Women’s Champions League : Lyon flying, Montpellier in a fix

Ada Hegerberg v Medyk Konin

The first legs of the round of 32 were a good news/bad news situation for the French teams. Lyon, as predicted, won 5-0 away at Medyk Konin, in a characteristic walkover where they had almost all of the ball, and 19 shots to 1. Montpellier, on the other hand, failed to make their dominance at the Mosson count, losing to a Linda Sembrant own-goal in the second half.

The second leg in Lyon will therefore be the usual formality, but Montpellier’s trip to Russia will be much more interesting as the French team attempt to recover after that disappointment. Those looking for both teams to score tips might also look at Chelsea’s trip to Bayern Munich after the London side won 1-0 at home.

For Lyon, Ada Hegerberg notched a hat-trick, Wendie Renard scored a towering header from a cornerTM, and Eugenie Le Sommer got one as well. On the assists front, Camille Abily set up her captain, Amel Majri deployed at leftback got the other two in the first half, and new signing Shanice van de Sanden got the two in the second half from the right wing. Konin were streaming the game on Youtube but perhaps understandably that fell over shortly after Renard’s goal with the home side 3-0 down before half time (the recording is still available on their channel, which shows the first three goals).

OL followed this up with a 2-0 win over Bordeaux at the weekend, featuring this screamer from Kheira Hamrouai as Reynald Pedros gave some of his stars a rest, to remain top of the table with five wins out of five.

Dzsenifer Marozsan is out for a week after picking up a facial fracture in the Bordeaux match but Reynald Pedros still has a wealth of talent to call on, and this looks set to be another shut-out for the Champions, although there is always the chance that goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi could end up in midfield again.

In Montpellier, it was a massively frustrating evening as the home side got off 32 shots to 5, as Zvezda dug in with a fine performance from goalkeeper Irina Zvarych. She, ironically, spent the first half of 2015 at Montpellier as injury cover, and seemed very at home. A lack of forward thrust from the visitors (none of whose shots were on target) was perhaps to be expected as their plan was clearly to prioritise defending, but they now find themselves taking an unexpected lead into the home leg, where they may be more expansive.

Montpellier’s weekend game was a 6-0 away tonking of Rodez, which seemed much more like it, and which may have blown away some cobwebs before the next leg. All the key players are available for the trip to Russia, where the game will be played at Lokomotiv Moscow’s stadium. They will be hoping that Zvezda open up a little, but need to concentrate on quality over quantity on the shots front to overcome that unexpected deficit, in what could otherwise be another frustrating evening and a missed opportunity.

Les Bleues

After a positive start for Corinne Diacre in charge of Les Bleues with wins over Chile (1-0) and Spain (3-1) in September, the squad list has been announced for their next two matches, against England and Ghana, on 20 and 23 October respectively (both on CStar in France).

This features five OL players, three from Montpellier, and four from PSG, but Diacre is continuing to try out a range of options in the run-up to France 2019. The squad therefore includes Camille Catala, Ines Jaurena and Estelle Cascarino from Paris FC (aka what we’re calling Juvisy now), but also Charlotte Lorgere and Faustine Robert from Guingamp, Hawa Cissokho and Vivi Asseyi from OM, and Elisa Launay and Ouleymata Sarr from Lille as well as the two overseas stalwarts Elise Bussaglia (Barcelona) and Amandine Henry (Portland Thorns).

With France’s only games in the run-up to the World Cup being friendlies. picking quality opposition will be important, and the England game in particular could be very instructive after the disappointment of les Bleues’ quarter final exit in the Euros in the summer.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *