Les Parisiennes not rewarded for their efforts at Fleury
The Paris Saint-Germain Women's team and their counterparts from FC Fleury 91 couldn't be separated (1-1) on Friday 2 February at the Stade Robert Bobin, on Matchday 14 of D1 Arkema. A look back on the encounter!
Three days after qualifying for the quarter-finals of the UEFA Women's Champions League at Bayern Munich (2-2), Les Parisiennes returned to league action with another away match, this time against FC Fleury 91. For Les Rouge et Bleu, the objective was to pick up a fifth consecutive victory in D1 Arkema. However, against the 6th-placed team in the league, the task was undoubtedly going to be challenging for the club from the capital.
And to take on this challenge, Jocelyn Prêcheur fielded a central defensive pairing of Elisa De Almeida and Clare Hunt in front of Katarzyna Kiedrzynek in goal. On the flanks, Tara Elimbi Gilbert played on the left, while Thiniba Samoura was deployed on the right. In midfield, Korbin Albert took up her position in front of the defence, accompanied by Jackie Groenen and captain Grace Geyoro. In attack, Laurina Fazer and Amalie Vangsgaard supported Marie-Antoinette Katoto, who led the line.
The first chance of the match fell to the visitors, with Marie-Antoinette Katoto managing to cross from the right wing to find Amalie Vangsgaard on the penalty spot. But the Danish forward saw her first-time shot blocked by the opposing goalkeeper (12'). After a first quarter of an hour dominated by Les Parisiennes, it was Fabrice Abriel's side who went close with an attempt from Ewelina Kamczyk, ultimately blocked by a vigilant Thiniba Samoura (17'). However, the young Parisian found herself powerless to stop Dominika Grabowska two minutes later, as she opened the scoring with a left-footed shot from inside the box (1-0, 19').
Katoto then sparked a revolt for Les Rouge et Bleu, immediately responding after some good play by Tara Elimibi Gilbert, forcing Chloé N'Gazi into action (21'). Just before the half-hour mark, the Paris Saint-Germain centre-forward once again broke through the Fleury defence after a good pass from Korbin Albert, but she once again found herself thwarted by the opposition's goalkeeper (29'). Before the end of the first half, Jackie Groenen regained possession very high up the pitch and took a shot, but couldn't beat the in-form Chloé N'Gazi (40'). At half-time, the club from the capital was trailing by one goal against a Fleury team that had been more effective in both penalty areas.
For the second half, Jocelyn Prêcheur brought on Sakina Karchaoui and Tabitha Chawinga to replace Korbin Albert and Laurina Fazer. Les Rouge et Bleu then took control of the opposition's half of the pitch to try to equalise. Unfortunately, two further attempts by Katoto (56') and Clare Hunt (57') still couldn't find the back of the net. It took until the hour mark for Les Parisiennes to see their perseverance rewarded, with Karchaoui equalising with her left foot following a well-executed one-two with substitute Ramona Bachmann (1-1, 61').
Full of confidence, the players from the capital continued to push for a second goal, but Grace Geyoro's header missed the target (67'). As the minutes passed, the visitors' dominance increased at the Stade Robert Bobin, but Fleury remained alert to avoid being caught on the counter-attack. Already involved in her side's first goal, Bachmann came close to surprising the opposition's goalkeeper with a powerful shot from outside the penalty area (85'). A few moments later, Chawinga connected with a cross from Jade Le Guilly, but N'Gazi stopped the effort with her fingertips (87')! Despite clear dominance, Paris couldn't break through the defence and ended up sharing the points (1-1).
Les Parisiennes will now be able to rest before travelling again at the end of next week, with a trip to the Rhône to take on Olympique Lyonnais on Matchday 15 of D1 Arkema. A clash against the current leaders, which will take place on Sunday 11 February at the Groupama Stadium, with kick-off scheduled for 21:00.