Division 1 Feminine title race nearly over by Match Day 4 ?

The Division Feminine title race might be over for another year after Match day 4…. Well it is 90% likely to be over already.

Lyon hammered PSG by five goals to nil on Sunday, a result that will not surprise anyone considering PSG were so much behind with injuries and other problems in preparation for the big game.

As the tie breaker in case of team tied with points in the head to head record, PSG that are five points behind OL already would need to gain six points on them .Alternatively they can gain five points and beat OL by six goals but we know that kind of score line will never happen unless Lyon get three or four players sent off in a game. With a victory worth four points and a defeat worth one point, PSG would effectively need to see OL lose two games out of the next 18.

Let’s have a look at Lyon’s record in their last nine winning title seasons:

14/15 W22

13/14 W21 L1

12/13 W22

11/12 W19 D3

10/11 W22

09/10 W18 D2 L2

08/09 W21 D1

07/08 W18 D4

06/07 W20 D1 L1

It says 183 wins four defeats and 11 draws in the last nine seasons.

They have to play Juvisy and Montpellier home and away plus PSG away. OL performance level is so high and consistent that seeing them loose two League games would need exceptional performance from the opposition plus a very below par finishing on the day from them.

As we can see in the last five seasons, it has happened only once with PSG coming back from Stade Gerland with a 1-0 win. A feat that they managed to repeat in last season’s Champions League last 16 games.

Juvisy’s challenge seem to have faded away a bit in recent seasons and considering there are working under the semi-professional system with players training in the evening after work, it is hard to be competitive for them.

Montpellier have been improving slowly under coach Jean-Louis Saez. It is his third season in charge and has been making small steps every summer with intelligent recruitment to build up an exciting attacking side. But being at competitive level to be close to OL does take a lot of time and money.

PSG are in their fourth season with Farid Benstiti and the return on investment has been quite poor with no title and only a Champions League final to show for. They do not seem to have found a real team identity throughout the years and there is a recurrent injury problem.

This year their problems have compounded with recruitment being delayed due to internal problems with the direction and the market window being not open for the players originally planned as target. They ended up with a late recruitment surge that have left them short of preparation for the games against Montpellier and Lyon.

One very interesting explanation given by Farid Benstiti is when the clubs had the pre-season scheduling meeting with the FFF, the big names were asked to be planned around November for the 1st half of the season and they ended up being put in September.

So late players’ arrival plus injuries too many players meant PSG were totally out of sync against Lyon with no defenders available on the bench. That result was not a surprise at all. A consistent team with technical continuity battering a team still looking for their identity returned a 5-0 win.

So the only hope to have an interesting D1 feminine title race rest on the shoulders of outsiders Montpellier and Juvisy. Lyon v Juvisy will be played on Match day 8 on the first of November while Montpellier v Lyon will be played on Match day 11 on the 6th of December.

If Lyon win those two games they will be 98% guaranteed to win the League.


Published by Sylvain

women's football fan since 1998

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