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 pinpoint 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.
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.
Photo: @OL Feminin by Damien LG