It was a daunting week for the French and European champions, with two games against top teams in D1 Féminine on either side of a trip to Amsterdam for a mid-week Champions League match. But les Fenottes came through with flying colors, beating all three opponents and conceding just one goal over the week. The final victory in the series was a 3-0 win over Bordeaux on Sunday, ensuring that Lyon remain on top of the D1F table.
Ajax may be “stronger than grease” but they weren’t stronger than Lyon on Wednesday as OL Féminin picked up a 4-0 win in Amsterdam in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16. The titleholders now have one foot in the quarterfinals after goals from four different players carried les Fenottes to a comfortable victory.
Les Fenottes kicked off a critical week for their title defenses with an important 2-1 win over a dangerous Montpellier team. Montpellier managed to end OL’s run of clean sheets, but couldn’t keep Lyon from maintaining a perfect 6-0 record in D1 Féminine.
We ask just one thing from international friendlies: No injuries. But you can’t always get what you want, and Amandine Henry’s early exit with a clavicle injury has cast a pall over the break for les Fenottes. But like Henry’s French teammates, we too will soldier on with a recap of big wins for les Bleues, frustration for England, and rising hopes for Canada and the Netherlands.
It wasn’t always pretty, but it’s the result that counts. Lyon picked up a 2-0 win away at Rodez on Sunday, as Saki Kumagai and Delphine Cascarino each recorded their first goals of the season. And with PSG only managing a draw at home against Lille, Lyon are alone in first place as the only D1 Féminine team with 5 wins from 5.
A 5-0 win for OL Féminin over Avaldsnes on Thursday secured the defending champs’ spot in the Champions League Round of 16. Lyon came into the match with a 2-0 advantage on aggregate after their win in Norway two weeks ago, and recorded goals from each of the front three to avoid any surprise early in the season’s biggest competition.
For a second there, Jess Fishlock may have thought she might get a chance to relax this offseason. She’s been bouncing back and forth between the Seattle Reign in the NWSL and Melbourne City in Australia’s W-League for a few years, and no one could have blamed her if this time around she wanted a few months to relax and recover after the NWSL season wrapped up.
Then Lyon came calling. Big club, meet tiny dragon.
It’s already been quite a week for the central midfielder. Since the club announced her arrival on loan on Monday, Fishlock has made it to Lyon, picked up her #24 jersey, met the French press, rediscovered the perils of driving a stick shift, and, oh yeah, hit the field with her new teammates. And with Coach Reynald Pedros announcing Wednesday that Fishlock could be ready for game action as soon as Sunday in Rodez, things are moving fast.
So where does the Seattle Reign star fit in with the European champs?