July 31, 2021

PSG players, champions of France, come out of the shadow of Lyon

The suspense was minimal, but the performance is colossal: PSG ended fourteen years of hegemony of Olympique Lyonnais over the first women’s football division, Friday, June 4, by winning the title after their victory against Dijon (3 -0) at the 22e and final day.

This coronation, the first in the history of the club, comes after years of futile struggles, where the Parisiennes, although jostling the Lyonnaises, had never succeeded in overthrowing them. This time, the players of Olivier Echouafni did not stumble to win the trophy without contest thanks to the advantage taken over Lyon during the direct confrontations (1-0 victory in the first leg on November 30, 2020, draw 0- 0 upon return on May 30). ” The click was the first leg at the Parc des Princes, when we beat them ”, said coach Olivier Echouafni at the microphone of Canal + after the match.

« Finally ! It’s true that we’ve had a lot of disappointments in recent years, but today it’s up to us. I am very happy, it is deserved », Exulted the Parisian captain Irene Paredes, on the same broadcaster. The defender, at the club for four years, scored the second goal that completely freed the Parisiennes.

“We waited a long time for this trophy, it’s very special”, also recognized the president of PSG Nasser Al-Khelaïfi.

To secure the title of champion, the Parisiennes – one point ahead of the Lyonnaises at kickoff – needed to secure victory against Dijon, the mid-table team. This was done without fear, like the season when PSG, like OL, once again crushed the competition: the players of the capital scored on average nearly four goals per game, and have conceded barely four over the 22 days. On Friday, eight minutes were enough for them to take the advantage, with a penalty from Sara Däbritz. Lyon’s 8-0 victory over Fleury at the same time didn’t change anything.

This season, the Parisiennes have gained in consistency, finishing the championship unbeaten for the first time in their history and having left, in addition to the draw against Lyon, only two other points on the way, against Bordeaux, third in the championship (0 -0 in the first leg).

“Best game background”

« This year, I found that Paris had a better playing field than Lyon. The two teams have strong individualities but the mayonnaise took better at PSG “, Estimates Nonna Debonne, former Parisian (2004-2014) now opponent to Issy Paris.

With the arrival of the Qataris at its head in 2012, the capital club first tried to catch up with Lyon with the arrival of many foreign players, such as the American Lindsey Horan in 2012, the German Anja Mittag and Brazilian Cristiane in 2015, her compatriot Formiga in 2017. But the teams formed have long had difficulties to compete collectively with the Rhone, whose strong backbone has grown internally.

The situation has changed with the emergence of pure products of the Parisian training, like the international strikers Marie-Antoinette Katoto, 21 goals in the league this season or Kadidiatou Diani, 13 goals, 9 assists, both named for the award for best player in D1. What finally cross the course of the first place, after eight second places since 2011.

« There is such a breeding ground in the Paris region that it is a good idea to refocus around », Explains Candice Prevost, former Parisian player (2003-2012), now in charge of operations at the PSG Foundation. She hopes that this title will be able to ease Parisians even more: ” A championship is really not trivial, without wanting to minimize the victories in the Coupe de France in 2010 and 2018. It sends a strong message. »

End of cycle

On the national scene, the domination is total since the Parisiennes also eliminated the Lyonnaises in the Champions League during the quarter-finals, while the “Fenottes”, the nickname of the Rhone, were five times title holders. The two teams were unable to fight for the Coupe de France, canceled this season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read also Women’s Football Champions League: Paris overthrows Lyon and ends its European domination

For the first time since 2006, the Lyonnaises therefore concluded a white season, partly due to the absence of the Norwegian Ballon d’Or Ada Hegerberg and defender Griedge Mbock. This failure cost his job to coach Jean-Luc Vasseur, replaced before the end of his contract by the emblematic Fenotte Sonia Bompastor.

PSG midfielder Sandy Baltimore resists Lyonnaise Wendie Renard on May 30.

For the Parisians, however, the season is not perfect since the European adventure stopped in the next round against Barcelona, ​​who then won the competition.

Above all, PSG is now coming to the end of the cycle. Several key players are on the start, such as goalkeeper Christiane Endler (to Lyon), defender and captain Irene Paredes (Barcelona), midfielder Perle Morroni (Lyon), and Formiga who could return to Brazil. Coach Olivier Echouafni, at the club since 2018, may also have experienced his last match on the bench with the Rouge et Bleu, according to the Parisian.

The club will therefore have to rebuild, facing revenge Lyonnaises in France, and while European competition is increasingly fierce. Parisiennes now have at least one certainty: they can win.