It seemed like it would never end but, finally, Lyon’s run of domestic invincibility in France was brought to a conclusion over the weekend. FIFA.com looks at that remarkable result, plus the latest news from Spain and Italy, and Nadine Angerer surprisingly sitting out Brisbane Roar’s stunning loss to their arch-rivals.
*France: Four years of unbroken supremacy ends *It has taken nearly four years and 87 matches, but seven-time defending French champions Lyon finally suffered a league defeat. The rapidly improving Paris Saint-Germain proved they are capable of challenging Lyon’s lengthy domestic hegemony with a stunning 1-0 away victory. The decisive moment of the match was a lone strike from France international and former Lyon star Laura Georges moments before half-time. The hosts missed numerous chances, while PSG goalkeeper Karima Benameur was in outstanding form as the capital club moved within three points of their rivals. The chasing pack also took maximum toll, with third-placed Montpellier 2-0 victors over Soyaux. Fourth-placed Juvisy – the last club other than Lyon to win the league title - edged out Saint Etienne 2-1 thanks to a late Gaetane Thiney winner, but remain ten points off the leaders.
*Top three: Lyon (53 points), PSG (50), Montpellier (47) *
*Australia: New frontrunners as Angerer rests up *Nadine Angerer could only watch on helplessly as her Brisbane Roar side crashed to a club record 4-0 defeat against arch-rivals Sydney FC. The newly-crowned FIFA Women’s Player of the Year arrived back in Australia on Thursday, but was surprisingly left on the bench by coach Belinda Wilson in one of the annual highlights of the W-League fixture list. English striker Jodie Taylor led the way scoring a double as the Sky Blues moved top on goal difference ahead of Melbourne Victory, who conceded a costly late equaliser in their 1-1 draw at Western Sydney Wanderers. With three rounds remaining, the semi-final line-up is close to being finalised after fourth-placed Canberra United eased past Adelaide United with three unanswered goals.
*Top three: Sydney FC, Melbourne Victory (both 20), Brisbane Roar (16) *
*Spain: Champs Barcelona stumble *Leaders Barcelona suffered a rare hiccup in their title defence with only a last-minute equaliser from Miriam Dieguez earning the Catalan club a 2-2 draw to deny mid-table Real Sociedad one of the upsets of the season. Barcelona’s lead, however, is still a healthy six-points despite Athletic Bilbao’s one-sided 5-0 win over the visiting Granada. Third-placed Valencia staved off the challenge of in-form Atletico Madrid thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 home victory over Huelva.
*Top three: Barcelona (45), Athletic Bilbao (39), Valencia (37) *
*Italy: Holders return to form *
Champions Torres returned to winning ways after a crucial loss to Brescia, which allowed their opponents to move top. The Sardinian club were 5-1 home victors over Firenze with the irrepressible Patrizia Panico bagging yet another treble for the Rossoblu. Brescia, however, took full advantage of the postponed match between Tavagnacco and Perugia to claim sole control of top spot. Brescia were comfortable 4-1 winners at Napoli, while Tavagnacco can return to the summit when they complete their catch-up fixture.
Top three: Brescia (45), Torres (43), Tavagnacco (42)