of the game: For Lyon, 68% of possession, 506 passes with 84% successful, 20 shots with 10 on target, seven corners; For Dijon, 32% of possession, 253 passes with 62% successful, three shots with two on target, three corners. Selma Bacha, who played on the left of Lyon attack in the first half and as a left back in the second half, delivered another good performance with the following personal statistics (recorded by Jean-Pierre Thiesset during the game): almost 50 balls played, 29 passes with 89% successful, two decisive passes (a cross for Signe Bruun at the 40th minute, a corner for the head of Griedge MBock at the 79th minute), and she was involved in the Janice Cayman goal at the 29th minute with a free-kick at the back post which wasn’t successfully cleared by Soyaux defense. Bacha is always impressive whether she plays in front or behind; not only she is able to adapt herself in these two positions, but she can also do it even in the same game. Very good game also from Catarina Macario in the middle. Goals for Lyon from Catarina Macario (5), Signe Bruun (13, 39), Janice Cayman (28), Melvine Malard (76), Griedge MBock (79). Goal for Soyaux from Corina Luijks (6).

Above: High flying action between Olympique Lyonnais and Soyaux. Photo: @OLfeminin

For the next round of the D1 Arkema championships, Olympique Lyonnais will receive Paris Saint-Germain in its Groupama Stadium for the first big game of the season on November 14, 2021. I will be in the Stadium for Impetus and hope to bring full photographic coverage from pitchside.

The View From France

Above: Lyon’s Ellie Carpenter holds off her Matildas team mate Mary Fowler in her team’s clash with Montpellier. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Impetus’ French editor Jean-Pierre Thiesset rounds up all of the action from the sixth week of France’s D1 Arkema, including his exclusive photos from Olympique Lyonnais’ game with Montpellier.

19/10/21

Reims won 5-2 at home against Bordeaux. Even if Bordeaux monopolized the ball with 65% of possession and 455 passes, but both teams had the same number of shots (17) and shots on target (eight). Bordeaux scored first in the sixth minute and most followers thought that it would be an easy game for them. It was without counting on Rachel Corboz, Reims’ captain, who put her side back on level terms ten minutes later with a great shot from 20 meters into the right upper part of the goal leaving no chance to the goalkeeper to catch the ball. Then the young players from Reims showed their qualities starting with Kessya Busy (20 years old) who scored her first of two goals five minutes later with a great shot too. At the beginning of the second half, Melchie Dumornay (18 years old) from Haiti, scored twice in seven minutes.  This is the third win in a row for Reims who are now mid table with the same record as Bordeaux with seven points.

There are rumours that Patrice Lair, Bordeaux’s coach, will probably leave his role soon; more news to come this week.

Goals for Reims came from Rachel Corboz (16), Kessya Bussy (21, 73), and Melchie Dumornay (46, 53). Goals for Bordeaux from Katja Snoeijs (6) and Claire Lavogez (80).

Dijon won away from home 1-0 against Fleury in an important game with fourth place in the league at stake. Both teams are now on nine points with Fleury being in front of Dijon just with a better goal average of  -4 against -7. Katriina Talaslahti, Fleury’s goalkeeper, did a good game for her fourth game in a row as starter, but couldn’t do anything to prevent Solène Barbance’s strike after 29 minutes.

Paris FC won 4-0 at home against Soyaux. Even if Paris FC just slightly dominated the game (57% of possession), they were more efficient with 23 shots (9 on target) against 11 shots (4 on target) for Soyaux. Paris FC remain in third place in the table.

Above: Selma Bacha, on the right, scores Olympique Lyonnais’ first goal against Montpellier in the 33rd minute. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Goals for Paris FC from Coumba Sow (37), Annaig Butel (51), Clara Matéo (63), and Daphne Corboz (78 on penalty).

Issy obtained a draw 1-1 away from home against Guingamp in a game dominated by the hosts (Guingamp had 67% of possession, 24 shots with 11 on target, nine corners). Issy scored despite only mustering 12 shots in comparison with five on target, and four corners. These two teams continue to struggle a lot in the bottom part of the table. Guingamp are ninth with five points and Issy are 11th with four points.

Goal for Issy from Adélie Fourré (62). Goal for Guingamp from Sana Daoudi (55).

Paris St. Germain won at home 2-0 against Saint-Etienne. Paris SG dominated largely this game (66% of possession, 467 passes with 85% successful, and 11 corners) but had only 13 shots with five on target. Paris SG first goal was just before the end of first half at the 43rd minute.

Goals for Paris SG from Sara Dabritz (43), and Marie-Antoinette Katoto (66).

Olympique Lyonnais won 5-0 at home against Montpellier. Lyon dominated largely this game (71% of possession, 646 passes with 88% successful, 8 corners, 39 shots with 16 on target) and could have scored a lot more goals if they scored sooner in the game. Selma Bacha scored the first goal after taking the ball almost from the centre of the field, running the ball up to 20 meters from the goal and delivering a great shot on the right of the goalkeeper at the 33rd minute.

Above: Selma Bacha wins her duel against Montpellier’s Marion Torrent. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus

Congratulations to Selma Bacha who delivered a great game and who was named player of the game for the second consecutive game.

Goals for Lyon from Selma Bacha (33), Marion Torrent (45+2 Over Goal), Perle Morroni (47), Melvine Malard (59), and Sally Julini (88).

Rachel Corboz: A Franco-American in the Champagne Country

Above: Rachel Corboz (right) in action for Reims at Olympique Lyonnais on 2nd August. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Impetus’ French editor Jean-Pierre Thiesset spoke exclusively to Reims captain Rachel Corboz.

17/10/21

Rachel Corboz was born on May 1, 1996, in Mobile, Alabama, USA to French-born parents, Michel and Christine.

Rachel has a dual citizenship French and American. Her father was a semi-professional footballer in Grenoble, France. Rachel grew up in Green Brook Township, New Jersey and has a brother, Mael, and a sister, Daphne both older than her; they both play football too.

Her brother started playing at university in the USA and now plays in Germany. Her sister also started football at university. She and Rachel then moved to play for Fleury, France before going on to play for Paris FC, France in D1 Arkema.

Rachel spent four years with the Georgetown University women’s soccer team where she scored 34 goals in 88 appearances. She received several distinctions in Big East Conference including Midfielder of the Year during her second year and her senior year. Rachel has been previously selected to train with the United States at U-18, U-20, and U-23 age groups.

Rachel signed for FC Fleury in June 2018. In her first season with the club, she made 19 appearances. She then moved to Reims in D1 Arkema, in June 2019. She played 15 games in 2019-2020 season, and 18 games in season 2020-2021 in which she delivered two decisive passes and scored three goals. She was appointed captain of Reims for the beginning of the 2021/22 season.

Rachel also prepares her future and follow her studies with a Masters in Adaptation to Climate Changes.

Above: Rachel Corboz. Photo: JK Sikorsynski, Stade de Reims.

Interview:

Jean-Pierre Thiesset (JPT): What is your best position to play and which other positions could you play?

Rachel Corboz (RC): My preferred position is as an offensive midfielder, but I can play also off centre on the right or on the left side even if I am right-handed because I have both feet.

JPT: Who/what inspired you to become a football player?

RC: Above all, my brother and my sister who are three years older than me, who played both football and I wanted to follow my sister and do like her. Also, at home, we watched a lot of football with my family and that must have influenced me.

JPT: Why do you play in France rather than in USA?

RC: I prefer the game style that we play in Europe and in France. I find it more technical and tactical, and it suits me better.

JPT: Who is your role-model if you have one?

RC: The player I like is Dzsenifer Marozsan. First because she plays in the same position as me and that in my opinion, she is the best both technically and tactically in this position.

JPT: What is your greatest challenge on the pitch?

RC: I am rather technical, and not very physical, so my biggest challenge on the field is to resist to physical impacts.

JPT: What is your greatest challenge off the pitch?

RC: I would like to be even more sure and confident in myself. It is also a challenge on the pitch elsewhere (laughs).

JPT: Who are your closest teammates?

RC: I am very open and friendly, and I am close to everyone.

JPT: What do you like to get up to off the pitch?

RC: I like to read in English, and practice yoga. I read a bit of everything but mostly novels. Now I am reading “Le comte de Monte-Cristo”. I also devote a lot of time to my studies.

Above: Rachel Corboz. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus

JPT: What makes Reims such a great club to play for?

RC: We have the same facilities than the men and it really is a big plus. We are a united team, all the girls get along well, there are no small groups, everyone talks to everyone and that I think is really a plus in a team because when there starts to be muddles or differences, this is where a team can have problems. It has been like that for three years and it is something that I really appreciated when I arrived in Reims. We also have coaches who are really invested and who really want us to be ambitious as a team; as we do better and better each year, it is good for the team, and I hope it will continue like this (laughs).

JPT: What is your preferred animal?

RC: I love cats. I just had a little kitten.

JPT: What are your preferred foods?

RC: I like everything a bit, but my favourite thing is my mother’s Vegetarian Lasagne.

JPT: What kind of music do you like?

RC: I did not listen a lot of music, but I like alternative music. I like Taylor Swift.

JPT: What is your main quality?

RC: My kindness. I think it is very important to be nice to everyone, even to people you do not know. I was raised by parents who showed me the importance of having this quality with all the people you meet.

JPT: What do you need to improve in your game?

RC: I must improve my speed and my explosiveness. I also must improve my heading because I do not like to make headers (laughs).

JPT: Is there a message you would like to give to your fans?

RC: Thank you very much for supporting us and I think it is important that you continue to support us. I think the only way for women’s football to grow is through the supporters who come to games and those who watch the games on TV. Keep supporting us, there have been more and more spectators since my first year here and it would be nice to see more and more people at the games.

Lyon Comfortably Dispatch Benfica

Above: Melvine Malard’s sensational overhead kick goal which put Lyon 3-0 ahead over Benfica. Photo exclusively for Impetus by: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

Jean-Pierre Thiesset was pitchside in the Groupama Stadium EXCLUSIVELY for Impetus to report and photograph on the UEFA Women’s Champions League Group D game between Olympique Lyonnais and Benfica.

16/10/21

Olympique Lyonnais wrapped up a comfortable 5-0 win over Benfica in front of 4,115 spectators in the Groupama Stadium in the UEFA Women’s Champions League Group D clash.

As Wendie Renard and Griedge MBock were not in the squad for this game due to injury, their places in central defence were taken by Kadeisha Buchanan and Amandine Henry, as for the last D1 Arkema game.

Lyon started the match by putting a lot of pressure on Benfica but without being able to score. Around the half-hour mark, the home side began to build more intensity, which enabled them to play higher on the field which resulted in two goals in as many minutes.

Above: Kadeisha Buchanan (on ground) puts Lyon 1-0 up. Photo exclusively for Impetus: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

First, after 29th minutes, Kadeisha Buchanan scored after a corner from Catarina Macario was badly cleared by the goalkeeper, and she took advantage. Then, in the 31st minute, Daniëlle Van De Donk scored after being played in by Melvine Malard.

Lyon continued to dominate the rest of the first half without increasing the score despite a lot of opportunities, especially at the last minute, when Catarino Macario sent a free-kick onto the post and Kadeisha Buchanan’s header hit the bar.

Above: Daniëlle Van De Donk (far right) makes it 2-0 for Lyon. Photo exclusively for Impetus: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

Lyon started the second half stronger than the first half and Benfica players suffocated under their pressure and their quick game. After 10 minutes in this second half, Lyon had already increased the score by two more goals. A wonderful overhead kick goal was executed by Melvine Malard on a cross from Catarina Macario who shortly after added a penalty herself, for her seventh goal in seven games.

Above: Catarina Macario makes it 4-0 from the spot. Photo exclusively for Impetus: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

Lyon continued to dominate the game and six minutes later, Kadeisha Buchanan flew over everyone to score a header for her second goal on the night from Selma Bacha’s free-kick. Ada Hegerberg replaced Macario at the 67th minute for her first home game in almost two years to a great ovation from the fans who were very glad to see her back. Hegerberg showed that she was already fit to help her teammates to win and caused trouble to the Benfica defenders during the last 15 minutes including almost scoring ten minutes after coming on.

Above: Kadeisha Buchanan leaps higher than the Benfica defence to make it 4-0. Photo exclusively for Impetus: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

Statistics of the match:

Lyon: 63% of possession, 547 passes (86% successful), 33 shots (20 on target), 13 corners.

Benfica: 37% of possession, 326 passes (79% successful), 7 shots (5 on target), 1 corner.

Teams: OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS: Endler, Bacha, Morroni, Henry, Egurrola, Carpenter, Macario, van der Donk, Cascarino, Buchanan, Malard. Subs: Paljevic (GK), Holmgren (GK), Hegerberg, Sombath, Laurent, Julini, Cayman, Bruun, Benyahia, Baga, Bahlouli.

Scorers: Buchanan 29′, 63′. Van De Donk 31′, Malard 53′, Macario (pen 56′)

BENFICA: Leticia, Seica, Faria, Vitoria, Alves, Costa, Nazareth, Amodo, Lacasse, Pauleta, Cameirao. Subs: Vilao (GK), Rebelo, Fidalgo, Silva, Cintra, Negrao, Uchelbe, Santos, Pintassligo.

Referee: Cheryl Foster (WAL).

Attendance: 4,115.

Above: OL Ang’elles fans celebrate the return of Ada Hegerberg. Photo exclusively for Impetus: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

Lyon leave Häcken with the points

Above: Melvine Malard pictured after scoring Lyon’s first goal last night. Photo: @OLFeminin

BK Häcken 0-3 Olympique Lyonnais

Jean-Pierre Thiesset rounds-up Olympique Lyonnais’ 3-0 win away from home to 3-0 against BK Häcken in Sweden last night as Group D of UEFA Women’s Champions League got underway.

7/10/21

Olympique Lyonnais were never really in danger and dominated this game as shown by the statistics of game: for Lyon, 64% of possession, 573 passes (80% successful), 22 shots with 9 on target, 12 corners; for BK Häcken, 36% of possession, 338 passes (65% successful), seven shots with two on target, and two corners. With a little bit more success, Lyon could have scored a lot more goals. Conditions were awkward due to heavy rain.

Highlights of the first half:

4’ Shot on target from OL’s Van De Donk following a bad clearance of BK Häcken defence

6’ Buchanan clear the ball out for a BK Häcken corner.

9’ Shot on target from OL’s Malard.

10’ GOAL LYON! Malard after a right-wing cross at ground level towards the middle of the 18-yard area from Van De Donk, 0-1

20’ Cross shot from OL’s Bacha, caught by the goalkeeper.

32’ Shot from BK Häcken, stopped by Endler.

33’ On the counterattack, cross from OL’s Bacha from the left, Header by Egurrola earned a corner for Lyon.

35’  Huge opportunity for BK Häcken but Endler caught the ball at feet of Larsen in the 18-yard area making a great save.

45+2’ Huge opportunity for Lyon, shot from Malard pushed out by the goalkeeper Falk; Bruun regains possession and her shot was deflected on the cross bar by Falk.

Half-Time: BK Häcken 0-1 Olympique Lyonnais

Lyon started the second half with a lot of rhythm in their game and quickly scored the second goal after 48 minutes; a shot from Cascarino following a cross from Bacha at the far post was cleared by Falk, but Macario regained possession and scored. From then Lyon dominated the game.

Above: Ada Hegerberg makes her return to action in the second half after over 20 months out injured. Photo: Getty Images.

To note, Ada Hegerberg made her return, at the 78th minute, after more than 20 months off the field following several injuries.

Highlights of second half:

48’ GOAL LYON! Macario 0-2

53’ GOAL LYON! Own goal from Larsen; following a corner from Bacha, Larsen was under pressure from Buchanan and put the ball in her own goal, 0-3.

78’ Ada Hegerberg came on from the bench for OL. Her first game for over a year and a half.

During the last 30 minutes of the game, Lyon obtained a lot of corners (63’, 65’, 72’, 82’, 84’) without being able to increase the score.

Referee: Lorraine Watson (SCO)

Goals: Melvine Malard (10), Catarina Macario (48), Larsen (53 OG) for Lyon.

Yellow cards: Luna Norgaard Gevitz (24’) for BK Häcken; Egurrola (87’) for Lyon.

BK Häcken: Falk, Okvist, Kullberg, Norgaard Gevitz, Rubensson, Curmark, Zigioti Olme (Holmes 63), Larsen, Rytting Kaneryd (Zomers 85), Gejl Jensen (Mijatovic 67) – Blackstenius. Substitutes unused: Hall, Kerlenas, Kollmats, Witj.

Lyon: Endler, Bacha, Henry, Buchanan, Carpenter (Morroni 78), Van de Donk (Baga 78), Egurrola, Macario (Hegerberg 78), D. Cascarino (Cayman 58), Bruun, Malard (Laurent 65). Substitutes unused: Holmgren, Paljevic, Sombath.

The View From France

Above: Amel Majri (arm raised) celebrates her goal for Lyon at Bordeaux before departing the pitch with a devastating injury. Photo: @OLFeminin.

Impetus French editor Jean-Pierre Thiesset rounds up all the action from the fifth week of matches in the D1 Arkema.

4/10/21

Olympique Lyonnais remain top after winning 4-1 away from home against the waning force that is Bordeaux. The five first minutes were a little bit difficult for Lyon as Eve Périsset forced Christiane Endler to make a save in second minute, and shortly after took the lead through Inès Jaurena. Incredibly, these two shots on target will be the only ones for Bordeaux in the whole game and Lyon quickly recovered with Catarina Macario equalizing in the seventh minute.

Thereafter, the action was largely dominated by Lyon. The statistics of the match are unequivocal: for Lyon, 62% of possession, 17 shots with seven on target, and 488 passes (78% successful); for Bordeaux, 38% of possession, eight shots with two on target, and 307 passes (70% successful).

For her second game back after her long injury, Griedge MBock played 90 minutes and scored a penalty. It seems that her injury is behind her and that the Great Griedge is back.

Unfortunately, Amel Majri, who had scored after 26 minutes after a cross from Catarina Macario towards the middle of the 18 yard area, left the game just gone the hour mark with an injury which, they next day was diagnosed as a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament and the external lateral ligament of the left knee.

Introduced after 58 minutes, Selma Bacha produced an excellent performance and delivered a superb corner which was met by the head of Damaris Egurrola in the 87th minute.

Goals for Lyon from Catarina Macario (7), Amel Majri (26), Griedge MBock (73 on penalty), and Damaris Egurrola (87). Goal for Bordeaux from Inès Jaurena (3).

Fleury won 2-1 away from home against Montpellier in a game largely dominated by Montpellier who failed to transform their scoring chances into goals. The game statistics: for Montpellier, 63% of possession, 16 shots with seven on target, and 489 passes (78% successful); for Fleury, 37% of possession, nine shots with two on target, and 301 passes (66% successful). With this third consecutive victory, Fleury are now fourth in the standings.

Katriina Talaslahti contributed significantly to her team’s victory by making over 10 stops and saves; Only teenage Matildas star Mary Fowler prevented her from making a new clean sheet with an unstoppable strike late in the game. Goals for Fleury from Léa Le Garrec (24), and Nicola Karczewska (85). Goal for Montpellier from Mary Fowler (94).

Above: Midfield action from Montpellier (pink) v Fleury. Photo: @MontpellierHSC

Reims won away from home against Issy 3-1. With this first victory, Reims climb to the tenth place. It was a game level in terms of possession (52% for Reims) and passes (Reims 367 and Issy 353), but Reims was more efficient in attack with 18 shots (eight on target) against seven shots (two on target) for Issy. To be noted was the very good performance from Reims’ Melchie Dumonay, who came on at half time, and who delivered a decisive pass (84) and shot several times on target forcing the goalkeeper of Issy to make saves. Rachel Corboz, Reims’ captain hit a free-kick with her weaker left foot narrowly over the bar. Goals for Reims from Naomie Feller (4), and Kessya Bussy (73, 84). Goal for Issy from Roselord Borgella (30 penalty).

Dijon won away from home against Soyaux 2-1. Dijon were able to win in a quite even game, simply by being a little more efficient in front of goal. Goals for Dijon from Desire Oparanozie (24, 52). Goal for Soyaux from Kelly Gadea (51).

Paris FC won away from home 3-1 against Saint-Etienne by dominating largely the game (60% of possession). Goals for Paris FC from Louna Ribedeira (45), Clara Matéo (68), and Ouleymata Sarr (88). Goal for Saint-Etienne from Kelly Gago (24).

Paris Saint-Germain against Guingamp has been postponed to a later date because of heavy rain in Paris.

Table From: Global Sports Archive

Romain Segui: Training The Very Best

Above: Romain Segui supervising the training session before the friendly game against Fribourg (Switzerland) on July 31, 2021. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Impetus’ French editor Jean-Pierre Thiesset spoke exclusively to Olympique Lyonnais’ fitness coach Romain Segui about his experiences of working with some of the world’s greatest footballers and the differences in coaching women and men.

3/10/21

Romain Segui was born on February 8, 1987, in Bourgoin Jallieu, France. After obtaining a training licence at the University Lyon 1 Claude Bernard from 2007 to 2010, Romain obtained a Masters in Mental Physical Preparation and Re-athleticism at the same university over the course of the following two years. Then, anticipating the future and wanting to improve in new technologies, he passed another University diploma entitled Video Analysis and Expertise in Team Sports at the University Lille 2 Law and Health in 2013-2014 as part of continuing education with Olympique Lyonnais.  Segui joined Olympique Lyonnais in July 2010 as an intern before then spent four seasons with the boy’s U15s side, before a two year spell with the boy’s U17 team. A further move saw Segui joined the men’s U19 group during the 2016/17 season. He also trained the U10 boy’s side during his four seasons with the U15.

Jean-Pierre Thiesset: (JPT): Who inspired you to become a Fitness Coach in football?

Romain Segui (RS): Cyrille Dolce. I always name him because he is a great man who helped me a lot. He has been at the club for thirty years and he is a great educator both in football and human terms; he trains the man before training the player. He is my mentor as a coach. He helped me to easily integrate the club. When I arrived, I was young, I lived that as a child dream, and he “professionalized” me.

JPT: What made you move across to be a fitness coach in women’s football?

RS: It is rather an opportunity that I seized. I wanted to integrate professional football and in men it is difficult because the coaches very often came with their own staff. The women’s fitness coach role  was vacant, and I was interviewed by Vincent Ponsot (OL General Director) who thought that I had the right profile for this position.

After nine years at the training centre, I had done just about everything with the young players, and I wanted to see something else. So, when we offer you to be the fitness coach of the players of the best women’s club team in the world, you from Lyon, and you say to yourself that you can play the Champions League and win it, then take the chance and sign the contract.

It a great privilege to work daily with Wendy Renard, Eugénie Le Sommer, Amandine Henry and all the other great players. My job is almost similar to the one of a fitness coach for men’s team because we have players which go to their national squad all over the world.

Above: Romain Segui with the players entering on the field for warming up for the game against Reims on August 27, 2021. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

JPT: What does your job entail? RS: It is a little bit complicated because there are several elements. You must be able to prepare the player in different physical qualities which are endurance, speed, strength and flexibility so that she performs as well as possible without putting the sliders too high because otherwise you can injure her.

When there is an injury in football, it is always the fault of the fitness coach, so we have a big emphasis on injury prevention. For that, we perform testing to individualize the workload and ensure that each player has adapted preparation and prevention routines and be as precise as possible. After all, at some point, there are injuries following collisions and on that we cannot do anything.  

There is also the data nowadays and this new technique which arrived in France since five to seven years with GPS which allow us to have a lot of data on the player: distance covered, distance walked, distance made in sprint, number of sprints, acceleration, deceleration, peak speed. We as fitness coaches, must be able to process and analyze all this data and report back to coaches. You still have to be careful not to interpret everything in numbers and let football do things; the feeling is also important, and the data must be taken into account because it help without becoming categorical with them.

Above: Romain Segui, preparing Catarina Macario during half time of the game against Guingamp on September 24, 2021. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset pour Impetus.

So, the job is very varied. We prepare the players for the training session in the morning indoors, then during the training session we will do specific workshops, for example, to develop endurance during twenty to thirty minutes, and we will verify the workload on the players because we have all data in live and ensure that the goal set is reached during the workshops; if necessary, we will adjust the training, for example, by asking to the coach to add a game sequence in order to reach the workload wanted on the players.

We have also to manage the returns from injury and re-athleticism. Hopefully, this year I have an assistant, Rémi Pullara, who can take care of this part and we can work better.

I am lucky because it is not a repetitive job, and it is not boring. For example, one day we do endurance work and the next day speed work.

JPT: What are the main exercises and the compulsory workshops that you carry out to correctly prepare the players?

RS: I am starting from the principle that it is the player’s intrinsic quality which is the most important. At the beginning of the season, we must perform a battery of tests, not only to have data, but to individualize the work in all areas included in the prevention. Some players will need mobility and other something else.

Right now, we speak a lot about integrated method, do the physical preparation with the ball, or of the dissociated method, do the physical preparation without the ball. Some fitness coaches advocate the dissociative method for the physical work. Personally, I have a little trouble with that, and I think we should use the two alternately depending on the desired goal. I like to activities without the ball to be sure to develop what we target because in this case you cannot cheat; for example, when we said to go from point A to point B in a certain time, the player cannot hide. But in long term, it is exhausting, and this is for this reason that integrated method, with the ball, is also interesting. 

However, I have a principle with which I never deviate, this is that at the beginning of the season, I need an aerobic base. For that, at the beginning of each season of preparation, I need around twenty days where the players will run to make volume to build a tank; this is what we call the aerobic capacity. This base will allow the players to be more aggressive on the field, to press the opposing players but also to be able to come back quickly in case of counterattacks.

After this base, we need to work a lot on the high intensity and the speed because nowadays women football evolved more and more, and it is quicker even if we heard a lot that men football is quicker, but the gap is narrowing.

JPT: Is it very different to prepare women players rather than men players? RS: The difference may be in power and speed because men are naturally more powerful as they have more muscle mass. But it tends to evolve in women football as now we see some women players with speed peaks at 32 to 34 km/h; whereas not all men players are at 32 or 33 km/h. 

However, we can consider the periods because it is the major difference between women and men. The doctors are interested in it and our doctors in the staff which are closer to the players, are attentive to this but personally it never happens to me that a player did not train because she had her period. There are a lot of things right now in the scientific journals on sport, as that the periods could be the source of a new method of individualized training; we look at what is being said and we think about it but today we have not yet implemented a protocol on this point.

There are other clubs that do, like Chelsea, but for now we think about it, we are not closing the door at all, but we want to find the best solution.  I train women players as if they were men players, but I consider the fact that they are not as powerful by individualizing the work.

There is also a difference on the injury prevention because women tend to have knees a little more tucked in (a little more in an X shape) which could be the source of knees ligament ruptures. Besides, in statistics, there are more knees ligaments ruptures in women than men in all sports.  

For me, this difference is even more important than the periods, and we must do specific strengthening in the glutes and hamstrings to try to rebalance the situation. For that, we do a specific test at the beginning of the season, and we adapt the strengthening if necessary.

JPT: What are the main qualities to be a good fitness coach? RS: You must be organized, methodical, have creativity, be attentive and open-minded because you must know how to question yourself; what we are doing today may not be true tomorrow and we must also open up to other sports to see how they work. You must be also a little sporty because when you must run with the players, you have to ensure you can!

Above: Romain Segui, running with OL’s players during warming up before the game against Saint-Etienne on September 5, 2021. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset pour Impetus.

JPT: What do you prefer, to prepare the players for one game per week or for one game every three days?

RS: For one game every three days because that means that we are playing in the Champions League!

JPT: What is your greatest challenge on the pitch or during training session? RS: That we complete the training sessions without injury. We must push the players to the maximum without exceeding their limits.

JPT: What is your greatest challenge off the pitch? RS: I love to run, and my biggest challenge would be to do the UTMB (Ultra-Trail Mont Blanc) in the Alps; about 180 kilometers with a total elevation gain of around 10,000 meters. At the moment, I do not have the time to train to do it because my job takes a lot of time and my family that must not be forgotten (Romain is married and he has two children, a 7 year old girl and a 3 year old boy). It is impossible to train every day to prepare it. 

JPT: What do you like to get up to off the pitch?

RS: Running and playing guitar.

JPT: What makes Olympique Lyonnais such a great club where to work? RS: We have a great President, Jean-Michel Aulas, who has always provided the necessary means as much for working conditions as for financial means and which makes that we have been far ahead of other clubs. We have great working conditions that a lot of other clubs do not have, and it is why the best players want to play at Olympique Lyonnais and want to stay there.

JPT: What is your main quality? RS: I think I am a very honest and caring person, and I am whole.

JPT: What is your main fault? RS: I am impulsive and jealous. I can get angry very quickly.

JPT: Is there a message you would like to give to Olympique Lyonnais fans? RS: First, I would like to thank all fans who follow OL Women because they are brilliant. I have seen them throughout the COVID period going at the games away from home and being stranded at the stadium gates just to see our bus arrive. I saw supporters clinging to the walls in Soyaux to see a bit of the game. I find it fantastic because they give a lot for us while it feels like we have not been able to give them a lot in return for a few months. I really want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. I hope we can celebrate the three titles together at the end of the season, it will be the best gift we can give to fans. And I believe it!

The View From France

Above: Daniëlle Van De Donk scores Lyon’s fourth goal in the 86th minute. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Jean-Pierre Thiesset reports from Lyon’s win against Guingamp and summarizes the fourth round of D1 Arkema.

27/9/21

Olympique Lyonnais won 4-0 at home against Guingamp. Once again, Lyon dominated this game with 66% of possession, 566 passes with 86% of success, and 30 shots including 14 on target while Guingamp had only 301 passes with 71% of success and two shots with one on target. This game saw the comeback of Griedge MBock after 477 days.

Above: Griedge MBock, back on the field. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Playing a quick game, as we are used to since Sonia Bompastor has been named coach, Lyon had a lot of opportunities to score but a lack of concentration on the last action, prevented them from scoring more than four goals.

Above: Sonia Bompastor, OL Coach Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Lyon’s goals came from Melvine Malard (3), Kadeisha Buchanan (48), Emelyne Laurent (72) and Daniëlle Van De Donk (86).

Fleury won 1-0 at home against Soyaux in a game which saw Soyaux have slightly the better of it with 59% of possession. With this second win, first at home, Fleury is now sixth in the table. Their goal came from Nicola Karczewska (39).

Montpellier won away from home against Reims 4-1 despite going behind to a strike from Kessya Busy in the opening minute. Montpellier hit back with goals from Sarah Puntigam (18, 84) and Lena Petermann (27, 31). With this win, Montpellier climb to the fifth place.

Bordeaux won away home against Issy 1-0. Goal for Bordeaux from Melissa Gomes (37), who dominated this game with 68% of possession, 22 shots including seven on target.

Saint-Etienne won away from home 4-0 against Dijon. Goals for Saint-Etienne from Esther Okoronkwo (4, 25), Cindy Caputo (52), and Audrey Chaumette (83). With this first win, Saint-Etienne are now up to seventh place. However, for Dijon, the things are not going very well and they are in eleventh place after three losses.

Paris Saint-Germain, at home, won 4-0 in the derby against Paris FC. Goals for Paris SG from Marie-Antoinette Katoto (18, 26), Kadidiatou Diani (43), and Sara Däbritz (59 on penalty). Paris SG largely dominated largely the game with 58% of possession, 19 shots including 13 on target, 488 passes (83% successful); for Paris FC, 9 shots with only 1 on target, 351 passes (76% successful). With this result, only two teams are yet to lose this season – Lyon and Paris SG.

Table From: Eurosport

The View From France

Above: The Olympique Lyonnais team who played Dijon at the weekend. Photo exclusive to Impetus by: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

Jean-Pierre Thiesset reports on the Lyon win against Dijon and summarizes the third round of D1 Arkema.

13/9/21

Olympique Lyonnais won 6-0 at home against Dijon. In fact, there was no true suspense at all as Lyon dominated largely this game with 74% of possession, 596 passes with 89% of success, and 28 shots including 12 on target while Dijon had only 221 passes with 59% of success and two shots. Playing a quick game alternating short passes and long balls, Lyon never gave a chance to Dijon. Indeed, Lyon goalkeeper Christiane Endler, had only one ball to catch during the whole game.

Lyon’s goals came from Catarina Macario (3 and 37), Melvine Malard (36), and Signe Bruun (47, 66, and 78). Catarina Macario is gaining momentum and becoming an increasingly important player who plays a major role in Lyon’s attack.

Above and below: 37th minute, second goal of Catarina Macario. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Signe Bruun scored her first goal and her first hat trick for Lyon despite only playing in the second half replacing Danielle Van De Donk at the forty sixth minute of the game.

Above: 78th minute, cross from Perle Moroni to Signe Bruun. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.
Above: 78th minute, third goal from Signe Bruun. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Guingamp won 2-1 at home against Montpellier in an even game. Guingamp had 55% of possession but with twice as many opportunities for Montpellier (16 shots against 7). Goals for Guingamp came from Margaux Le Mouël (21 on penalty) and Emmy Jézéquel (78). Montpellier’s strike came from Morgane Nicoli (70).

Fleury won away from home against Bordeaux 2-1. Goals for Fleury from Julie Piga (83) and Dominika Grabowska (88 penalty). Bordeaux’s scorer was Katja Snoeijs (3 on penalty). It was a first win for Fleury this season against a Bordeaux team which still has problems as they have started their season with a draw, a win, and a loss. Katriina Talaslahti made her debut in goal for Fleury after joining from Olympique Lyonnais.

Issy gained their first win of the season with a 1-0 success away to Saint-Etienne thanks to a goal from Roselord Borgella (23).

Paris FC at home won 3-0 against Reims. Goals for Paris FC from Théa Greboval (12), Clara Matéo (27), and Daphne Corboz (81). The game was largely dominated by Paris FC (61% of possession, 17 shots including 7 on target). Reims, although they have good players, still have not won this season. A fact to notice, Corboz sisters were both on the field, Daphne for Paris FC and Rachel for Reims.

Paris Saint-Germain, away from home, won 2-0 against Soyaux. Goals for Paris SG came from Marie-Antoinette Katoto (33) and Sandy Baltimore (67). Although they dominated the game, PSG were not able to score more than two goals. Game statistics: for Paris SG, 69% of possession, 17 shots including six on target, 435 passes (79% successful); for Soyaux, only three shots none on target, 203 passes (55% successful).

National Team Selection Row:

Above: OL ANG’ELLES fans, at the 9th minute of the game against Dijon, support Eugénie Le Sommer, which is not in the squad for next week France World Cup qualification games. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset for Impetus.

Olympique Lyonnais fans and many who follow women’s football do not understand why Eugénie Le Sommer, top scorer for France team and in her best form right now with OL Reign, has not been selected for France for their two games over the next week away to Greece (17th Sept) and Slovenia (21st Sept).

Eugénie Le Sommer then tweeted:

I just learn with a lot of disappointment my non-selection for the next France squad gathering.

I will continue as I always did during my career to work hard and to give everything with my team to go back.

Thanks for your support.

There is also question about the non-selection of Amandine Henry, who was the France team captain not so long ago. Some add also the non-selection of the young but efficient Selma Bacha which has been in the team of the 2nd round of D1 Arkema and which continues to progress day after day with Olympique Lyonnais.

The View From France

Above: Melvine Malard (28) crosses into the box. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset, exclusively for Impetus.

Jean-Pierre Thiesset summarizes the second round of D1 Arkema, French women’s football’s topflight and adds a focus on Lyon (7/9/21).

Paris Saint Germain won 1-0 away from home against Montpellier. PSG’s sole strike came from Sara Dabritz after eight minutes from the penalty spot. It was difficult for the visitors on a pitch which didn’t helping the players to produce good quality football. PSG dominated the game with 70% of possession and they had more opportunities (15 shots, 4 on target) than Montpellier (4 shots, 2 on target). Montpellier tried hard to impose their game on the Parisians but were only just able to prevent PSG adding to their tally with their 5-4-1 formation.

Fleury lost at home against Paris FC 1-0. The goal for Paris FC came Coumba Sow after 43 minutes. An even game could have ended 1-0 for Fleury or a draw; there were only four shots on target for each team.

Dijon won away home against Issy 2-0Goals for Dijon came from Léa Declercq (20) and Desire Oparanozie (49). This is Issy’s second straight defeat.

Bordeaux at home won 6-0 against Soyaux. Bordeaux’s strikes came courtesy of Sisca Folkertsma (2), Malia Nicole Berkely (29), Andréa Lardez (36), Mélissa Gomes (43), Mickaella Cardia (79), and Katja Snoeijs (81). After a draw at Saint-Etienne last week, Bordeaux reacted strongly and never gave Soyaux a chance to win this game.

Reims, at home, was not able to do better than a draw 0-0 against Guingamp. Grace Rapp of Reims had a red card at the sixtieth minute, leaving her teammates at 10 players for 30 minutes did not help them. However, they were able to keep their goal clean.

Olympique Lyonnais their derby at home against newly promoted Saint-Etienne 6-0. Goals for Lyon came from Catarina Macario (18), Amel Majri (28), Melvine Malard (42), Emelyne Laurent (53), Damaris Egurrola (56), and Selma Bacha (84). Lyon were dominant throughout with 68% of possession, 24 shots (17 on target), 10 corner kicks compared to Saint-Etienne’s two shots (one on target), and a single corner kick.

Above: Amel Majri (7) scoring Lyon’s second goal. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset, exclusively for Impetus.

After their difficult win at Levante, Lyon made a better job against, it must be said, a much weaker team, especially in defence. We saw several good build ups by Lyon, like with the goal on the 28th minute when Malard on an attack down the left, crosses back to Majri which shots on the right on the goalkeeper.

Important But Difficult Win For Lyon

Above: A midfield tussle between Olympique Lyonnais and Levante last night. Photo: Levante UD.

Jean-Pierre Thiesset summarises Olympique Lyonnais’ 2-1 win in the away leg of their UEFA Women’s Champions League second qualifying round tie against Levante in Valencia, Spain (2/9/21).

This game was not an easy one for Olympique Lyonnais and there were a lot of movements back and forth from one goal to the other. Even if Lyon largely dominated this game (63% possession in first half), the constant pressing from Levante disrupted Lyon’s game plan and there were a lot of misdirected passes as well as a lack of speed in the play.

Levante could have scored on a number of counterattacks and in the first half, Lyon goalkeeper Christiane Endler Lyon goalkeeper had to make saves, particularly in the 22nd and 28th minutes (22, 28) to deny Levante. Strangely, Levante had more true opportunities to score than Lyon by playing in quick counterattacks in the first half. Levante players made also a lot of fouls trying to stop Lyon attacks (11 fouls in the first half for Levante; 3 fouls for Lyon).

Highlights of the first half:

Endler cleared a ball directly into Buchanan’s head who is a little bit groggy by the shock.

Carpenter crosses, no one can get on the end of it.

Bacha’s crosses, no one can get on the end of it.

12 Henry attacks and crosses, no one can get on the end of it.

14 Free Kick from Macario, cleared by the Levante defence.

15 Cross by Macario, cleared by the Levante defence.

16 Pass by Majri to Morroni, who crosses but cleared by the Levante defence.

18 Cross by Morroni and then Carpenter, both cleared by the Levante defence.

21 Carpenter shoots over.

22 Levante counterattack, cross shot of Alba Redondo stopped by Endler.

25 Another counterattack from Levante which comes to nothing.

28 Free kick for Levante, the ball is cleared, then crossed by Maria Mendez Fernandez and stopped by Endler.

32 Free kick by Majri, header from Macario off target.

33 Great clearance by the foot of Endler which ends up with a cross by Macario which was caught by the Levante goalkeeper.

37 Bacha recuperates the ball and passes to Morroni, cross of Morroni, sent back by Levante defence.

40 Buchanan clears the ball with a long pass, and the move ends with a header by Van de Donk which is caught by Levante goalkeeper.

At halftime, the score was still 0-0.

Lyon started the second half trying to put more rhythm in their game but the Levante high pressing quickly made them to go back to inaccurate passes. Furthermore, they played towards the centre of the Levante defence which merely aided the home side’s counterattacks.

Highlights of the second half:

Above: It was a competitive tussle in Valencia last night between Levante and Olympique Lyonnais. Photo: Levante UD.

48 Corner for Lyon following an attack down the right by Carpenter, Majri shoots but no luck.

50 Free kick for Lyon, Cross from Macario, cleared by Levante defence.

51 Shot by Macario, count attack by Levante defence leads to a corner.

53 Shot of Morroni, stopped by Levante’s goalkeeper.

54 Pass by Carpenter to Majri who crosses but Levante’s goalkeeper sends the ball back.

55 Shot by Macario, stopped by the Levante goalkeeper at the second attempt.

57 Shot saved by Levante goalkeeper.

59 On a counterattack, Levante enter the Lyon box and shoot off target.

61 Shot of Alba Redondo, stopped by Endler.

64 Cross by Laurent, cleared by the Levante defence. From the resulting corner, Bacha hits the cross bar

68 Counterattack by Levante, shot off target.

73 Cross by Laurent for Malard, cleared by the Levante defence.

80 GOAL LYON! Malard with a cross shot from left to right following a great pass from Majri.

84 GOAL LYON! Morroni with a cross shot from left to right after a pass from Malard who was brilliantly put in from Cayman for 2-0

86 GOAL LEVANTE! Giovanna following a break by Tatiana Pinto up to the goal line and a perfect pass back for 2-1.

93 Second yellow card for Bacha -> Red card

Lyon did not play fast enough to destabilize and overtake Levante players and their high press game. There were too many inaccurate passes by Lyon who were unable to impose their game on the Spanish side. The changes around the 60th minute mark gave the visitors more speed in their game, and they were able to score twice about 20 minutes later. On their last counterattack Levante reduced the score to 2-1 on a penetration of Lyon defence and a back pass.

Referee: Jelena Medjedovic.

Goals: Anselmo (86′) for Levante; Melvine Malard (80′), Perle Morroni (84′) for Lyon.

Yellow cards: Mendez Fernandez (45′), Paraluta (72′) for Levante; Selma Bacha (23′, 90+3′), Kadeisha Buchanan (69′) for Lyon.

Red card: Selma Bacha (90+3′) for Lyon.

Levante: Valenzuela – Tomas (Cometti, 79′), Miralles, Mendez Fernandez, Morente – San Martin, Toletti, Nicolas – Mendez (Pinto, 71′), Ferrer (Anselmo, 85′), Indakoetxea. Substitutes: Paraluta, Casanova, Iannuzzi, Nunez, Bascunan. Coach: Angel Villacampa Carrasco.

Lyon: Endler – Bacha, Renard, Buchanan, Carpenter (Cayman, 78′) – Majri, Henry, Van de Donk (Damaris, 62′) – Morroni, Bruun (Laurent, 56′), Macario (Malard, 62′). Substitutes: Holmgren, Paljevic, Sombath, Baga, Julini, Cascarino. Coach: Sonia Bompastor.

The View From France

Above: Paris St. Germain celebrate their 5-0 opening day win over Fleury. Photo: OJB Sport.

Jean-Pierre Thiesset summarizes the first week of action in D1 Arkema, French women’s football’s topflight (31/8/21).

Olympique Lyonnais won 3-0 at home against Reims. Goals for Lyon from Easther Mayi Kith (6, Own Goal), Delphine Cascarino (10), and Selma Bacha (93). For my full report and exclusive photos from the game, click here: https://impetus885775742.wordpress.com/2021/08/28/lyon-off-and-running/

Paris FC, at home, won 4-1 against Guingamp. Goals for Paris FC from Clara Matéo (1), Daphne Corboz (35, Penalty), Adja Binate Soumahoro (61), and Louna Ribadeira (63). Guingamp’s goal came from Sana Daoudi (29).

Montpellier won 2-1 away from home against Dijon. Lena Petermann (23) and Sarah Puntigam (92) were on target for Montpellier. Lisa Schmitz’s own goal (73) gave Dijon hope.

Above: Delphine Cascarino, who scored for Olympique Lyonnais in their opening day win over Reims.
Photo exclusively for Impetus by: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

Soyaux won at home against Issy 2-0. Goals for Soyaux from Kelly Rowswell (39 Own Goal) and Laura Bourgouin (87).

Saint-Etienne at home finished with an excellent 1-1 draw against Champions League qualifiers Bordeaux. Laura Condon’s leveller for the home side after 81 minutes followed Vanessa Gilles’ strike for Bordeaux (46).

Paris Saint Germain won 5-0 at home against Fleury. Goals for Paris SG from Sandy Baltimore (14), Sara Dabritz (21), Kadidiatou Diani (35), Jeannette Grace Ngock Yango (61, Own Goal), and Ramona Bachmann (86).

Except for Bordeaux who drew against newly promoted Saint-Etienne, all the contenders for the championship won their first games. Paris SG, Paris FC and Lyon started particularly strongly and fill the top three places in the table.

Lyon Off And Running

Above: Christiane Endler dives to make a save on her D1 Arkema debut for Olympique Lyonnais. Photos exclusive to Impetus by: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

Olympique Lyonnais 3-0 Stade de Reims

Exclusive Words and Photos by Jean-Pierre Thiesset at the Groupama Training Centre for Impetus. (28/8/21)

Lyon started by playing very high on the field and putting a lot of pressure on Reims. Quickly they obtainedcorner kicks and after six minutes, Reims’ Easther Mayi Kith put the ball in her own goal whilst trying to clear a dangerous corner kick played in by Amel Majri.

Four minutes later, Delphine Cascarino was in acres of space outside and hit an effort into the left hand corner of the net from 20 yards which rocketed just under the cross bar and in.

Above: Delphine Cascarino, scorer of Lyon’s second goal, in action against Reims last night. Photo exclusive to Impetus by: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

Lyon had a lot of opportunities to extend their lead further, but things got a bit messy approaching goal. Chances were not exclusively going the way of the home side as, after 22 minutes, Christiane Endler had to make a high class save. But overall, Reims were never able to put their game in place.

Lyon defenders stopped all of the tentative attacks from Reims and the young Alice Sombath had an excellent game alongside Wendie Renard in the central defence. Sombath was very calm, and she showed all her good skills. At half time, the score was still 2-0.

Above: Young defender Alice Sombath had a solid game for Olympique Lyonnais. Photo exclusive to Impetus by: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

The second half started as the first one with a lot of pressure from Lyon and Reims had more and more problems to keep the hosts out. Again, there were a lot of opportunities for Lyon but they were not able to transform those in goals. On the Reims side, it was more and more difficult to even approach to the Lyon goal.

Above: Selma Bacha (far left) scores Olympique Lyonnais’ third goal of the night. Photo exclusive to Impetus by: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

We had to wait until the last moment of the game at the ninety third minute to see the third goal for Lyon when Emelyne Laurent passed the ball at Selma Bacha who was very well placed near the penalty spot to steer home the last goal of the night.

It was a pleasant game to follow even if Lyon was too strong for Reims who tried to play their game throughout.

Above: Reims captain Rachel Corboz (10) in action last night. Photo exclusive to Impetus by: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

Speaking exclusively to Impetus after the game, Rachel Corboz (Reims Captain) told me “It was always very hard to play Lyon at home”. I guess that they were also happy not to have let Lyon score more goals. They will have better games in the rest of this season as they have good players.

As shown by the statistics of the game, Lyon dominated the match from the beginning to the end.

For Lyon: 30 shots (12 on target), 66% of possession, 578 passes (84% successful), 12 corner kicks.

For Reims: 7 shots (2 on target), 34% of possession, 310 passes (66% successful), 0 corner kicks.

Above: The official team sheet provided to the media at the game. Photo exclusive to Impetus by: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

Goals: Mayi Kith (OG) 6, Cascarino 10, Bacha 90+3.

D1 Arkema 2021/22 – Ins And Outs

Jean-Pierre Thiesset summarizes the consequences of the transfer window ahead of the new season of D1 Arkema, French women’s football’s topflight, which begins next week (20/8/21).

The D1 Arkema championship for 2021/22 will start on August 27th and 28th 2021 with several changes in the team’s staff.

This new campaign will see the D1 Arkema remain at twelve teams. Le Havre were relegated to D2 at the end of last season and Saint-Etienne climbed into D1 Arkema.

There are a lot of moves between last season’s top three. Three players from Paris SG (Endler, Bruun and Morroni) moved to Lyon and one player from Lyon (Karchaoui) make the reverse move. One player from Bordeaux (E. Cascarino) and one player from Montpellier (De Almeida) went to Paris SG. Hamraoui, ex Olympique Lyonnais, goes from Barcelona to Paris SG. Three players from Lyon are loaned to OL Reign, Olympique Lyonnais WNSL Franchise: Bouhaddi, Le Sommer, Marozsan.

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN:

Above: Sakina Karchaoui – unveiled by PSG after singing from Olympique Lyonnais. Photo: Paris St. Germain

Coach: Didier Ollé-Nicolle

Arrivals: Didier Ollé-Nicolle (coach, Le Mans), Estelle Cascarino (Bordeaux), Elisa De Almeida (Montpellier), Sakina Karchaoui (Lyon), Hawa Sangaré (loan return, Le Havre), Léa Khelifi (loan return, Dijon), Amanda Ilestedt (Bayern Munich, GER), Kheira Hamraoui (Barcelona, SPA), Aminata Diallo (loan return, Atlético Madrid, SPA), Constance Picaud (Le Havre), Celin Bizet Ildhusøy (Vålerenga, NOR).

Departures: Olivier Echouafni (coach), Christiane Endler (Lyon), Alanna Cook (OL Reign, USA), Formiga (São Paulo, BRA), Signe Bruun (Lyon), Nadia Nadim (Racing Louisville, USA), Irene Paredes (Barcelona, SPA), Arianna Criscione (end of contract), Perle Morroni (Lyon).

OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS:

Coach: Sonia Bompastor

Arrivals : Christiane Endler (PSG), Signe Bruun (PSG), Danielle van de Donk (Arsenal, ENG), Perle Morroni (PSG), Emelyne Laurent (loan return, Atlético Madrid, SPAIN), Manon Revelli (loan return, Servette Chênois FC, CH), Grace Kazadi (loan return, Atlético Madrid, SPA), Assimina Maoulida (loan return, Le Havre), Yrma Mzé Issa (Marseille), Emma Holmgren (Eskilstuna United, SWE).

Departures : Sarah Bouhaddi (OL Reign, USA, loan), Dzsenifer Marozsán (OL Reign, USA, loan), Eugénie Le Sommer (OL Reign, USA, loan), Sakina Karchaoui (PSG), Jodie Taylor (Orlando Pride, USA), Jessy Roux (end of contract, Orléans), Nikita Parris (Arsenal, ENG), Manon Revelli (Guingamp, loan), Assimina Maoulida (Issy, loan).

BORDEAUX :

Coach: Patrice Lair.

Arrivals : Patrice Lair (coach, without team), Mélissa Herrera (Reims), Mélissa Gomes (Reims), Mylène Chavas (Dijon), Marine Perea (loan return, Soyaux), Paige Culver (Soyaux), Sisca Folkertsma (Twente, NED).

Departures : Pedro Martinez Losa (Scotland Coach), Khadija Shaw (Manchester City, ENG), Estelle Cascarino (PSG), Ouleymata Sarr (Paris FC), Ghoutia Karchouni (Inter Milan, ITA), Axelle Touzeau (end of contract, Rodez).

PARIS FC:

Coach: Sandrine Soubeyrand.

Arrivals: Ouleymata Sarr (Bordeaux).

Departures : Gaëtane Thiney (NJ/NY Gotham, USA, loan), Camille Catala (retired), Linda Sällström (HJK Helsinki, FIN), Claire Savin (retired), Aurélie Claire (Saint-Maur).

Above: Signe Bruun, newly arrived at Olympique Lyonnais after signing from Paris St. Germain. Photo: Olympique Lyonnais.

GUINGAMP:

Coach: Frédéric Biancalani.

Arrivals : Laurie Teinturier (Issy), Cindy Perrault (Montpellier), Arzhelenn Dufrien (Brest), Manon Revelli (Servette Chênois FC, SWI, loan, Lyon), Angel Gurhem (Braine Chassemy Vailly/Aisne FC).

Departures : Faustine Robert (Montpellier), Anissa Lahmari (Soyaux), Solène Durand (Dijon), Laura Brock (retired), Wassilah Imlak (Strasbourg), Grace Yango (Fleury), Léa Sotier (Le Havre), Safia Tall (AS Roma Femminile, ITA).

DIJON :

Coach : Christophe Forest.

Arrivals : Christophe Forest (coach, Brest), Lisa Lichtfus (Standard de Liège, BEL), Elody Salaün (Brest), Solène Durand (Guingamp), Ekaterina Tyryshkina (Le Havre), Jenna Dear (Fleury).

Departures : Yannick Chandioux (coach, Montpellier), Genessee Daughetee (USA), Mylène Chavas (Bordeaux), Maryne Gignoux (Saint-Etienne), Elise Bonet (Saint-Etienne), Elodie Nakkach (Servette Chênois FC, CH), Salma Amani (Saint-Malo), Léa Khelifi (end of loan, PSG), Océane Daniel (Issy), Amanda Chaney (Strasbourg), Camille Pinel (Montauban), Sh’nia Gordon (CSKA Moscow, RUS).

REIMS :

Coach : Amandine Mique.

Arrivals : Julie Pasquereau (Metz), Kethna Louis (Le Havre), Jade Rastocle (Sarcelles), Emily Alvarado (TCU Horned Frogs, USA), Melike Pekel (Le Havre).

Departures : Mélissa Herrera (Bordeaux), Mélissa Gomes (Bordeaux), Phallon Tullis-Joyce (OL Reign, USA), Marie-Aurelle Awona (Napoli Femminile, ITA), Tess David (Lens), Audrey Dupupet (Orléans), Solène Wittmann (Troyes).

FLEURY :

Coach : Fabrice Abriel.

Arrivals : Fabriel Abriel (coach, already in the club), Ewelina Kamczyk (Górnik Leczna, POL), Julie Debever (Inter Milan, ITA), Marie Levasseur (Metz), Grace Yango (Guingamp), Nikola Karczewska (Górnik Łęczna, POL), Imane Chebel (BIIK Kazygurt, UKR), Amandine Béché (Nantes), María Díaz Cirauqui (Athletic Bilbao, SPA).

Departures : Laëtitia Philippe (end of loan, Soyaux), Cecilie Sandvej, Teninsoun Sissoko (Turbine Potsdam, GER), Kate Nado (Saint-Malo), Jeanne Dear (Dijon), Kamilla Karlsen (Djurgårdens IF, SWE), Michelle De Jongh (Vittsjö, SWE, end of loan), Marina Makanza (Marseille), Hannah Diaz (Houston Dash, USA), Céline Chatelain (Saint-Maur).

Above: Samantha Johnson, who signed for Soyaux over the summer. Photo: Wikipedia.

SOYAUX :

Coach : Dragan Cvetkovic.

Arrivals : Dragan Cvtekovic (coach, TP Mazembe, Congo), Anissa Lahmari (Guingamp), Lisa Martinez (Metz), Zoé Stievenart (Montpellier), Sarah Zahot (Marseille), Laëtitia Philippe (Issy), Mireille Viannelle Tchengang (PSG), Laurine Pinot (Issy), Shana Battouri (Brest), Eden Avital (MS Kyriat Gat, ISR), Samantha Johnson (Melbourne City FC, AUS), Corina Luijks (SS Lazio, ITA).

Departures : Laurent Mortel (coach), Mickaëla Bottega (Nice), Jessy Roux (end of loan, Orléans), Marine Perea (end of loan, Bordeaux), Kimberley Cazeau (Brest), Anaïs M’Bassidjé (Marseille), Paige Culver (Bordeaux), Alice Benoît (Sassuolo Femminile, ITA), Henriette Michèle Akaba Edoa (Santa Teresa Dabajoz, SPA), Tamires Souza, Chelsea Surpris (Yzeure), Coralie Austry, Viviane Boudaud (Nice), Nina Stapelfeldt (AC Milan, ITA), Agathe Donnary (Issy).

MONTPELLIER :

Coach : Yannick Chandioux.

Arrivals : Yannick Chandioux (coach, Dijon), Faustine Robert (Guingamp), Esther Mbakem Niaro (loan return, Issy), Johanna Elsig (Turbine Potsdam, GER), Gabrielle Lambert (Saint-Étienne).

Departures: Elisa De Almeida (PSG), Anouk Dekker (Braga, POR), Cindy Perrault (Guingamp), Léonie Pankratz (HJK Naiset, FIN), Adelina Engman (Växjö DFF, SWE), Zoé Stievenart (Rodez), Marie Petiteau (Saint-Malo, loan).

ST. ETIENNE :

Coach : Jérôme Bonnet.

Arrivals : Maryne Gignoux (Dijon), Elise Bonet (Dijon), Maud Antoine (Marseille), Emily Burns (Real Club Racing Santander, SPAIN), Kristen Sakaki (Trinity Western University, CAN).

Departures: Charlotte Gauvin (retired), Coralie Digonnet (retired), Naweal Ouinekh (retired), Gabrielle Lambert (Montpellier), Morgane Martins (Issy), Julie Marichaud (Nice), Joanna Viollaz (Avignon), Pilar Khoury (Nantes), Cheyenne Shorts (Celtic, SCO).

ISSY :

Coach : Camillo Vaz.

Arrivals : Océane Daniel (Dijon), Alexis Thornton (Le Havre), Morgane Martins (Saint-Étienne), Adélie Fourré (Marseille), Cosette Morché (OL Reign, USA, loan), Ally Prisock (Houston Dash, USA, loan), Agathe Donnary (Soyaux), Manon Labois (Poissy), Assimina Maoulida (Lyon, loan).

Departures : Laurie Teinturier (Guingamp), Laëtitia Philippe (Soyaux), Esther Mbakem Niaro (end of loan, Montpellier), Laurine Pinot (Soyaux), Camelia Toumi (Saint-Malo), Solène Froger (Brest), Fanny Pereira (Brest), Clara Cleus Fabregat (Vendenheim), Pauline Moitrel (Lille), Djanae Longo Nsame (Le Mans), Salma Zemzem (Albi), Allison Pantuso (Kuopion Palloseura “KuPS”, FIN), Kayla Mills (end of contract).

Jean-Pierre Thiesset’s weekly round-up of all the action from D1 Arkema will return this season in both English and French languages.

Changing of the Guard Complete in France

Olympique Lyonnais 0–0 Paris St. Germain (31/5/21)

By Ben Gilby

Above: The PSG team line-up before the start of a match which virtually assured they will end Olympique Lyonnais’ dominance at the top of D1 Arkema. Photo: @PSG_Feminines

Olympique Lyonnais’ domination of D1 Arkema is over after Paris St. Germain earned a point to ensure that they will win the championship for the first time in their history by beating mid table Dijon this coming Friday night.

Lyon had to win to realistically retain their D1 title for a fifteenth successive year, but the 0-0 score line against their closest rivals means that they now need a miracle for that to happen.

PSG went into the match having won their last eighteen consecutive games in Arkema D1. Their last defeat came back in November 2019. They also had the confidence in having defeated Lyon in both the earlier league encounter and the Champions League Quarter-Finals which ended OL’s run of five consecutive titles in Europe’s top competition.

Whilst Lyon’s season has not hit the heights that they have become accustomed to, they went into the game on the back of 51 games unbeaten at home in D1.

Both sides were missing a key player at kick-off as Eugenie Le Sommer failed a late fitness test for OL with Marie-Antoinette Katoto missing with a thigh injury for PSG. In the positive side of the ledger for the Parisians, Kadidatou Diani was back for the first time since April after injury.

Above: OL keeper Sarah Bouhaddi denies Kadidatou Diani. Photo: Damien LG via @OLfeminin

The first opportunity went PSG’s way after five minutes when Sandy Baltimore got free down the left and put in a dangerous cross which Sarah Bouhaddi got a palm to but could not prevent the ball falling for Diani, but the OL keeper recovered well to get back in time to grab the resulting shot.  

For the vast majority of the first half, PSG were more than happy for Lyon to have the ball and attack. It appeared to be the right move as it allowed the Parisians to ensure they had more than enough personnel to largely nullify the impact of Ellie Carpenter, Delphine Cascarino and Sakina Karchaoui. Therefore, Christiane Endler, linked with a move to OL in the summer, had very little to do in the PSG goal.

Both sides were also keen to establish themselves as the physically dominant team. One such example came when Kadeisha Buchanan put in a thumping tackle which saw Baltimore fall awkwardly on her side, taking down her head coach Olivier Echouafni in the process.

Shortly afterwards, Carpenter saved her team in a defensive position by sprinting in to fill a gap and charge down a shot from former Chelsea star Ramona Bachmann.

Above: Ellie Carpenter made an important block on Ramona Bachmann’s shot. Photo: Damien LG via @OLfeminin

All of PSG’s chances were coming down the left with Baltimore using her pace to break through at will and fire dangerous crosses into the box. Despite her ability to push forward, Lyon’s defence, marshalled as ever by the talismanic Wendy Renard were able to mop up before Bachmann, Bruun and Dabritz could take advantage.

With eight minutes to the break, Bouhaddi denied Signe Bruun from close range as Paris broke from the left of centre once more.

Karchaoui had a great chance shortly afterwards when, from a break through the middle, the ball ended in her path, but her fierce effort was just over the bar as it remained goalless at the break.

Just after the hour mark, Bruun missed a golden opportunity for PSG. The Dane found herself in front of goal with no-one rushing towards her to close her down, but she put her shot agonisingly wide of the left hand post when it anything on target would likely have resulted in a goal.

The vast majority of the offensive pressure was now with the Parisians who knew that a victory would clinch the D1 title with a week to spare.

Ultimately, despite the plethora of talented attacking players on the pitch, it was the defenders who were on top.

Above: Sandy Baltimore, who had a magnificent game down the left for Paris St. Germain. Photo: @PSG_Feminines

Olympique Lyonnais’ inability to win a game that they absolutely had to serves to emphasise the changing of the guard in French women’s football this season. In the past, somehow, they would have found a way to earn the result they needed.

PSG’s ability to nullify Lyon’s attacking threats was the key to the victory. In doing so, they will end up being the first team other than Olympique Lyonnais to win the top tier of French women’s football since FCF Juvisy’s title success in 2006.

OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS: Bouhaddi, Bacha, Renard, Buchanan, Carpenter, Henry, Karchaoui, Cascarino, Majri, Marozsan, Macario. Substitutes: Gallardo (GK), Kumagai, Parris, Sombath, Cayman, Taylor, Malard.

PARIS ST. GERMAIN: Endler, Morroni, Dudek, Paredes, Laurence, Dabritz, Geyoro, Bachmann, Baltimore, Diani, Bruun Substitutes: Voll (GK), Cook, Nadim, Fazer, Huitema, Le Guilly, Hurtre.

Referee: Stéphanie Frappart.

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset rounds up all the actions from Week Twenty-One of the D1 Arkema, French women’s football’s top flight (25/5/21).

Above: Signy Bruun – scorer of two goals in a comfortable win for PSG to keep them top of D1 Arkema. Photo: LTA Agency

Le Havre won 1-0 at home against Paris FC. Le Havre’s goal scorer was Francisca Alejandra Lara Lara (34). In a game with nothing really riding on the outcome, Le Havre keep alive hopes to avoid finishing bottom.

Dijon, at home, won 2-1 against Guingamp. The goals for Dijon came from Léa Khelifi (6 and 11) and the goal for Guingamp was from Sarah Cambot (16).

Montpellier won 2-1 at home against Soyaux. Elisa De Almeida (52 and 55) grabbed both of Montpellier’s goals with Laura Bourgouin (63) finding the net for Soyaux. After this victory, Montpellier regain fifth place in the table, but they still are only two points ahead of Guingamp and their place is not secured yet.

Fleury won at home against Issy 3-1. Goals for Fleury from Léa Le Garrec (14), Dominika Grabowska (74) and Julie Piga (86) and Issy’s strike came from Batcheba Louis (50). With this defeat, Issy will not be able to finish better than at the eleventh place.

Paris Saint Germain won 4-0 away from home against Reims. Goals for Paris SG from Signe Bruun (19 and 44), Sandy Baltimore (43) and Perle Moroni (90+5 penalty). PSG put in an impressive performance which never game Reims a chance.

Olympique Lyonnais won away from home against Bordeaux 1-0. Goal for Lyon from Eugénie Le Sommer (9). Another difficult win for Lyon who can still hope to win the title if they beat Paris SG on May 30.

The D1 ARKEMA table now looks like this:

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset rounds up all the actions from the twentieth week of action in D1 Arkema, French women’s football’s top flight (11/5/21).

Above: Jamaican international Khadija Shaw scored the goal that secured a first ever qualification for the UEFA Women’s Champions League. Photo: Daniel Vaquero/SIPA

Soyaux won 1-0 at home against Fleury. Goal for Soyaux from Henriette Akaba (90). With this victory, Soyaux still have a chance to avoid relegation in D2; They are now 4 points ahead from Issy which are 11th.

Bordeaux won 1-0 away from home against Montpellier. Goal for Bordeaux from Khadija Shaw (76). With this victory, Bordeaux are now certain to finish third and to play the UEFA Women Champion League next year for the first time in their history.

Paris FC won away from home against Dijon 1-0. Goal for Paris FC from Clara Matéo (57). Paris FC will finish fourth in the D1 Arkema Championships whatever their results in the last two games.

Paris Saint Germain won 2-0 away from home against Le Havre despite never quite hitting the heights. Goals for Paris SG from Nadia Nadim (6) and Marie-Antoinette Katoto (80). With their defeat, Le Havre cannot hope of finishing better than eleventh. After being eliminated by Barcelona in UEFA Women’s Champion League, PSG played an additional match in D1 with a victory away from home against cross city rivals Paris FC 3-2 despite missing Kadiaditou Diani. Unfortunately, after her goal Katoto had to be substituted due to injury and PSG now face potentially having to play the likely title decider against Lyon on May 30 without its leading scorer.

Olympique Lyonnais won away from home against Issy 4-0. Goals from Amel Majri (10 penalty), Catarina Macario (32 and 42) and Eugénie Le Sommer (56). Without playing at their best, Lyon were in control and were never in danger. After the replacement of Jean-Luc Vasseur by Sonia Bompastor as coach two weeks ago, it seems that Lyon are improving after successive wins by big scores – 5-1 against Le Havre on April 30 and 4-0 against Issy in the last game.

Guingamp were held 0-0 at home to Reims.

The D1 ARKEMA table now looks like this:

PSG End Lyon Champions League Dominance

Jean-Pierre Thiesset gives us his report of the UEFA Women Champion League Quarter-Final second leg, Olympique Lyonnais game against Paris SG (20/4/21).

Paris St Germain won 2-1 away from home against Lyon, and qualified for the UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-final against Barcelona. Unfortunately for Lyon fans and as I foresaw, Lyon were not able to step up. Even if Lyon scored quickly in the game, PSG players were more efficient with 13 shots on goal, of which four were on target while Lyon had only five shots, three of which were on target. PSG players were also more efficient on the passes with 70% of successful passes against 61% for Lyon.

Despite Lyon taking the lead thanks to a goal from Catarina Macario (4), PSG hit back with goals from Paris SG Grace Geyoro (24) and a Wendie Renard own goal (61).

Is it the end of Lyon era? Their next game against Paris St. Germain, which will take place in Lyon on May 29 for the D1 Arkema final will tell us.

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset rounds up all the actions from the sixteenth and seventeenth weeks of action in D1 Arkema, French women’s football’s top flight (6/4/21).

Round Sixteen:

Above: Irene Paredes – scorer of two goals for PSG in Round Sixteen. Photo: @Irene_Paredes4

The match between Issy and Paris FC was been cancelled due to Covid19.

Reims won 2-1 at home against Le Havre. Goals from Sonia Ouchène (33) and Melissa Herrera (74) for Reims; Goal from Ashley Clark (41) for Le Havre.

Bordeaux won away from home 2-1 at Fleury. Goals from Inès Jaurena (12) and Ghoutia Karchouni (19) for Bordeaux; Fleury replied with a penalty from Dominika Grabowska.

Soyaux and Guingamp were not able to score and finished 0-0 at Soyaux.

Paris St Germain won away from home against Montpellier 3-0 with goals from Nadia Nadim (24) and Irene Paredes (60 and 65).

Olympique Lyonnais won away from home against Dijon 3-0. The goals from Saki Kumagai (24), Catarina Macario (55) and Melvine Malard (79). Notably, there was a first goal in D1 Arkema for Macario.

In the battle between Paris SG and Lyon for D1 Arkema title, both won 3-0 away from home and Paris SG is still one point ahead of Lyon.

Round Seventeen:

Above: Melissa Herrera – two goals for Reims. Photo: Linea de Gol.

Paris FC v Fleury and Guingamp v Olympique Lyonnais were cancelled due to Covid19 cases at Paris FC and Lyon.

Bordeaux consolidated its third place in the table by winning 1-0 at home against Issy. Goal from Katja Snoeijs (12).

Dijon continued to secure its place in the middle of the table by winning 2-0 away from home against Le Havre who are last in the table. Goals for Dijon came from Sh’Nia Gordon (18) and Solène Barbance (20).

Reims won away from home against Montpellier 4-0. Goals for Reims from Melissa Herrera (4 and 30), Kessya Busy (63) and Sonia Ouchène (67). Montpellier continue to lose despite a squad of good players and have definitively lost any chance to achieve a Champions League spot by finishing third in the table.

Paris St Germain won at home against Soyaux 7-0. Goals from Marie-Antoinette Katoto (10, 61 and 74), Paulina Dudek (40), Formiga (45+1), Grace Geroyo (63) and Kadidiatou Diani (66). It was an impressive game by Paris SG who never gave Soyaux a chance to score. Marie-Antoinette Katoto with her three goals is now in first place in the D1 Arkema scoring charts.

The D1 ARKEMA table now looks like this:

PSG Rue Missed Opportunities In Quarter-Final

Jean-Pierre Thiesset reports on the UEFA Women’s Champions League Quarter-Final First Leg game between Paris St. Germain and Olympique Lyonnais (26/3/21).

Above: About 20 OL ANG’ELLES fans were at the Groupama OL Training Centre to cheer for Olympique Lyonnais’ Women team on March 12, 2021. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

Olympique Lyonnais gained an important 1-0 win away from home in the first leg of their UEFA Women’s Champions League Quarter-Final against Paris St. Germain.

As an OL fan, it is difficult for me to say it, but Paris St. Germain deserved to win this game especially in the first half when they could have scored several times. Additionally, Lyon’s midfielders were not able to keep the ball which prevented them from putting their strikers in good positions to be able to threaten the PSG goal.

Lyon’s all important goal came from the penalty spot from Wendie Renard with four minutes left. It was awarded despite not being earned by a Lyon player.

Nothing is decided and the return game in Lyon on Wednesday March 31 will be interesting to watch. Even with one away goal, Lyon will have to step up to progress into the semi-finals.

Katriina Talaslahti: Living The Dream in Lyon

Jean-Pierre Thiesset spoke exclusively to Olympique Lyonnais’ goalkeeper Katriina Talaslahti about her career so far, what life is like at Lyon and her aims for the future (13/3/21).

Katriina Talaslahti was born on September 21, 2000 in Espoo, Finland and is the third of three sisters. She is Finnish and started at small club close to her home at the age of five years old following her oldest sister to the pitch.

She started as a striker and scored goals but quickly she preferred to try to stop the opposition strikers from scoring and began as a goalkeeper at six years old. After playing for FC Honka and Leppävaaran Pallo in Finland, she moved to Germany in 2014 at 13 years old near Munich to FC Nürnberg where she played with her sister Pauliina Talaslahti. She moved onto Bayern Munich one year later and stayed with them for four years until Olympique Lyonnais contacted her and signed her on a three year contract in July 2019.

Katriina has made several appearances for Finland’s National youth squad. She played once for Finland U17s squad in 2016/2017 and four times for Finland U19s squad in 2018-2019.

Above: Katriina Talaslahti during a training session with Olympique Lyonnais on 19th September 2019. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

While living in Germany, Katriina played for the Bayern State team for several years, of which Bayern’s games against the Czech team are particularly noteworthy. Also, Katriina has won the Women’s 2.Bundesliga Championship with FC Bayern München in 2019 and U17 Bundesliga Championship 2017 in FC Bayern München as well. She was selected the best goalkeeper in Southern States of Germany 2015. It’s good to mention that Finland have just qualified for the 2022 UEFA Women’s European Championships in England.

Not a lot of people know it, but Katriina already played against Paris St. Germain and Liverpool. It was in August 2018 with Bayern Munich at the Toulouse Ladies Cup against PSG and in a training game against Liverpool. She was also in the Bayern Munich’s squad for a Women’s UEFA Champions League game in September 2018.

Katriina speaks several languages. She speaks Finnish, her native language, although she told me that she preferred to speak English during our interview because she was more confident to find her words in English as she left Finland almost eight years ago. She also speaks German fluently and is currently learning French. She studied in an English International IB School in Germany when she was younger and graduated there. Currently, she continues to study Business Management in University with online studies.

Interview:

Jean-Pierre Thiesset: Who/what inspired you to become a football player?

Katriina Talaslahti: My two older sisters played football and I never considered practicing another sport than football. I was born into a sporting family. My mother played volleyball when she was younger, and my dad was a really good squash player.

JPT: Who are your favorites women players (French and foreign)?

KT: I do not have like one player that I prefer, because so many women players get better and better, so it is hard just to focus on one. I really appreciate everybody because all of them have little things that are better than another.

JPT: Who is your role-model if you have one?

KT: I do not have a role model. I just have for the men side Manuel Neuer mostly because I used to play in Bayern Munich like him.

JPT: What is your greatest challenge on the pitch?

KT: On the pitch, my greatest challenge is to improve as a player and always win titles. It is not only for me but for the team; The challenge for me is to make the team better and bring my qualities to the team and try to help the team to win titles. Obviously, I think it is a great moment when we win French Cup or Women’s UEFA Champions League as a team.

JPT: What is your greatest challenge off the pitch?

KT: Off the pitch, maybe to keep the environment you are living in safe. I am very calm, and I like to support others. In Lyon we have so many foreigners that are far from their family and friends that we need to comfort each other when one is a little bit down. It is important to keep the friendship and your family close.

Above: Katriina Talaslahti training with Olympique Lyonnais on 18th October 2019. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

JPT: Who are your closest teammates?

KT: Jessica Silva, Janice Cayman and Nikita Parris. We used to get together a lot; we go out for coffee with the “foreigners” because we got to be very close to each other. For example, Jess and I arrived in Lyon at the same time, so we got really close, you know. I think I get along with everybody, but those people are the closest to me.

JPT: What do you like to get up to off the pitch?

KT: I like to get along with people. We mostly go for coffee (laughs). We like to go to the parc. Sometimes, if I am alone, I watch Netflix but that is not every day because I do not really like to be by myself at home. I love to explore and walk around to discover things. And obviously, I like to call my family and friends to know how they are doing. As a person, if I am busy, I feel happier. I would love to go to New York especially since one of my oldest sisters leaved in New Jersey, but right now it is difficult, and I will have to wait (laughs).

JPT: You do not play to video games?

KT: Video games, No (laughs).

JPT: What is your favourite animal?

KT: I do love Pandas; They are so cute. I am not really a cat or dog fan, and I do not really know why. Actually, my cousin has two cats and they are lovely and I love them but as to own one myself no. I do like all animals. I like giraffes too because they are amazing, they are so high (laughs).

JPT: What are your favourite foods?

KT: I like Salmon and mashed potatoes with vegetables like broccoli. I also like Finnish dark bread and then coffee.

JPT: What about Lyon specialties?

KT: I like French food in general but there are so many different names that I cannot cite one in particular (laughs). I like French food even if sometimes I do not know exactly what it is.

JPT: What kind of music do you like?

KT: I like pop music, you know what it is playing on the radio, and sometimes rap. I do not really like rock; it is too heavy for me.

JPT: What makes OL such a great club to play for?

KT: When Lyon contacted me in 2019, I thought “Wow!” I guess I did a really good job before to have a club like Lyon propose me a contract and I signed. It is just an incredible environment to train, and I am such a young player compare to the other players (laughs). I am young, and for me as a young player it is an amazing environment to improve as a player. 

JPT: I hope you will play more, and you are too I guess?

KT: To be honest it is a very hard situation because there are a lot of stars and it is really hard for me to play but it is a situation you need to adapt to, and I hope so that I will get to play more. I still have a long career in front of me and I know I have to be patient. That is my goal also to be first, I am not satisfied to be second or third goalkeeper, I want to play of course, and I think that time will come to me, I am one hundred percent sure.

JPT: What is your main quality?

KT: On the pitch, I would say I have good feet for my age, and I am confident. Even though I am around professional people, I can adapt very quickly to different situations. But I still need to improve, and this is why I really like training (laughs). Off the pitch, I am very friendly, but I have also my limits. When I have to do something, I have got to do it without delay; this is probably due to my stay in Germany, and my friend Nikita says that I do things the German way and that I am strict. I would say that I am not strict, but I am on time (laughs). I am also very flexible so that is probably why I can easily adapt myself.

Above: Katriina Talaslahti at Olympique Lyonnais training session on 22nd August 2019. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

JPT: What do you need to improve in your game?

KT: It is hard to say for myself and I guess it is probably easier for someone from outside, but I think I need to improve my concentration during the game. I think it will come with more years of experience and as I used to say, it does not matter which age you are, you can always improve. You need to have good mentality to believe you can actually improve and be better.

JPT: Is there a message you would like to give to your fans?

KT: Thank you very much for your support. The players miss hearing your voices so much. To be honest, when you are cheering for us, it means a lot and it gives us more strength. Especially for women’s football, we would like to increase the fan level like it is in the men football. I have a lot of men friends and sometimes they say, “We come to watch women football because they look pretty”. But I think that women’s football is going so much better and people are more interested in the way we play. Lyon fans, you come to the game and you cheer for us and it is a big help for us to be motivated and I really want to thank you for that.

Convincing Champions League Wins For Top Two Ahead of D1 “Decider”

Jean-Pierre Thiesset reports on the last game from the first leg of the UEFA Women’s Champions League round of sixteen between Paris Saint Germain and Sparta Prague and on the second leg game in Copehagen where Brondby hosted Lyon (11/3/21).

Paris St. Germain 5–0 Sparta Prague on March 9, 2021:

This game was supposed to be played last week in Prague but was delayed due to Covid19 and the venues reversed. The return game will be on March 17 in the Czech Republic.

Paris St. Germain won 5-0 at home against Sparta Prague. The game was largely dominated by the D1 table toppers, who were never in difficulty. They played in a very focused and calm manner with a lot of opportunities to score in the game. Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Sandy Baltimore both played outstandingly. Katoto scored two goals and made one decisive pass despite playing only 61 minutes. Baltimore made three decisive passes in 71 minutes on the field.

Goals for Paris SG came from Marie-Antoinette Katoto (29 and 36) both with a header at the far post on a cross from Sandy Baltimore from the right side (the first with her right foot and the second with her left foot), Ramona Bachmann (56), Ashley Elizabeth Lawrence (66) on a free kick from Sandy Baltimore from the left side, and Luana (81).

Brondby 1-3 Olympique Lyonnais on March 10, 2021:

Above: Action from Olympique Lyonnais’ away win in Copenhagen against Brondby. Photo: Damien LG via @OLFeminin

After a less than convincing game in the first leg, Lyon performed much better and were able to win 3-1 against Brondby away from home (5-1 on aggregate). Even if Brondby scored first on a counter attack where Selma Bacha sprained her left ankle, Lyon dominated the game and were never really in danger during this game. For her first full game in UEFA Women Champions League with Lyon, Damaris Egurrola produced a very promising performance. It was less convincing from Catarina Macario, who played the second half and showed how much she needs to progress to adapt to the level of her teammates and UWCL games.

Brondby’s goal came from Nanna Christiansen (11). Goals for Lyon from Nikita Parris (32) on a cross from Sakina Karchaoui from the left side, Melvine Malard (42), and Wendie Renard (50) from the  penalty spot after a foul on Amel Majri.

Paris St. Germain’s performance against Sparta Prague was very convincing ahead of what should be D1 Arkema championship decider against Lyon, which will take place in the Groupama Stadium at Lyon on Saturday March 13 at 9:00 pm local time. Furthermore, they will have one more day of rest than Lyon. However, Lyon performed a lot better in the second leg of their tie against Brondby and managed to rest several of its players such as Ellie Carpenter and Eugénie Le Sommer, who did not play at all, plus Delphine Cascarino who played only the first half and Amandine Henry who played only 15 minutes. This decider will be very interesting.

Defending Champions In Less Than Convincing Win

Jean-Pierre Thiesset reports on the first leg of the UEFA Women’s Champions League round of sixteen tie between Olympique Lyonnais and Brondby (5/3/21).

Above: Fans gathering at the Groupama Stadium. Photo via: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

About 20 OL ANG’ELLES fans were at the Groupama Stadium entrance to cheer for Olympique Lyonnais Women team even if the game was not open to public.

Above: Fans welcome the OL Feminin team coach to the Groupama Stadium. Photo via: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

Lyon at home in the Groupama Stadium, won 2-0 against Brondby. A larger score was expected but despite the fact that the home side largely dominated the Danes (almost 75% possession for Lyon), they were not really efficient (23 shots but only 2 goals). After just six minutes, Brondby almost scored from a free-kick from Nanna Christiansen 18 yards in the centre of the field, which finished on the crossbar while Sarah Bouhaddi, Lyon goalkeeper, was beaten.

Goals for Lyon came from Lionesses star Nikita Parris (30) header at the first post on a cross from Amel Majri from the right side and Melvine Malard (92) on a cross from Janice Cayman from the right side.

So, the job is not completely done and a big game from Lyon in Copenhagen against Brondby will still be necessary to ensure to qualify for the Quarter-Finals.

If the strikers from Lyon were not able to score more, we must point out the great game from Lyon left and right defenders: Sakina Karchaoui, which played 60 minutes as a left midfielder and 30 minutes as left defender after Selma Bacha was replaced; Selma Bacha, which played 73 balls in only 60 minutes on the field; and Ellie Carpenter as right defender, which was elected player of the game. I would like to also highlight the good game of Catarina Macario for her first 60 minutes in UEFA Women Champion League game. We have to note that we saw an encouraging return of Eugénie Le Sommer for the last 30 minutes of the game.

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset rounds up all the action from the fifteenth week of action in D1 Arkema, French women’s football’s top flight (1/3/21).

Paris St. Germain won 4-0 at home against Issy. PSG are still league leaders, one point ahead of Lyon. Goals from Luana (12), Kadidiatou Diani (85, 87), and Marie-Antoinette Katoto (89). Issy was able to keep up the suspense during most of the game even if PSG dominated the game, but PSG scored three goals in four minutes at the end.

Olympique Lyonnais won away from home 2-0 against Soyaux. Goals for Lyon from Saki Kumagai (27) and Dzsenifer Marozsan (87 penalty); the penalty was won by Sakina Karchaoui who came on as a substitute in the 58th minute. Once again it was not really an easy game for Lyon, who dominated, but found it hard to score despite creating numerous chances. Soyaux came very close to scoring after 64 minutes on a counterattack.

Bordeaux won at home against Dijon 6-0. Bordeaux largely dominated the game and shut down Dijon by scoring quickly 2 goals (6 and 7). Goal from Maëlle Garbino (6, 7 and 25), Khadija Shaw (62 and 72), and Claire Lavogez (80). With this win, Bordeaux secures its third place being now eight points ahead of Montpellier and with a game in hand.

Above: Mary Fowler – 18 years-old, four Matildas caps and a first goal in D1 Arkema for Montpellier. Photo: The Guardian.

Montpellier at home against Dijon was not able to do better than a draw 1-1. Goals for Dijon by Shnia Demetrice Gordan (45) and for Montpellier by 18 year-old Matilda’s starlet Mary Fowler (66). By losing two points at home Montpellier allows Bordeaux to be now 8 points ahead of them. I guess that the third place is definitely lost for Montpellier even if there are still seven games to play.

The surprise of this round comes from Reims who won away from home against Fleury (2-1) ending a run of three straight defeats. Goals for Fleury by Cecilie Sandvej (24) and for Reims by Melissa Gomes (44) and Kessya Busy (58).

Paris FC and Guingamp were not able to score and finished 0-0. The D1 ARKEMA table now looks like this:

International Friendlies

(27/2/21) France met Switzerland twice in a matter of days in Metz. Jean-Pierre Thiesset reports: For their first encounter on 20th February, Corinne Diacre, the France coach, tried several new things. A 3-4-3 or 5-2-3 formation depending on whether the team was attacking or defending, with several young players in the team. I have to say that due to the number of players unavailable, the coach was left with reduced choices. Eugénie Le Sommer was out due to Covid.  Griedge Mbock, Amandine Henry, Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Valérie Gauvin due to injury. It was not a great game, but France won 2-0 by playing a serious game. Goals were score by Wendie Renard (12) following a free kick of Amel Majri and Perle Moroni (81), which just came in, on a cross from Eve Périsset, who came on as a substitute five minutes.

The second game, which took place on 23rd February, was back to a more classical 4-4-2 formation with several young players, but it was still not a very exciting game. France won 2-0 again with two goals from central defender Wendie Renard. This is not comforting for the team, which seems not to be able to score in the game without free kicks and penalty and with one of its defenders on target. Goals were scored by Wendie Renard (77) following a free kick from Eve Perisset and (90) thanks to a penalty.

Selma Bacha – Part of an Exciting New Generation in French Women’s Football

Jean-Pierre Thiesset managed to grab a chat with Olympique Lyonnais and France U20’s star Selma Bacha.

Selma Bacha was born on 9th November 2000 in Lyon. She is French of Algerian and Tunisian origin. She started her career with FC Gerland in Lyon at the age of five years-old after following her older brother at a training session. Bacha played as an amateur in 2008 and 2009 with FC Gerland before joining Olympique Lyonnais.

One of the brightest potential future stars of French women’s football, the young left back signed her professional contract with OL during the 2017/18 season on 1st July 2017 at the age of sixteen.

Selma has made nine appearances for France U16s squad in 2016, scoring two goals, thirteen appearances with the national U17 squad between 2016 and 2017 (and five goals), which included three games at the U17 European Championship final phase in 2017. Additionally, she appeared five times for France U20s since 2017. This includes playing in the 2018 U20 World Cup in France as well as being in the winning U19 European Championship French team in 2019.

Above: Selma Bacha during the D1 game between Rodez and OL game on September 30, 2018. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset

At only 20 years old, Selma has an impressive prize list that a lot of international players in the world could envy her.

Interview:

Jean-Pierre Thiesset: What is your preferred position and which other positions could you play?

Selma Bacha: My preferred position is at left back because I have learned to like this role. I like also to play left midfielder to be able to go up the field a little more and participate more to the team attacks. However, at Olympique Lyonnais, the left back plays rather high because we are a team who attack a lot and this is what I like.

Above: Selma Bacha during D1 game between OL and Metz on May 4, 2019. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

JPT: Who/what inspired you to become a football player?

SB: My brother who brought me to a training session when I was five years old. I love it so much that I engaged myself in football; it is as simple as that. I had tested Gymnastics before, but I did not like it at all.

JPT: Who are your favourite women players (French and foreign)?

SB: Wendie Renard, Amel Majri, Griedge Mbock and Pernille Harder.

JPT: Who is your role-model if you have one?

SB: When I was young Amel Majri was my model but now that I have grown up, I do not have a role-model anymore and told it to Amel. I just want to be myself.

JPT: What is your greatest challenge on and off the pitch?

SB: On the pitch, always obtain what I want and win. On the other hand, outside the field, I do not really challenge myself.

JPT: Who are your closest teammates?

SB: Griedge Mbock, Amel Majri, Delphine Cascarino, Wendie Renard, Sakina Karchaoui and Melvine Mallard who is a close friend.

JPT: What do you like to get up to off the pitch?

SB: First rest, I love so much to rest. I like to watch action films. I like also to read books on life in general; I try to read books that tell real stories for example but no science fiction. I spend time also to learn English because I told to myself that it could useful to speak English for my career.

JPT: You do not play to video games?

SB: No, I am not too much into that.

JPT: What is your preferred animal?

SB: Baby cats. Because they are so cute.

JPT: What are your preferred foods?

SB: My Mother’s couscous.

JPT: What makes OL such a great club to play for?

SB: First, because we have an excellent president, Jean-Michel Aulas, who does everything to ensure that we succeed. The prize list of the club, because nobody has ever achieved what OL has done and I hope that it will last a long time. Additionally, the club has the best players in the world.

JPT: The other players should be pleased also to play with you.

SB: I hope so (laughs).

JPT: You are beginning to become an important player in the team.

SB: When I will be selected in France A squad, then I will be an important player. This is one of my main objectives.

JPT: What is your main quality?

SB: Generosity.

Above: Selma Bacha “generous” even during training session in Groupama Training Center on September, 2019; Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset

JPT: What do you need to improve in your game?

SB: I think that I must still improve myself a bit defensively especially on the tactical level; know how to place myself, read what the opponent will do and anticipate even if I have already made progress. Otherwise, on technical, athletics and mental levels, I think that I have progressed very well.

JPT: Is there a message you would like to give to your fans?

SB: First take care of yourself and of your relatives, even if this period is a bit complicated. We missed you on the fields because it is empty without you. Thanks to everyone who support me, and I hope that we will see you soon on the pitch.

TRIBUTE TO GERARD HOUILLER

Jean-Pierre Thiesset gives us news about the tribute to Gérard Houiller that Olympique Lyonnais wants to organize (19/2/21).

Above: Gérard Houllier, a legend at Lyon. Photo: Libero Lyon.

The pitch of the Groupama OL Training Centre on which the women team play in D1 Arkema will be named after Gérard Houllier. A fresco that will be located at the end of the “Allée des Lumières” will be realized. A match with Liverpool will be set up and will involve over the next two years, the men’s team and also the women’s team.

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset updates us on France’s international schedule and provides some important news from the Olympique Lyonnais club (13/2/21).

After the withdrawal of Iceland team following that of Norway last week and the impossibility to find two other nations to compete with, the planned France tournament has been cancelled. The tournament will be replaced by two friendly games against Switzerland the only remaining team. The games will take place at Metz on February 17, 2021 and February 20, 2021.

On the Olympique Lyonnais side, there has been the renewal of a contract. Amandine Henry has signed a two year extension and should stay with Lyon up to June 2023.

Above: From left to right: Jean-Luc Vasseur (coach), Amandine Henry and Jean-Michel Aulas (President).
Photo: @Damien LG from OL website.

After the extending the deals of Sarah Bouhaddi and Dzsenifer Marozsan this summer of an up to June 2023 and those of Ada Hegerberg and Griedge Mbock up to June 2024 recently, Lyon continue to secure its main players while preparing the future with new high-level young players like Damaris Egurrola (up to June 2023) and Catarina Macario (up to June 2024) who signed last month.

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset rounds up all the news from the women’s ga,e in France. This week he informs us what went on in the fourteenth week of action in D1 Arkema, and highlights the latest squad selection for the French national team. (9/2/21).

Paris St. Germain won 5-0 away from home at Fleury. PSG are still league leaders, one point ahead of Lyon. Goals from Sandy Baltimore (24, 62), Marie-Antoinette Katoto (61), Kadidiatou Diani (69 penalty) and Irene Paredes (90+1). It was an easy game for PSG, who played seriously and do not let any chance go to Fleury.

Olympique Lyonnais won at home 2-1 against Montpellier. Goals for Lyon from Amandine Henry (4) and Elisa De Almeida (40, own goal following a shot by Sakina Karchaoui); Montpellier’s goal came from Clarisse Le Bihan (6). Once again it was a difficult game for Lyon, which was not able to assert its game on the opposition. Even if Wendie Renard, their captain, was suspended due to three yellow cards, that does not explain everything. We saw also the debut of Catarina Macario who produced an encouraging debut but still needs to improve.

Above: Catarina Macario made her debut for Olympique Lyonnais. Photo: Damien LG.

Soyaux won away from home at Issy 1-0 with a goal from Laura Bourgoin (22). After 10 games without a victory, this is very good result for Soyaux against one of their direct rivals for staying in D1 next year. Soyaux and Issy were tied at 7 points with 1 game in hand for Issy; now Issy still have 1 game in hand but Soyaux are 3 points ahead of them and furthermore with a better goal average.

Guingamp by winning away from home against Le Havre 1–0, continues to slowly secure its place in the middle of the table. The only goal of the game was scored for Guingamp by Faustine Robert (76). Le Havre, who are still not able to win even at home, stay bottom of the table.  

Two games were postponed due to Covid19: Dijon – Bordeaux and Reims – Paris FC.

The D1 ARKEMA table now looks like this:

 PWDLFAPtsGD
Paris St. Germain14131057240+ 55
Olympique Lyonnais14130150539+ 45
Bordeaux13823321426+ 18
Montpellier14626172220– 5
Guingamp14617202319– 3
Fleury13544112119– 10
Paris FC13535212218– 1
Dijon12516152216– 7
Reims13328173011– 13
Soyaux143110102910– 19
Issy1321108547– 46
Le Havre13121010245– 14

As a Lyon fan, I start to worry about the future in this season, not only in D1 Arkema championships but also in UEFA Women Champion League. In D1 Arkema, Paris SG won their games pretty easily and have now a goal difference of 55, 10 goals in front of Lyon. If Lyon does not improve their game soon, it will be very difficult for them to win against Paris SG even at home and they will be far from favourites in UWCL.

International News:

Above: Sakina Karchaoui – selected again for France. Photo: @Sakinakarchaoui.

This morning Corinne Diacre gave her list of players for the second Tournoi de France organized to prepare for the next European Championships. This tournament will take place in February from Wednesday 17 to Tuesday 23 at Metz and Sedan in the North East of France. For this first rendezvous of the year, France (3rd at FIFA ranking) will play against 3 other teams: Iceland (16th), Switzerland (19th) and a third team which will replace Norway who cannot be there for Covid19 reasons.

Games schedule:

  • 17.02.2021, 19:00, Metz: To be determined – Switzerland
  • 17.02.2021, 21 :10, Sedan: France – Iceland
  • 20.02.2021, 19:00, Sedan: Iceland – To be determined
  • 20.02.2021, 21 :10, Metz: France- Switzerland
  • 23.02.2021, 19 :00, Sedan: Iceland- Switzerland
  • 23.02.2021, 21:10, Metz: France-To be determined

Three main players are missing in this squad due to injury: Amandine Henry (Lyon), Griedge Mbock (Lyon) and Viviane Asseyi (Bayern Munich). Sarah Bouhaddi is not in this list too. Three players are in the list for the first time: Mylène Chavas (Dijon Goalkeeper), Constance Picaud (Le Havre Goalkeeper) and Ella Palis (Bordeaux Midfielder). We can remark also that two players having very good performances with their teams are not selected either: Keira Hamraoui (Barcelona Midfielder) and Aurélie Kaci (Real Madrid Midfielder).

Goalkeepers: Mylène Chavas, Solène Durand, Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, Constance Picaud
Defenders: Estelle Cascarino, Elisa De Almeida, Sakina Karchaoui, Perle Morroni, Eve Périsset, Wendie Renard, Marion Torrent, Aïssatou Toukara.
Midfielders: Charlotte Bilbault, Julie Dufour, Grace Geyoro, Oriane Jean-François, Léa Khelifi, Amel Majri, Ella Palis, Sandie Toletti.
Strikers: Sandy Baltimore, Delphine Cascarino, Kadidiatou Diani, Valérie Gauvin, Marie-Antoinette Katoto, Eugénie Le Sommer, Clara Matéo.

The View From France

Last weekend saw the last sixteen of the French Cup. Jean-Pierre Thiesset rounds up all the action. (2/2/21).

This weekend saw the entry of the D1 Arkema teams in the last sixteen round of French Cup. This year is a little special as the D1 teams have to compete against each other. So six top flight teams are already eliminated.

Olympique Lyonnais qualified for the next round by winning away from home 5–0 against Reims. There was no contest from Reims in this game dominated by the visitors from the beginning to the end. Jean-Luc Vasseur, Lyon Coach, even used this game to give play time to several players and tried different game plans like putting Sakina Karchaoui as a left striker in the first half or putting the recruit Damaris Egurrola in the middle in the second half. Goals for Lyon by Dzsenifer Marozsán (16, 51, 53), Wendie Renard (36 penalty following a long run of Delphine Cascarino from her own 20 yards), Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir (49). Dzsenifer Marozsan scored her second goal with a lob from 40 yards. Sara Gunnarsdottir scored her goal with a lob also from 18 yards.

As we saw our second left back in this game, I would like to use this opportunity to present a comparison of their outstanding statistics. Selma Bacha: left back in the first half – 40 balls played: 34 passes (85% successful), one cross, three balls recovered and no errors. Sakina Karchaoui: left back in the second half – 39 balls played: 32 passes (87% successful), seven balls recovered, twice heading off the line with her goalkeeper beaten and she made no errors. We are so lucky at Lyon to have two of the best left backs in D1 which can also play as left midfielders.

Above: Ellie Carpenter charges forward for Olympique Lyonnais against Reims in the French Cup last weekend. Photo: @OLFeminin

Bordeaux at home needed 30 minutes to really take the game on their own but qualified against Le Havre 5–0. Pedro Martinez Losa, the Bordeaux coach, made a few changes which probably explain the slow start of the team. Goals for Bordeaux by Khadija Shaw (37, 56), Katja Snoeijs (39, 42), Inès Jaurena (75). Khadija Shaw continues to score in each game she plays, and her statistics are impressive: 14 games (13 in D1), 19 goals (17 in D1).

Dijon, at home, created the big surprise of this qualifying round by winning against Paris FC after a penalty shoot-out. At the end of the game both teams had scored 1 goal (Linda Sällström 28 for Paris FC and Desire Oparanozie 67 for Dijon).

A summary of the penalty shoot-out: Gaëtane Thiney, Paris FC (0-1), Léa Declercq, Dijon (1-1), Théa Greboval, Paris FC (1-2), Rose Lavaud, Dijon (2-2), Anaig Butel, Paris FC (outside), Hélène Fercocq, Dijon (3-2), Tess Laplacette, Paris FC (stopped by the goalkeeper), Salma Amani, Dijon (4-2).

Paris St. Germain won 2–0 away from home at Fleury to progress without any problems. Olivier Echouafni, Paris SG coach, made a few changes leaving Kadidiatou Diani (came on as a substitute in the 76th minute) and Marie-Antoinette Katoto (entered at the 82nd minute) at rest for most of the game and not selecting at all Christiane Endler and Formiga for this game. Goals for Paris SG by Sara Däbritz (30 penalty) and Signe Bruun (52). The D1 Arkema league leaders continue on the road of French Cup final. Will we have a Paris SG – Lyon final again?

Guingamp, at home, win the game in the opening fourteen minutes to win 3–0 against Soyaux. No surprise and no suspense in this game. Goals for Guingamp by Romane Munich (7 own goal), Sarah Cambot (10), Alison Peniguel (14). Romane Munich, Soyaux goalkeeper, was not lucky in this game as she released the ball on the first goal and when Alison Peniguel took advantage of a misunderstanding between her and one of her defenders on the third goal.

Issy qualified by winning at home against Montpellier 2-1. Goals for Issy by Julie Machart-Rabanne (14), Salma Zemzem (95). Goals for Montpellier by Maëlle Lakrar (53). This is another surprise of this 16th round. Even if Montpellier did not play badly, they were not able to bother Issy who probably wanted more to win than them. Issy, who are battling against relegation in D1 Arkema being tenth with only 7 points having played one game more than bottom club, Le Havre, who have five points. They were able to defeat the 4th  placed side of D1 Arkema. Montpellier are on a dangerous slope as their last win was five games ago and they practically already lost the battle for the third place in D1 Arkema. Issy’s win ensures they have now gone further than ever before in the French Cup.

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset rounds up all the action from the thirteenth week of action in D1 Arkema, French women’s football’s top flight and updates us with all the transfer news around the division. (25/1/21)

Olympique Lyonnais won away from home 5–0 against Paris FC. With the return of Selma Bacha (one decisive pass and involved at the start of the move which was concluded with a wonderful goal from Amel Majri) and Nikita Parris (two goals and one decisive pass) as starters, Lyon did not leave any chance to Paris FC by scoring twice in the opening eleven minutes of the match.

Above: Selma Bacha who played an influential role in Olympique Lyonnais’ opening goal. Photo: Damien LG via @OLFeminin

Lyon finally found their dominant form again and produced a very good performance. The scorers were: Dezsnifer Marozsän (7), Nikita Parris (11, 66), Amel Majri (33) with a wonderful bicycle kick and Wendie Renard (73) with a left foot kick and not a header as usual.

Bordeaux consolidated third place in the table by winning 7-1 at Reims. Bordeaux dominated the match from the beginning to the end, completely suffocating Reims, which were never able to really worry their visitors despite scoring a goal at the end of the first half. Goals from Inès Jaurena (5), Khadija Shaw (10, 40, 66), Maëlle Garbino (17, 53), Claire Lavogez (76). Mélissa Gomes (45) reduced the score for Reims. Khadija Shaw’s two goals ensure she stays top of the goal scorers chart in D1 Arkema. She has now scored seventeen goals. Bordeaux are now six points ahead of Montpellier, who seems to have already lost the battle for the third place.

Dijon won 3–2 at home against Soyaux. Dijon’s scorers were Shnia Demetrice Gordan (45, 68), Léa Khelifi (85). Marie-Charlotte Léger (61 penalty) and Nina Stapelfeldt (66) scored for Soyaux. This is a good result for Dijon who continues to pull themselves away from the bottom of the table being now nine points ahead of third from bottom. It is not such good news for Soyaux. They have now not won since their victory at Le Havre on October 2nd, 2020, ten games ago. They have lost eight and drawn one in this period. Furthermore, Le Havre who are bottom, two points behind Soyaux have a game in hand on them as do Issy who are tied with them on seven points.

Paris St. Germain won 5-0 away to Guingamp. PSG are still league leaders, one point ahead of Lyon. By scoring very early in the game they shown to Guingamp how much they wanted to win. Goals from Sandy Baltimore (6), Marie-Antoinette Katoto (11, 56), Kadidiatou Diani (19) and Jordyn Huitema (85) earned the win. It seems that we will have to wait for the game between Olympique Lyon and Paris St. Germain to know who will win D1 Arkema this year.

The two other games both finished 0-0 draw – Montpellier at home against Fleury (with a red card for Montpellier’s Dominika Skorvankova after sixty-six minutes) and Le Havre at home against Issy.

The D1 ARKEMA table now looks like this:

 PWDLFAPtsGD
Paris St. Germain13121051237+ 49
Olympique Lyonnais13120148436+ 44
Bordeaux13823321426+ 18
Montpellier13625162020– 4
Fleury12543111619– 5
Paris FC13535212218– 1
Dijon12516152216– 7
Guingamp13517192216– 3
Reims13328173011– 13
Issy122198537– 45
Soyaux1321109297– 20
Le Havre1212910235– 13
Above: Nikita Parris in action against Paris FC at the weekend against whom she scored. Photo: Damien LG via @OLFeminin

Other news from Olympique Lyonnais team:

Newly arrived Lyon player Catarina Macario, made her debut for the USNWT in the weekend against Colombia. She put in an outstanding performance, scoring the first goal in the USA’s 6-0 win and was voted player of the match. We are so lucky to have her in Lyon and I cannot wait to see her play with OL team.

As expected last week, defensive midfielder Damaris Egurolla signed a three and a half year contract with the club which will start on January 20, 2021 and run until June 30, 2024.

According to Jean-Luc Vasseur, Lyon coach, there will be several other players coming to Lyon soon. Now we can say that Lyon is definitively busy in the transfer market this winter.

D1 ARKEMA January transfers:
TEAMSARRIVALSDEPARTURES
PARIS SGAminata Diallo (Utah Royals, USA, end of loan)Aminata Diallo (Atlético de Madrid, Spain, loan)
OLYMPIQUE LYONNAISCatarina Macario (Standford University, USA), Damaris Egurrola (Everton FC, England)Manon Revelli (Servette Chênois FC, Switzerland, loan)
BORDEAUXSvava Rós Guðmundsdóttir (Kristianstads DFF, Sweden), Malia Berkely (Florida State University, USA)Marine Perea (Soyaux, loan), Elena Linari (AS Roma, Italia)
MONTPELLIERNoneMarie-Charlotte Léger (Soyaux, loan)
FLEURYMichelle De Jongh (Vittsjö GIK, Sweden), Kamilla Karlsen (Bröndby IF, Denmark), Emmeline Mainguy (SSD Napoli, Italia)Laëtitia Philippe (GPSO Issy, loan)
SOYAUXMarie-Charlotte Léger (Montpellier, loan), Kelly Gadea (FC Sevilla, Spain), Marine Perea (Bordeaux, loan)None
LE HAVREAndrea Rán Snæfeld Hauksdóttir (Breidablik, Island, loan)None
ISSYLaëtitia Philippe (Fleury, loan)Ariana Mondiri (USA)

There have been no transfer activity so far for the other teams.

The View From France

With France’s D1 Arkema returning after its Christmas and New Year break, Jean-Pierre Thiesset is back to round up all the action from Round Twelve. (18/1/21)

Paris St Germain stayed top of the table by winning at home 1–0 against third place Bordeaux. They could have scored more goals as they dominated the match overall but had a few problems in turning the pressure into goals. Sara Däbritz (41) was the only scorer.

Above: Paris St. Germain celebrates Sara Däbritz’s match winner against Bordeaux. Photo: @PSG_Feminines

Olympique Lyonnais won at home 3–0 against Reims. The first half was not very good for Lyon with a lack of speed in midfield which did not allow them to score although they were dominating. Things got better in the second half especially after Wendie Renard, almost the best scorer for Lyon while being defender, was on target from a corner as usual. The scorers were: Wendie Renard (47, 64) and Amandine Henry (90+1).

Montpellier were not able to profit from Bordeaux’s defeat to close up on them as they lost 4–1 at Guingamp. The hosts’ goals came from Alison Peniguel (14), Margaux Le Mouël (43), Louise Fleury (56) and Faustine Robert (66). Lena Peterman (83) reduced the deficit for Montpellier.

Paris FC won 3–0 away from home at Soyaux. The goals came from Clara Matéo (51, 77) and Evelyne Viens (73). This is a very good result for Paris FC which closes the gap on Montpellier and Bordeaux to the extent that they could still have a chance for the third place in next season’s UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Above: Paris FC’s Clara Matéo – scorer of two goals in her side’s 3-0 win at Soyaux. Photo: lesfeminines.fr

Two games were cancelled due to snowstorm in Paris area: Issy v Dijon and Fleury v Le Havre. The table now looks like this:

 PWDLFAPtsGD
Paris St. Germain12111047234+ 45
Olympique Lyonnais12110143433+ 39
Bordeaux12723231323+ 12
Montpellier12615162019– 4
Paris FC12534211718+ 5
Fleury11533111618– 5
Guingamp12516191816+ 1
Dijon11416122013– 8
Reims12327162311– 7
Soyaux122197267– 19
Issy112098536– 45
Le Havre1111910234– 13

The news of the week is the arrival of midfielder Catarina Macario at Lyon on a two and half year deal. Catarina Cantanhede Melônio Macário (born October 4, 1999) is a Brazilian-born American. Macario was a decorated collegiate player in the United States. In 2017, she was named “Freshman of the Year” by the TopDrawerSoccer.com and ESPNW Player of the Year. In 2018, Macario won the Hermann Trophy, ESPNW Player of the Year, and the TopDrawerSoccer.com National Player of the Year Award.

Lyon are certainly busy in the transfer market this winter as defensive midfielder Damaris Egurolla will probably also sign for them soon. Damaris Berta Egurrola Wienke (born 26 August 1999) is currently at FA Women’s Super League side Everton. She started at Athletic Bilbao in 2015 and left for Everton in 2020. Despite being born in the USA, she made her senior debut for Spain in 2019.

It seems that Lyon is preparing for the departure of several players at the end of this season especially in their midfield by recruiting young midfielders.

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset rounds up the second leg from the French teams competing in the last 32 of UEFA Women’s Champions League.

OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS 3-0 JUVENTUS

Olympique Lyonnais win 6-2 on aggregate.

Above: Melvine Malard celebrates her goal to seal Olympique Lyonnais’ progress into the last sixteen of the UEFA Women’s Champions League. Photo: Damien LG via @OLFeminin.

Before the game started, there was a tribute to Gérard Houiller who was part of the staff of Olympique Lyonnais since 2016. All our deep condolences go to his family.

Lyon won against Juventus (3-0) at home, finishing the job and qualifying for the next round. After a first quarter, things were a little bit difficult and Lyon had a few problems keeping the ball.

It was a combination of a bad clearance by the Juventus goalkeeper and a defender which allowed Dzsenifer Marozsan to open the scoring after 21 minutes.

After this goal, Lyon took the game to Juventus and dominated without being able to score more goals. At half time Lyon lead 1-0. Despite Lyon domination, we had to wait until the 88th minute for Melvine Malard to score the second goal after an unstoppable “one-two” with Marozsan. Janice Cayman entered in the game on the 72nd minute finished the job by scoring at 90+1 on a pass from Marozsan who was elected woman of the match. Jodie Taylor entered at the end of the game for her last match with Lyon; she goes back to USA as her contract with the club finishes on December 31st, 2020.

A special focus on Selma Bacha who played 92 minutes (she had played only 15 minutes at the end of the game in the first leg) and who did a pretty good game as a left back – 50 balls played: 37 passes (81% successful), 1 cross, 12 balls recovery; no errors.

Highlights of the game:

2nd: Yellow card for Saki Kumagai (Lyon)

12nd: Yellow card for Amandine Henry (Lyon)

21st: 1 – 0, Dzsenifer Marozsan (Lyon)

46th: Barbara Bonansea (Juventus) replaced Cristiana Girelli

58th: Maria Alves (Juventus) replaced Sara Gama

64th: Melvine Malard (Lyon) replaced Nikita Parris

72nd: Janice Cayman (Lyon) replaced Delphine Cascarino

73rd: Yellow card for Dzsenifer Marozsan (Lyon)

76th: Andrea Staskova (Juventus) replaced Lina Hurtig

77th: Annahita Zamanian (Juventus) replaced Aurora Galli

88th: 2 – 0, Melvine Malard (Lyon)

90th+1: 3 – 0, Janice Cayman (Lyon)

90th+2: Vicky Becho (Lyon) replaced Selma Bacha

90th+2: Sally Julini (Lyon) replaced Amel Majri

90th+2: Jodie Taylor (Lyon) replaced Dzsenifer Marozsan

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN 6-1 GORNIK LECZNA

Paris St. Germain win 8-1 on aggregate.

Above: Nadia Nadim celebrates after scoring PSG’s first goal this afternoonagainst Gornik Leczna. Photo: @PSGFeminines.

Paris St. Germain won easily at home against Gornik Leczna 6-1 to finish the job and qualify for the next round. By scoring three goals in the first 30 minutes, there was not a lot of suspense to guess which team would qualify at the end. At half time it was already 4-0 and according to how Paris St Germain dominated the game and the number of opportunities they add, it is a miracle that they did not score even more goals.

Highlights of the game:

21st: 1 – 0, Nadia Nadim (Paris)

24th: 2 – 0, Jordyn Huitema (Paris)

32nd: 3 – 0, Irene Parades (Paris)

43rd: 4 – 0, Marie-Antoinette Katoto (Paris)

46th: Roksana Ratajczyk (Leczna) replaced Jolanta Siwinska

51st: 5 – 0, Kadidiatou Diani (Paris)

57th: Yellow card for Roksana Ratajczyk (Leczna)

57th: Jade Le Guilly (Paris) replaced Ashley Elizabeth Lawrence

57th: Signe Brun (Paris) replaced Marie-Antoinette Katoto

57th: Lorina Fazer (Paris) replaced Sara Dabritz

62nd: 5 – 1, Ewelina Kamczyk (Leczna)

70th: Oceane Hurtre (Paris) replaced Nadia Nadim

71st: Ramona Bachmann (Paris) replaced Kadidiatou Diani

76th: Oliwia Rapacka (Leczna) replaced Patricia Hmirova

89th: 6 – 1, Irene Paredes (Paris)

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset rounds up all the action from the eleventh week of action in D1 Arkema, the top flight of French women’s football. (14/12/20)

Olympique Lyonnais raised their heads and won 9–0 against a very weak Issy side. At half time they were already seven goals ahead and the second half was a little bit less interesting. The scorers were: Amel Majri (9, 42, 52), Nikita Parris (15, 18, 21, 41), Janice Cayman (30) and Delphine Cascarino (72).

Above: Selma Bacha on the charge for Olympique Lyonnais in their 9-0 win over Issy. Photo: Damien LG via @OLFeminin

To prepare for their next game, the second leg of the UEFA Women’s Champions League last thirty-two tie against Juventus, several players were rested: Wendie Renard and Sakina Karchaoui (left out of the squad); Dzsenifer Marozsan (replaced by Melvine Malard 46), Ellie Carpenter (replaced by Delphine Cascarino 46) played only one half; Nikita Parris was replaced by Jodie Taylor (67).

In the battle for the third place, qualifying for UEFA Women’s Champions League, Bordeaux got ahead of the game by winning 2–0 (Khadija Shaw 8 and Katja Snoeijs 51) against their main challenger Montpellier. Bordeaux are now four points ahead of Montpellier; it is not finished but I think it will be difficult for Montpellier to take back third place.

Dijon were close to causing a big surprise at Paris FC but at the end they lost 3–2. Goals from Evelyne Viens (4, 56) and Clara Matéo (16) for Paris FC; Goals from Léa Khelifi (28) and Mylaine Tarrieu (80) for Dijon.

Fleury and Soyaux-Charente were not able to do better than a 0–0 draw and Guingamp won away from home at Reims 1–0 with a goal from Magou Doucouré (60).

Paris St Germain kept top spot by completely dominating the match and winning at home 5–0 against Le Havre, the bottom placed team in D1 Arkema. Goals from Marie-Antoinette Katoto (6, 33, 37, 67), Grace Geroyo (62).

Above: Marie-Antoinette Katoto celebrates one of her four goals for PSG against Le Havre which takes her to 103 goals for the club at the age of just 22. Photo: @PSG_Feminines.

Marie-Antoinette Katoto went over the 100 goal mark with Paris St Germain and is now at 103 goals; at only 22 years old, she was born on November 1st, 1998, it is quite a performance.

Later this week, Olympique Lyonnais, on Tuesday the 15th at 7:00 PM, and Paris St Germain, on Wednesday 16th at 2:30 PM, will play at home in UEFA Women’s Champions League last 32 second leg. There should be no surprises, and both teams should qualify.

D1 ARKEMA TABLE ROUND 11:

 PWDLFAPtsGD
Paris St. Germain11101046231+ 44
Olympique Lyonnais11100140430+ 36
Bordeaux11722231223+ 11
Montpellier11614151619– 1
Fleury ‘9111533111618– 5
Paris FC11434181715+ 1
Guingamp11416151713– 2
Dijon11416122013– 8
Stade Reims11326162011– 4
Soyaux-Charente112187237– 16
Issy112098536– 45
Le Havre1111910234– 13

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset rounds up the midweek action from the French teams competing in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. (11/12/20)

JUVENTUS v OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS:

Lyon won away from home against Juventus (3-2) despite not being completely convincing. Juventus posed some problems to Lyon and led twice in the game (1 -0 then 2-1 at half time). Lyon came back towards the end of the match when Melvine Malard (a goal after 68 minutes and an assist on 88), Amandine Henry and Janice Cayman entered in the game on the 57th minute mark. After these replacements, fatigue looked to have impacted on the Juventus’ players and the Italian side started to be less dangerous and had more and more difficulties containing Lyon attacks. Selma Bacha made a big impact on the game after her entrance in the last quarter and Melvine Malard was elected player of the match.

Still, Lyon were far from their best in this game against a team who are only three years old. Is it the end of a cycle for Lyon after losing against Paris St. Germain and winning without panache against Juventus in the UEFA Women’s Champions League last thirty-two? The return game and the other rounds will tell us!

Above: Delphine Cascarino (left) in action for Olympique Lyonnais in Turin against Juventus in Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League Last 32 1st Leg. Photo: Damien LG via @OLFeminin.

Highlights of the game:

5th: Yellow card for Kadeisha Buchanan (Lyon)

16th: 1 – 0, Lina Hurtig (Juventus)

29th: Yellow card for Barbara Bonansea (Juventus)

30th: 1 – 1, Wendie Renard (Lyon) penalty; Bonansea fouled Sakina Karchaoui

37th: 2 – 1, Kadeisha Buchanan (Lyon) own goal.

44th: Yellow card for Arianna Caruso (Juventus)

57th: Melvine Malard replaced Nikita Parris

57th: Amandine Henry (Lyon) replaced Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir

57th: Janice Cayman (Lyon) replaced Delphine Cascarino

68th: 2 – 2, Melvine Malard (Lyon); first goal in UEFA Women’s Champions League

74th: Maria Alves (Juventus) replaced Barbara Bonansea

77th: Selma Bacha (Lyon) replaced Amel Majri

84th: Martina Rosucci (Juventus) replaced Lina Hurtig

87th: Jodie Taylor (Lyon) replaced Sakina Karchaoui

88th: 2 – 3, Saki Kumagai (Lyon); first assist of Melvine Malard in UWCL

GORNIK LECZNA v PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN:

Paris St. Germain won away from home against Gornik Leczna 2-0 in Poland. By scoring early in the game, just after the first quarter, PSG made the match easier. At half time, things were already looking pretty good for PSG with a 2-0 lead. In the first quarter of the second half, PSG had more opportunities to score (Jordyn Huitema 55, Sandy Baltimore 58 hit the post) but they were not able to add more goals to their total.

Above: Paris St. Germain’s Sandy Baltimore (right) gets away from Gornik Leczna’s Alicja Dygus in Wednesday’s UEFA Women’s Champions League tie. Photo: @PSG_Feminines.

Highlights of the game:

17th: 0 – 1, Jordyn Huitema (Paris)

25th: 0 – 2, Sandy Baltimore (Paris)

35th: Perle Moroni (Paris) out on injury; replaced by Jade Le Guilly (18 years old)

56th: Yellow card for Paulina Dudek (Paris)

61th: Roksana Ratajczyk (Leczna) replaced Jolanta Siwinska

75th: Hawa Sangaré (Paris) replaced Jordyn Huitema

83th: Océane Hurtre (Paris) replaced Kadidiatou Diani

83th : Laurina Fazer (Paris) replaced Sandy Baltimore

85th: Oliwia Rapacka (Leczna) replaced Patricia Hmirova

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset rounds up all the action for the tenth week of matches in France’s D1 Arkema. (7/12/20)

There were no great surprises in the tenth round of D1 Arkema matches, and no change in the standings.

Olympique Lyonnais won 3-1 at Le Havre but without reassuring their supporters. They scored three goals in the first eighteen minutes through Wendie Renard, Saki Kumagai and Amel Majri, but were not able to score again in the second half. Le Havre scored in the first half too due to a bad clearance by the Lyon defence and Sylia Koui scored. Ellie Carpenter, who was one of the players that did the job for Lyon as usual, was elected player of the game.

Above: Matildas star Ellie Carpenter was in fine form for Olympique Lyonnais on Saturday. Photo: @CarpenterEllie

Paris St. Germain won also, this time against city rivals Paris FC 4-1, keeping their first place in the table, a point ahead of Lyon. An own goal from Annaig Butel plus strikes from Marie-Antoinette Katoto, Sandy Baltimore and former Chelsea star Ramona Bachmann were the difference. Evelyne Viens got one back for Paris FC.

Elsewhere, Montpellier beat Issy 3-1 with goals from Dominika Skorvankova, Marija Banusic and Lena Petermann. Batcheba Louis scored for Issy. Bordeaux came from behind to see off Soyaux 2-1. Coralie Austry gave Soyaux a shock lead just before half time, but two goals from Khadija Shaw gave Bordeaux the points. Fleury won 1-0 at Guingamp thanks to Lea Le Garrec, formerly of Brighton & Hove Albion. Finally, Dijon drew 0-0 with Reims.

Next week Lyon and Paris SG will play away from their home in their UEFA Women’s Champion League Round of 32 ties. Lyon against Juventus in Turin, Italy. Paris St. Germain against Gornik Leczna in Leczna, Poland.

France Qualify for Euro 2022 but problems continue behind the scenes

It’s been a tough period for the French national side on and off the pitch with all sorts of issues being made public. However, as Jean-Pierre Thiesset writes, at least the team have finally made it to the European Championship finals even if the Corinne Diacre/Amandine Henry row rumbled on. (29/11/20)

During the last game of France team against Austria, Corrine Diacre took her captain Amandine Henry off of the pitch after one hour in the match. Even if Amandine Henry was not performing her best game, there was no reason to take her off so soon in this game. France was dominating the game and largely ahead of Austria. Furthermore, Corinne Diacre gave the captain’s armband to Charlotte Bilbault instead of giving it to an Olympique Lyonnais player. This sequence surprised everyone. Things became a little bit clearer yesterday when according to several media, and especially from RMC Sport, we learnt that the clash between Amandine Henry and Corinne Diacre was still going on and even not close to be solved.

Henry and Diacre had a hard exchange this Wednesday during a training session.

While the players were in a training session inside, Corinne Diacre entered the building and went directly towards Amandine Henry, her captain. “Don’t worry you will have your discussion”, is Corinne Diacre launching to Amandine Henry, according to RMC Sport information, referring of course to the public interview of Amandine Henry mid-November on Canal+.

Put on the substitute team since the beginning of the camp by the coach, Amandine Henry answers “I hope so. It would be nice to be able to discuss”. What Corinne Diacre retorts “In life, everything has to be paid for”. Amandine Henry answers “You threat me?

No answer from Corinne Diacre, the discussion stops there, and she went away as she came, in the middle of silent and stupefied players.

Now, to the actual match itself…

Even without several of its main players (Eugénie Le Sommer, Marion Torrent, Viviane Asseyi, Valérie Gauvin, Griedge MBock Bathy), France won against Austria (3-0) and have qualified for 2022 European Championship in England.

Above: The French team who played Austria on Friday night. Photo: @equipedefrance

Even if Austria is not amongst the best team in the world (in fact they are 22nd), the French team played a good game with a lot of creativity which could have led to more goals.

Once again, Sakina Karchaoui was one of the best players, not to say the best player in this game. Not only she did not stop the impact of the Austrian midfield and defence during all the game from the first minute to the last, but she came back to her defence position each time it was necessary.

Apart from Karchaoui, French players who put in outstanding performances were: Marie-Antoinette Katoto, with two goals; Wendie Renard, one goal and she secured the defence as usual; Delphine Cascarino on her right side, who put in a decisive pass for the second goal and Amel Majri on her left side and with the corners that she delivered perfectly from left and right sides.

Goals :

1-0 – Wendie Renard (11): corner from the left side by Amel Majri. Her left foot strike around the six yard box became a decisive pass for Wendie Renard who launched at the right time to catapult the ball under the crossbar.

Above: Wendie Renard heads France in front on Friday against Austria. Photo: @equipedefrance

2-0 – Marie-Antoinette Katoto (27): Eve Périsset on the right side, slide the ball back to Delphine Cascarino, who played in a perfect centre at the penalty spot to Marie-Antoinette Katoto. She rose higher than the defence to score with an unstoppable header.

3-0 – Marie-Antoinette Katoto (73): corner from the right side by Amel Majri who looked for Clara Matéo at the near post. Clara, on her France team debut, touched the ball and Marie-Antoinette Katoto just needed to push the ball inside the net at the far post.

France’s next game will be against Kazakhstan on December 1st. Even if the result will not change anything on the current standings, we would like to see a French team that finishes this qualification round with an avalanche of goals and have the opportunity to see a few players that have not played a lot since the beginning of the competition.

Teams:

FRANCE: Pauline Peyraud-Magnin (GK), Wendie Renard, Eve Périsset, Elisa De Almeida, Sakina Karchaoui, Grace Geroyo, Charlotte Bilbault, Amandine Henry (C), Delphine Cascarino, Marie-Antoinette Katoto, Amel Majri. Substitutes: Kenza Dali 60 (for Amandine Henry), Clara Matéo 72 (for Delphine Cascarino), Emelyne Laurent 84 (for Marie-Antoinette Katoto).

AUSTRIA: Manuela Zinsberger (GK), Laura Wienrother, Carina Wenninger (C), Viriginia Kirchberger, Verena Aschauer, Sarah Zadrazil, Sarah Puntigam, Jasmin Eder, Barbara Dunst, Nicole Billa, Stefanie Enzinger. Viktoria Pinther 46 (for Nicole Billa), Katharina Naschwengen 61 (for Verena Aschauer), Laura Feiersinger 61 (for Stefanie Enzinger), Lisa Kolb 75 (for Barbara Dunst), Yvonne Weilharter 90 + 1 (for Laura Wienrother).

Yellow cards: Amel Majri (90 + 2) for France; Stefanie Enzinger (42) for Austria.

Referee: Esther Staubli (Switzerland).

Above: France celebrate qualification for the 2022 European Championships. Photo: @equipedefrance

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset rounds up all the action in Week Nine of the French top flight of women’s football, the D1 Arkema. (24/11/20)

The main headline of the weekend came with Olympique Lyonnais‘ defeat at Paris St. Germain (for our report of the game, click here: https://impetus885775742.wordpress.com/2020/11/20/battle-of-the-big-guns-goes-psgs-way/).

Not only did Lyon lose first place to PSG, their biggest rivals for the title, but they produced a performance that was disturbing for their supporters, leaving a lot of questions for the future.

Montpellier stopped their losing run with a 3-1 win over Le Havre, the bottom placed side in D1 Arkema. Bordeaux won 1-0 at Paris FC to remain third ahead of Montpellier in the table.

Guingamp recorded their third win of the season and heaped more woe on Issy‘s dreadful goal difference as a result of their 6-1 win.

The other games saw a 2-0 win for Fleury over Dijon and Stade de Reims won 2-1 at Soyeux.

So, these results mean that suspense is revived for the D1 Arkema championship title as well as the race for third place.

The next round will take place on the weekend of the 5th December.

The latest table:

 PWDLFAPts
Paris St. Germain981037125
Olympique Lyonnais980128324
Bordeaux9522211117
Montpellier9513121316
Fleury ‘919423101614
Paris FC9333141112
Dijon9405101712
Guingamp9315141610
Stade Reims9315161910
Issy FF92077416
Soyaux92076216
Le Havre91179154

Find out more about our contributor Jean-Pierre Thiesset here: About our Contributors (wordpress.com)

The View From France

Last night saw Paris St. Germain bring to an end Olympique Lyonnais’ four year unbeaten run in D1 and potentially cause a major change in the destination of the French title for the first time in fifteen years. Jean-Pierre Thiesset gives his opinion on the big game. (21/11/20)

Last night, Lyon lost 1-0 to Paris St. Germain – a result which ends a run of 80 games without loss in the D1 championships (for our report on the game, click here: https://impetus885775742.wordpress.com/2020/11/20/battle-of-the-big-guns-goes-psgs-way/)

Some will say that it can happen, but when we see how Lyon lost, it is a little disturbing. The team was not in the game and there had been too many errors and too many duels that were lost. In my opinion, apart from Delphine Cascarino, Ellie Carpenter and Sakina Karchaoui, who tried to play and do something, all the other players were way under their usual performance levels.

I remember discussion with a few OL fans about the level of their midfielders a few months ago, saying that they were not back to their usual performances and that this would penalize the team; they may have been right.

Furthermore, Lyon lost Eugénie Le Sommer with injury, a tear on the inside of the left thigh that will probably keep her out of action for a few weeks and prevent her playing with the France national team at the end of November. If you add to this Valérie Gauvin who is already out after injury for Everton in the Women’s FA Cup Final and Marie-Antoinette Katoto, from PSG, who is also injured and may not be available, the France team will probably have to play against Austria without a recognised central striker.

Is it the beginning of the end of the huge domination of Lyon in French women’s football? The future will tell us and especially the return game against PSG next year and the Women’s UEFA Champion League games that will soon be on their schedule.

Battle of the Big Guns Goes PSG’s Way

Paris St. Germain 1–0 Olympique Lyonnais (20/11/20)

by Ben Gilby

Paris St. Germain stuck a symbolic blow in the D1 Arkema title race with a deserved victory over perennial top of the table rivals Olympique Lyonnais at the Parc des Princes – a result which condemned the visitors to their first league defeat in four years.

The early exchanges were typically cagey in such a vital game. It was OL who had the best of the possession and pressed PSG back in this period.

Indeed, it was Lyon who forced the opening corner after just four minutes when Saki Kumagai crossed in, Le Sommer dummied and PSG diverted the ball over the bar. It all came to naught as home goalkeeper Christiane Endler was adjudged to have been fouled from the corner.

Then, with just eleven minutes played, PSG hit the lead. The visitors lost possession on the right wing and away went Kadidiatou Diani. She slid a pass into Marie Antoinette Katoto who raced towards the onrushing Sarah Bouhaddi. The Lyon keeper committed herself early and Katoto rounded her and ensured that Kadeisha Buchanan couldn’t scramble back to stop her and rolled the ball into the net from an acute angle.

Above: Marie Antoinette Katoto guides her effort towards the Lyon net for the only goal of the game. Photo: @PSG_Feminines

Three minutes later, Kumagai gave away a free-kick on the edge of the box in a central position. Sara Dabritz stepped up, but her effort landed on the roof on the net.

Shortly afterwards, Eugenie Le Sommer got away and was tugged back by Ashley Lawrence whilst closing in on goal to the left of centre. Up stepped Dzsenifer Marozsan to rifle in an effort on target which Endler had to fist away.

Unsurprisingly, the Parisians were buoyed by the goal and the balance of play shifted into their favour. Dabritz’s dangerous ball in was calmly cleared by Ellie Carpenter, but it returned to the area quickly as Buchanan combined with Katoto before moving play onto Luana and Diani. PSG kept the possession and built slowly as they patiently looked for the right moment to launch an incisive pass and it came from Lawrence’s cross – unfortunately, Katoto couldn’t make the right contact with her attempted volley and Bouhaddi gathered.

Katoto was then played in Diani, but Australian international Carpenter got back brilliantly to deny her with a magnificent tackle. Just before the half-hour mark, Lyon’s early woes increased when key player Eugenie Le Sommer went down off the ball with what appeared at the time to be a hamstring injury and she was replaced by Lionesses star Nikita Parris.

Lyon rallied and an outstanding piece of skill by Sakina Karchaoui down the left saw the ball played in to the box but PSG cleared.

With four minutes to go until the break, Luana found Sandy Baltimore who teased her way past Carpenter and won a corner off of Buchanan, but the visitors survived.

Above: Olympique Lyonnais’ Ellie Carpenter tussles for possession in the Parc des Princes. Photo: @PSG_Feminines

Such was PSG’s control after the goal, they may well have been disappointed not to add a second before the break as history tells you that OL always seem to find a way to force themselves back into a game. The hosts had controlled the dangerous pair of Karchaoui and Cascarino well and had the better of the all-important midfield battle. A continuation of these circumstances would go a long way to earning PSG a hugely important and symbolic victory.

There was noticeably more energy about Olympique Lyonnais immediately after the interval. They fashioned an early opportunity when Sara Dabritz miscued to allow Amandine Henry to gather possession. The France skipper found Delphine Cascarino whose close control brought her into the area but was muscled out by Grace Geyoro before getting a shot in.

On the hour mark, Diani was pulled back by Amandine Henry on the right. Dabritz’s free kick was cleared by Renard, and on the counter attack, Nikita Parris sprinted away with plenty of support but back came Perle Morroni to put in an outstanding tackle.

All the signs were that PSG had weathered the early chances that Lyon had made. On sixty-five minutes, Diani’s cross field ball found Katoto who eased past Carpenter to put in a cross which Bouhaddi grabbed at the near post.

Cascarino won a throw near the corner flag and the hosts made a series of blunders in trying to clear, but Lyon were not able to make PSG pay for their less than sound defensive play.

With seventy-two minutes gone, Wendie Renard hacked down Marie-Antoinette Katoto on the left hand side just outside of the box and was lucky to only receive a yellow card. From the resulting free-kick, substitute Alana Cook’s header was poor and Bouhaddi gathered comfortably.

Katoto didn’t recover from the foul on her by Renard and she was replaced by Signe Bruun within minutes.

With twelve minutes left, Karchaoui found Parris who in turn played a pass inside to Marozsan, but the German’s shot was way off target for the visitors.

With three minutes to go, substitute Melvine Malard raced into the box but a superb challenge from Irene Paredes closed down the danger and Formiga put the ball out for a corner, which the home side defended successfully and they went on to see out the remainder of the game to record an excellent victory.

Above: Alana Cook and Saki Kumagai contest possession deep into the second half. Photo: @PSG_Feminines

Whilst this win does not decide anything this season, the defeat of a team who has won fourteen consecutive league titles by a side who have been trying to snap at their heels for many years means that the D1 Arkema title race now takes on a fascinating twist. OL know they have no margin for error now. If this was seen as a big game, the return in the New Year at the Groupama Stadium will be absolutely monumental.

Teams: PARIS ST. GERMAIN: Endler, Morroni, Dudek, Paredes, Lawrence, Dabritz, Luana, Geyoro, Baltimore, Katoto, Diani. Substitutes: Voll (GK), Cook (for Dudek), Formiga (for Luana), Bachmann, Bruun (for Katoto), Huitema, Nadim.

Scorers: Katoto 11.

OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS: Bouhaddi, Carpenter, Buchanan, Renard, Karchaoui, Henry, Kumagai, Cascarino, Marozsan, Majri, Le Sommer. Substitutes: Gallardo (GK), Cayman, Bacha, Gunnarsdottir (for Majri), Parris (for Le Sommer), Taylor, Malard (for Cascarino).

Referee: Maika Vanderstichel.

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset gives us news of the announcement of France’s squad for the upcoming final qualifiers for the Women’s European Championships. With qualification still in doubt and all sorts of behind the scenes conflicts, there were many eyes on Corinne Diacre’s selection this time round. (20/11/20)

Corinne Diacre has announced her list of players for the next two games for France’s national team. During her introduction to the announcement, she tried to minimize the current situation (relating to the behind the scenes conflicts with players) and was rather calm and said that the most important thing was to win the next games to ensure the qualification of the French team for the European Championships in England. She did not want to talk about the current problems and said that she will not use media to answer these matters.

The selection is without big surprises:

GOALKEEPERS: Durand, Munich, Peyraud-Magnin

DEFENDERS: E. Cascarino, De Almeida, Karchaoui, Morroni, Perisset, Renard, Torrent, Tounkara.

MIDFIELDERS: Bilbaut, Clemaron, Dali, Geyoro, Henry, Majri.

FORWARDS: Asseyi, D. Cascarino, Diani, Katoto, Laurent, Le Sommer.

Despite her television interview at the weekend (see: https://impetus885775742.wordpress.com/2020/11/17/the-view-from-france-5/ ), Amandine Henry is back in the team and Diacre said during the press conference that she will captain the French team. Amel Majri, who had spoken a little bit in support of Henry, is also in the squad.

Sarah Bouhaddi, who had said the day before the squad announcement that she would accept selection, is not named; Corinne Diacre said that she learnt the previous night of Bouhaddi’s opinion and said and that so far Pauline Peyraud-Magnin did the job during the last two games.

Now, we just need to wait for November 27, 2020, the important match against Austria, to know who will be on the field as starters. Personally, I think that there will be most of the Lyonnaises and Parisiennes players on the field.

I expect the following starting team:

Goalkeeper: Peyraud-Magnin.

Defenders: Renard, Karchaoui, Torrent, Tounkara.

Midfielders: Henry (Captain), Majri, Diani.

Strikers: Le Sommer, Cascarino D., Katoto

I think that with this team, France should easily win against Austria and I will produce a review on 28th of November to celebrate my insights or to discuss why I was wrong!

The View From France

Just a couple of weeks after France’s national team goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi went public with her disagreements with France coach Corinne Diacre, Jean-Pierre Thiesset describes another incendiary TV interview, this time given by France’s captain Amandine Henry on Sunday where more of the problems inside the French camp came to light. (17/11/20)

During her interview given to “Canal Football Club” on Sunday, Amandine Henry, the France team captain, spoke bluntly about her relations with Corinne Diacre, France’s team coach and spoke out about the problems inside the team.

Above: Amandine Henry, captain of the French national side. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

The following is a translation of a part of her interview without any change.

About her non-selection for the last France national matches:

“When she (Corinne Diacre) called me, I said to myself, ‘the coach made choices, it is normal’. The call lasted 15 seconds, I will remember it all my life. Instantly, I was shocked. I was speechless.”

“This discussion hurts me; it will stay engraved in my heart. I was feeling very well. I went to my coaches, they told me I was playing well. I questioned myself. I could have accepted it, but it was beyond a sporting (performance) matter.”

About the problems in the French team:

“There are a lot of problems. As captain, it is important to wear the armband. But when it is necessary to speak up and put your fist on the table, you have to do it also.”

“I would rather think that I never react in a hot manner. I was shocked (by being dropped). I was obliged to question myself. It is the qualifications for the European Championships. I should not be selfish, the group have to stay concentrated.”

“After the World Cup, the coach wanted to do individual interviews. The World Cup was hard. There were girls that cried in their room. It happened to me that I cried in my room. It was the atmosphere, the management, the global ambiance which was there that was wrong. Trust is the basis of any relationship.”

Above: Amandine Henry in action for Olympique Lyonnais. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

About the future:

“I would like to think that we can put everything on and win the Euros. With the qualities that we have, France must win a title. We have a golden generation. I know that I have taken a risk, but I can’t look at myself in the mirror (if I don’t say this). If I do not say it, who will?”

In two days time – this Thursday, Corinne Diacre is due to announce her list of players for France’s next European Championship qualification matches. We will see if Amandine Henry is sanctioned for speaking up against the head coach. 

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset returns with his regular column bringing us all the news from the Women’s game in France. This week he rounds up all the action from Week Eight of the D1 Arkema season. (15/11/20)

This D1 Arkema round came up with a few surprises.

Firstly, Dijon’s 1-0 win over Montpellier, and Guingamp obtaining a 1-1 draw against Paris FC. Bordeaux’s 2-0 win over Le Havre and Fleury’s 2-1 win at Reims. Olympique Lyonnais won 5-1 against Soyaux which is not a surprise. Equally, Paris St. Germain’s win over Issy is not a surprise, but the score line was an incredible 14-0!

Montpellier was not able to stop losing after their game at Lyon last round and the consequence now is that Dijon are now only two points from third place and Bordeaux are back in the game and move up one place to third in front of Montpellier fall one place.

Bordeaux are already eight points behind second placed PSG and it seems that like in a lot of seasons before this one, the title will be once again played between Lyon and PSG.

In this context, the match between PSG and Lyon game next week in the “Parc des Prince” in Paris will be the most important of the season for PSG. If Lyon win at Paris, they will be five points ahead of PSG and the D1 Arkema championships will have no more suspense for the first place. This game will be played on Friday 20 November 2020 at 9:00 PM.

So, as an OL fan, I hope that Lyon win and secure the first place to fly towards a 15th consecutive title, but as a football fan I have to say that if PSG win it will keep more suspense and the rest of the championships season will be more interesting even if I would prefer the former result.

Another interesting game will be Paris FC against Bordeaux which will take place on Sunday 22 November 2020 in Paris. Bordeaux being only 2 points ahead of Paris.

See you next week for the results …

Relentless Lyon March On

Olympique Lyonnais 5–1 ASJ Soyaux-Charente (13/11/20)

by Ben Gilby     

Olympique Lyonnais won their eighth successive game in D1 Arkema this season with a relentless attacking performance that yielded a 5-1 victory over strugglers ASJ Soyaux-Charente at the Groupama Training Centre tonight.

Soyaux came into the game after a week of upheaval with both the club president and head coach leaving. A new temporary head coach, Laurent Mortel, was drafted in on Monday. Currently also the head coach of Haiti Women and previously coach of Montpellier Women, he will be looking to improve on the club’s opening run of only two wins from their opening eight league games.

Lyon’s first choice goalkeeper, Sarah Bouhaddi was absent for the game with Lola Gallardo taking her place between the sticks.

Olympique Lyonnais were in control from the start. The first shot in anger was fired after nine minutes when a trademark mazy run from Sakina Karchaoui up the left saw two defenders beaten and her ball found Nikita Parris. The England international’s ball was deflected back to Cascarino who found Sarah Bjork Gunnarsdottir, but the Icelander’s weak effort was pounced on by Romaine Munich in the Soyaux goal.

With the visitors, who had only scored four goals all season coming into the game, failing to get out of their own half, Lyon had to remain patient in attempting to find the right pass to break through the massed ranks of blue shirts. Cathy Couturier and Viviane Boudard were working particularly hard in trying to stem the flow of Ellie Carpenter and Delphine Cascarino down the right hand side.

In the end it took 21 minutes for OL to get on the scoresheet. Karchaoui combined with Amadine Henry on the left with the former receiving the ball back. Her cross into the six yard box beat the entire Soyaux defence leaving Dzsenifer Marozsan in acres of space to score with ease.

Four minutes later, Nikita Parris was brought down centrally on the edge of the area by Couturier. The resulting free-kick by Karchaoui curled round the wall and was pushed out for a corner by Munich. From the resulting set-piece, Karchaoui was tripped with her back to goal by Laura Bourgouin. Up stepped Wendie Renard to take the penalty, but her effort was saved by Munich, but unfortunately for the Soyaux keeper, it deflected straight into Renard’s path and she didn’t miss the second chance.

Just after the half hour mark, Eugenie Le Sommer won a free kick which Amadine Henry floated in. Soyaux’s Canadian defender Paige Culver’s attempted clearance turned into an air-shot, with the ball subsequently falling to Marozsan on the left, but the German international’s effort narrowly missed.

OL refused to take their foot off the pedal and a glorious move with ten minutes of the half left almost produced a third goal. Cascarino found Marozsan who in turn played in Carpenter. The Australian international’s pin point ball found Le Sommer, but Munich made a good save.

Two minutes before the break, the third goal arrived. Some outstanding pace and power allied with great footwork down the right by Cascarino saw her put in a perfect cross for Parris to head home.

Parris had another chance in first half stoppage time, but her header hit the side netting. It was one way traffic and the scary thing for Soyaux was that it was self-evident that if Lyon kept the pace and pressing at the same rate in the second period, the visitors could be on the receiving end of an absolute shellacking.

The second half started in a familiar fashion with the home side mounting continuous pressure. A free kick on fifty-two minutes by Dzsenifer Marozsan from the left found its way back to Saki Kumagai, on as sub, but the Japanese international blasted an effort over the bar.

A rare sortie forward by Soyaux saw Alice Benoit brought down by Wendie Renard on the right. Laura Bourgouin’s free-kick caused huge problems for Lola Gallardo in the Lyon goal as the ball curled in high. She couldn’t decide whether to catch it or palm the ball away. In the end she didn’t really do either and the ball bounced off of her fingers onto the bar and Rachel Avant headed it over the line for Soyaux’s first goal in four matches and only the second Lyon have conceded all season.

With sixty-two minutes on the clock, Dzenifer Marozsan played a perfect pass into the stride of Nikita Parris on the left hand side of the eighteen yard box. The England international took a touch and comfortably side-footed it into the net for her second and OL’s fourth.

With twenty minutes left, Dumont’s attempted rugby tackle on Sakina Karchaoui earned Lyon a free-kick on the left wing. Marozsan’s delivery was whipped in with pace towards the towering Wendie Renard, but her glancing header went just wide.

Three minutes later, substitute Cayman, on for Ellie Carpenter, found Eugenie Le Sommer. The cross found Parris, braced for the hat-trick, but her effort flew away from the target.

With just over ten minutes left, the home side’s dominance was rewarded with a fifth goal. Marozsan’s free kick was headed across goal by Renard for her fellow central defender Kadeisha Buchanan to nod home.

Romane Munich produced an outstanding save with four minutes left to deny Amadine Henry as OL pressed once more

ASJ Soyaux Charente’s efforts and sheer hard work was rewarded by Rachel Avant’s goal. Their season will come down to results in the games against the teams around them at the bottom rather than when they take on the big guns. For Olympique Lyonnais, this was, in the end a routine victory ahead of next Friday night’s mouth-watering showdown with Paris St.Germain.

Teams: OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS: Gallardo, Carpenter, Buchanan, Renard, Karchaoui, Cascarino, Henry, Marozsan, Gunnarsdottir, Le Sommer, Parris. Substitutes: Talaslahti (GK), Cayman, Maoulida, Sombath, Kumagai, Malard, Taylor.

Scorers: Marozsan 21. Renard 27. Parris 43, 62. Buchanan 79.

ASJ SOYAUX-CHARENTE: Munich, Boudaud, Couturier, Culver, Dumont, Stapelfeldt, Benoit, Bourgouin, Tandia, Avant, Cazeau. Substitutes used: Roux, Austry, Surpris.

Scorers: Avant 55.

The View From France

Jean-Pierre Thiesset provides us with a fascinating insight into what a typical matchday is like at Olympique Lyonnais – Europe’s top women’s club – and the incredible access that supporters of the team get to some of the world’s greatest players. (7/11/20)

The last game played at Groupama OL Training Center before France’s covid restrictions were changed was on October 16, 2020 against EA Guingamp. At the moment all games will now be behind closed doors.

As usual, this involved the club’s supporters arriving about an hour in advance to meet our OL (Olympique Lyonnais) Ang’Elles friends around their stand of goodies – amongst them the OL Ang’Elles scarf to show our colours.

OL Ang’Elles fan group was been created in 2011 by Isabelle Bernard and was the first women’s football fan group in France. It counted almost 300 members last season. This group supports the OL players in Lyon and all over Europe in the UEFA Champions League with their uninterrupted songs during the game. They have OL Ang’Elles and Olympique Lyonnais flags and streamers but also all the flags from the country of the foreign OL team players.

Above: Matchday atmosphere at the Groupama Training Centre for a OL Feminin game. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

From time to time LYOU, the Olympique Lyonnais mascot join us to support our players. There is also another smaller fan club “Kop Fenottes” which supports OL Women team.

Most of home games take place at the Groupama OL Training Center. Only the big games, like the one against Paris St. Germain or UEFA Champions League semi-finals take place in the Groupama Stadium; the big stadium where more than 25 000 spectators gathered for the last OL Feminin – PSG game in 2019.

Let’s try to know a little bit more the team that these fans support, and which dominates French and European football. Olympique Lyonnais Women section was created in 2004 by the acquisition of the FC Lyon Women team (1970-2004). Their Nickname is “Les Fenottes”.

OL’s women’s team has a lot of records and their honours is very impressive:

7 UEFA Champion League (2011, 2012, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)

14 consecutive French Championship titles from 2007 to 2020

9 French Cups (2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020)

1 French Champions’ Trophy: 2019

4 other titles in different International Competitions

Elected 6 times Best Team in the World by International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS): 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Above: Trophies won by OL Feminin during 2019/20 including French D1 and the UEFA Champions League. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

Main Current Staff consist of President: Jean-Michel Aulas, Manager: Olivier Blanc, Coach: Jean-Luc Vasseur, Assistant coach: Michel Sorin, Assistant coach: Camille Abily, Goalkeeper coach: Christophe Gardiè and Fitness Trainer: Romain Segui.

Before the game starts, teams are presented to the 1,500 spectators in the stands and everyone spells out loudly the name of the players when they appear on the big screen in one corner of the stadium.

Then the players arrive on the field for the team photo. During this Covid19 period it looks a little different. Here is the photo taken on October 16:

Above: OL Feminin line up for their last home game against EA Guingamp on 16th October. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

Jean-Luc Vasseur has a roster of 29 players to choose to make his team of the day. A list of players which includes stars such as Sarah Bouhaddi, Wendie Renard, Ellie Carpenter, Sakina Karchaoui, Amel Majri, Dzsenifer Marozsan, Eugenie Le Sommer, Ada Hegerberg, Nikita Parris and Delphine Cascarino.

OL fans know the players very well because, usually, OL Ang’Elles and other supporters can meet all the players during one open training session almost every week. I said usually because right now with the Covid19 restrictions, no training sessions are open to the public. The relationship between players and supporters are particularly good. During the training sessions, supporters are within one metre of the field and can admire their preferred players and take any photos they want. At the end of the training session, players come to meet the supporters, talk with them, sign photos and other items and take the usual selfies with the fans. OL Feminin players and fans are like a big family and it is great to live with them like that!

Above: OL Feminin players celebrate with their fans earlier this season. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

At the end of every game, players come to thank the supporters and especially the fan groups. The supporters then go home with a lot of memories of the game and our preferred players.

Latest news: OL Feminin won 5-0 away from home to third placed Montpellier last Saturday and are still unbeaten in D1 with seven consecutive wins.

The View From France

In an exclusive piece, Jean-Pierre Thiesset brings us news of an interview given by goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi which lifts the lid on just how troubled the situation is within the French Women’s National side. (31/10/20)

Sarah Bouhaddi, Olympique Lyonnais and French national team goalkeeper had some very blunt words to say about Corinne Diacre, national women’s coach during an interview on OL TV’s Barth Ruzza Talk Show.

First let’s recall who Sarah Bouhaddi is to understand why what she says is important:

Sarah was born on October 17, 1986 in Cannes, France. She has played in more than 400 club matches, including 280 games with Olympique Lyonnais since 2009. Additionally, she has played more than a hundred games with the French national side.

The list of honours won by Bouhaddi is very impressive: 11 French Championships (from 2010 to 2020), 7 UEFA Women’s Champion League titles, 8 French Cups (2012 to 2017 and 2019 & 2020), 1 Champions trophy – game between French Championship and Cup winners (2019). She was also elected Best World Goalkeeper by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and UEFA Best Goalkeeper in 2020.

Above: Sarah Bouhaddi, Olympique Lyonnais and France goalkeeper has had plenty to say about national coach Corinne Diacre. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

Just a few days ago, Bouhaddi gave an interview to Barth Ruzza on Olympique Lyonnais’ own club television station. Here is an extract of the 30 minutes interview – this is a direct translation with nothing changed or added:

Barth Ruzza (BR): You decided to take a step back regarding France team, If you had a message to send, something to tell, or a question to ask to Corinne Diacre (the French women’s national head coach), what it would be?

Sarah Bouhaddi (SB): I have no message to send her, I think she is old enough and responsible enough today to know what she is doing, now the question is to know if she really wants to win a title with the France team; we are several Lyonnaise players and several players of high level, and included Paris players too, which want to do something great with the France team and I realize that we may not be all in the same project or the same speech and this is what saddens me today.

BR: Did you discuss with her in a frank manner?

SB: Yes, but our relations have never been very strong and very beautiful during the period before the World Cup. After the World Cup it is has been difficult for me and several of my team-mates, we have undergone several examinations very negative in the France team.

BR: What do you mean?

SB: There has been a bad result in the World Cup for us and they reproach us saying we wanted Corinne Diacre fired, although we never said that. After that, Corinne Diacre took against us – me and Amadine Henry, and after the World Cup we lived in a scenario very difficult during the training camps and it is for that reason that I took a step back from the national team at my age. I felt I was strong enough psychologically and ready to make a break with the France team because there is no relationship with the coach. I told her when I called her that as long as she has no confidence in me and that there was no relationship between her and me, there was no reason to continue to work together.

BR: Do, at times, you regret taking this decision?

SB: I do not regret because I lived very badly there (in the national camp)…I do not regret because today, winning a title with this coach seems impossible to me…a lot of other players think the same, but do not say it.

BR: So, for you it will not work, it is impossible?

SB: It will not work. I could say that the France team will not win the Euros with Corinne Diacre as a coach. Today, we are in a situation which is too negative. If Corinne Diacre evolves in the next two years, it is possible, but there is so much to change…

The View From France

We welcome new writer Jean-Pierre Thiesset who will provide us with regular news from all the goings on in French women’s football. He begins by giving us the lowdown on the French First Division and then tells us about the background to a frustrating game against Austria for the national side earlier this week. (29/10/20)

The French Women’s Football First Division is called “D1 Arkema” (D1 for Division One and Arkema being the sponsor). There are twelve clubs in D1 – ASJ Soyaux Charente, Dijon FCO, EA Guingamp, FC Fleury, Girondins Bordeaux, GPSO ’92 Issy, Le Havre AC, Montpellier HSC, Olympique Lyonnais, Paris FC and Paris St. Germain.

Above: The location of France’s D1 sides.

The D1 is governed by the FFF (Fédération Française de Football – French Football Federation). The D1 is not a professional league but a few clubs are professional.

Olympique Lyonnais dominates the D1 and only Paris St. Germain can compete with them so far. In recent years, Bordeaux and Montpellier started to close on these two teams but are still a little bit behind.

Olympique Lyonnais and Paris St. Germain players make up the main backbone of the French national team even if more and more new players from the other teams are starting to be included in the French national team.

Foreign players are represented in the D1 Championships and among them several players from England with Olympique Lyonnais fielding stars like Nikita Parris and Jodie Taylor this year or Jessica Fishlock, Lucy Bronze, Alex Greenwood and Izzy Christiansen in previous years.

Meanwhile…

The French national team is still not qualified for the European Championship which will take place in England in 2022. Let’s go back a few days to try to understand why.

Group G Standings before Tuesday game against Austria were:

1st – France – 15 points in 5 games – Goal difference 28

2nd – Austria – 15 points in 5 games – Goal difference 21

Seeing this standing, we can easily understand that the Tuesday game was important for both teams. Normally, France (3rd team in the rankings) would be supposed to beat Austria (22nd in the rankings) but with the tensions around French team right now between French coach Corinne Diare and a few Olympique Lyonnais players, surprises were possible.

Sarah Bouhaddi long time holder of the goalkeeping position without any doubt so far, decided not to go to join the team after problems between her and Diacre. Furthermore, Amandine Henry, the actual captain of the French team was not selected by Corinne Diacre. The explanation was that Henry needed to rest to retrieve all her potential.

However, without Bouhaddi, Henry and other main stars of the side such as Wendie Renard, Amel Majri and Marion Torrent, France still won 11-0 against the modest North Macedonia team with the following team:

Four goals from Eugenie Le Sommer, two from Grace Geyoro, plus strikes from Valerie Gauvin, Elisa de Almeida, Kadidiatou Diani, Viviane Asseyi and Delphine Cascarino completed the rout.

Young players stepped up and shown that they could do the job. Eugénie Le Sommer’s four goals now sees her with a total of 86 goals with the French team.

For the big game against Austria, Wendie Renard and Marion Torrent were back in the team at the start of the game against Austria. Yet, strangely star players Delphine Cascarino, Amel Majri and Marie-Antoinette Katoto were not. The result was a 0–0 draw.

So, France have still not qualified for the European Championships and will have to win against Austria in France in November. Some people put the blame on Corinne Diacre the French Coach, arguing that her selection and the way she manages the team is the sole reason for the result against Austria this week.

Above: France’s Olympique Lyonnais star Delphine Cascarino in action against Austria earlier this week. Photo via: @delphsix

For me, I believe that nothing is black or white but grey, meaning that there is more than one reason for such problems, and based on what we saw during and since World Cup in France, I would say that our team and our players may not be as strong as some people say.

I hope that the future will prove me wrong and that we will win in 2022 in England.

Jean-Pierre’s biog details can be found on our page about all our writers here: https://impetus885775742.wordpress.com/about-our-contributors/

A Magnificent Seventh For Lyon

VfL Wolfsburg 1-3 Olympique Lyonnais (31/8/20)

By Ben Gilby

Above: Olympique Lyonnais celebrate their Champions League success. Photo: @OLfeminin

Lyon won their fifth UEFA Women’s Champions League in a row and seventh from the last ten finals after victory in a high quality final against Wolfsburg in San Sebastian.

The final was settled by a goal from Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir, who, with great irony had actually played more games for the German side in this elongated season’s competition than for her new French team.

Wolfsburg went into their fifth Champions League final in eight years desperate to put right their record of losing to Lyon in two previous finals. With their opponents missing both Ada Hegeberg (injury) and Nikita Parris (suspension) up front, the German champions felt that they had a real opportunity to claim their third Champions League title.

It was a lively start to the final with both teams showing their intent to attack from the first whistle. The French side fashioned the first opportunity when Saki Kumagai’s effort was well saved by Friederike Abt in the Wolfsburg goal.

The perennial danger of Lyon talisman Wendie Renard from set pieces was also in evident in the opening exchanges as her headers from both Dzenifer Marozsan and Amel Majri’s free-kicks narrowly missed the target.

In between, Chelsea target Pernille Harder had an effort on what was to be a relatively quiet night by her standards. Renard’s header clear fell to the Dane but her effort went over the bar.

Wolfsburg let another opportunity slip by on the quarter hour mark when Ewa Pajor and Alexandra Popp combined with a one-two but Sarah Bouhaddi in the Olympique Lyonnais goal claimed the ball.

Lyon made the Germans pay for missing those two opportunities on the twenty-fifth minute when a magnificent move down the right involving the influential Delphine Cascasino saw the ball cut back to Eugenie Le Sommer whose first effort was blocked by the feet of Abt, but the striker followed up rapidly with two defenders standing still around her to score.

Wolfsburg responded well, and within three minutes had another opportunity as Popp headed over. They were playing an excellent patient passing game which conjured up a chance for Fridolina Rolfo but the Swedish international side footed wide.

Cascarino was causing huge problems down the right with Sakina Karchaoui impressing on the left – and it was this pair that were influential for the remainder of Lyon’s efforts in the opening period.

From one such piece of Cascarino excellence, the 23 year-old laid off a ball from a corner to Saki Kumagai just outside the ‘D’ and the Japanese international crashed a shot in the bottom corner to put Lyon 2-0 up at the break.

The French champions almost made it three within minutes of the restart as Sakina Karchaoui ran down the left and cut in to feed Eugenie Le Sommer, but her effort was pushed out by Abt for a corner.

Wolfsburg rallied and Pernille Harder played in Svenja Huth whose cross was below standard and Ewa Pajor could not take advantage.

Just four minutes later, the Germans had better luck. Harder fed Rolfo who put in a great ball which Sarah Bouhaddi could only palm into the path of Alexandra Popp who didn’t miss.

Popp later combined well with substitute Pia-Sophie Wolter but the move was curtailed for offside.

Wolfsburg were pressing well, but unable to create the sufficient quality that was needed to bother Lyon, and as the game entered its final five minutes, it was the French side who rose to the occasion.

Lioness Jodie Taylor, on for Dzenifer Marozsan played in Eugenie Le Sommer, only for Lena Oberdorf to clear for a corner. From the resulting flag kick, Le Sommer drove in an effort which was heading narrowly wide before Icelandic international Sarah Bjork Gunnarsdottir stuck out a leg to deflect the ball past Abt for the winner.

There was one last chance for Lyon to add the icing on the cake when Melanie Malard found Taylor, but Abt saved with the assistant referee raising an offside flag.

Wolfsburg will feel that the score line didn’t do their efforts justice, but they learned a painful lesson – in order to defeat Olympique Lyonnais you have to convert a far higher ratio of the chances you create. They also lacked a playmaker with the creativity of Delphine Cascarino who, at her best can be unplayable.

Lyon took the honours yet again – but there is a growing band of teams across the continent, notably in England, who will feel that next time round things might be different.

Teams: VfL WOLFSBURG: Abt, Blasse, Goessling, Doorsan Khajeh, Jansson, Huth, Syrstad Engen, Popp, Rolfo, Harder (c), Pajor. Substitutes: Kassen (GK), Kiedrzynek (GK), Jakobfi, Heindrich (for Doorsan Khajeh), Oberdorf (for Pajor), Bremer (for Blasse), Rauch, Wolter (for Huth), Dickermann, Wiedermeyer, Grawe.

Scorer: Popp 58

OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS: Bouhaddi, Karchaoui, Renard (c), Buchanan, Bronze, Kumagai, Gunnarsdottir, Majri, Marozsan, Cascarino, Le Sommer. Substitutes: Gallardo (GK), Talaslahti (GK), Bacha, Henry, van der Sanden (for Cascarino), Carpenter, Greenwood (for Le Sommer), Cayman, Taylor (for Marozsan), Malard (for Majri).

Scorers: Le Sommer 25, Kumagai 43, Gunnarsdottir 88.

Referee: Esther Staubli (SUI).

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