Just before Christmas, there is a first in this blog: a match report from a women’s game: PSG Ladies hosted ASJ Soyaux at Stade Charléty.
Both teams registered a win in their last game respectively, though for the hosts the series expanded to 5 unbeaten games in the league, while Soyaux had a rollercoaster ride: 2 heavy defeats against the big guns Montpellier and Lyon were followed by a draw and a win against Guingamp last week.
The discrepancy between the two sides today could not be bigger; in fact the gap between the top 3 teams, Montpellier, Olympique Lyon and PSG and the rest of the league is staggering, making the league almost redundant for those between places 4 and 9 at this stage of the season. The gap between top spot and bottom is an incredible 32 points at the halfway point of the season! This is an unsustainable level and surely needs to be addressed.
Before this background, the match was not as one-sided as was feared. Though PSG took control of the match from kick-off and duly scored after 13 minutes, Soyaux never gave up and made life for the hosts difficult. Time and again Paris tried to play through the channels and into the box but Soyaux smartly blocked those off. If PSG did get through they were wasteful. One shot on target went over the cross bar from 5 metres; had the ball had more power, it would still be airborne. It had not and flew into the arms of a ball girl behind the goal. An attempted diving header went wide or simply the final pass went astray.
On the other side of the pitch, Soyaux tried to get the most out of their chances, yet their aim was wider off the mark than that of the Parisian Ladies. Before half-time the visitors had PSG pushed back for more than one movement forward; unfortunately, they were not rewarded.
The second half was slightly different. Soyaux now clearly had an idea how to pin PSG back and for almost 20 minutes the Parisians could not muster more than a few counter attacks. Most of them were offside or their finishing was awful. Once Paris had a foot in the game again, their wastefulness became worrying. Within a quarter of an hour, PSG had 5 FIVE great chances but failed miserably to convert them. On the other side, Soyaux created chances but lacked likewise precision in passing and shooting.
At 1-0 after 90 minutes, the result was a disgrace for Paris. However, there were more than the adequate 2 minutes of additional time awarded by the referee and Paris made the most of it. Seriously, there was no reason to play an injury time THAT long. Paris made the most of it and scored two more. Yet, there is a bitter aftertaste as the time played was inappropriate to say the least.
At 1-0 Soyaux will regret not having scored a goal; it would have been a result for them. They did not deserve being beaten 3-0 by a PSG side that were wasteful with their chances and mindless about the visitor’s offside trap which worked well. Any team will have figured them out quicker than Soyaux and scored. Their movement forward was excellent throughout but it was the final pass that let them down; in the end they got 2 goals as a christmas present from the referee.