Honours even in "Classique" encounter
PSG and Marseille play out a 1-1 draw at Parc Des Princes as Cisse and Luyindula net early goals
Sunday, 2 September, 2007
Parc Des Princes
The first "Classique" of 2007-08 ended in a draw - and both sides, although Marseille in particular, will be probably happy at picking up a point after a run of poor recent results.
It wasn't a bad game but supporters might have expected an even better encounter after witnessing two early goals, delightful football and a host of terrific chances before the break. The game petered out after half-time as hosts and visitors both seemed more intent on retaining their point than seeking a winner.
It was a lively start and Peguy Luyindula nearly opened the scoring for PSG against his former club when he got on the end of a Jerome Rothen free-kick. Marseille's Steve Mandanda showed why he's France's U21 goalkeeper by acrobatically tipping Luyindula's header over the bar.
Marseille took the lead a couple of minutes later. It will go down as a goalkeeping error by Mickael Landreau because he could only push a Djibril Cisse header straight back into the striker's path and the France international made no mistake with his second effort from close range.
France international Rothen was the home side's most influential player by supply a series of direct and dangerous free-kicks throughout the game. He set up PSG's equaliser in the 20th minute when he delivered an excellent ball and Luyindula, this time totally unmarked, directed his header beyond Mandanda..
Julien Rodriguez nearly put the visitors back into the lead before half-time but Landreau made an excellent save from the defender's header. Shortly afterwards Mandanda made a rare error when he fumbled Rothen's cross but Pierre-Alain Frau blasted his volley over the bar.
In the second-half PSG showed more attacking intent but chances were rarer. The best opportunity came when Rothen yet again set up his team-mates from the left, Frau moving the ball on to Didier Digard only for the France U21 international midfielder's shot to be brilliantly saved by Mandanda.
Marseille had a rare chance to take the points when Samir Nasri bent a free-kick round the wall and Landreau pushed the ball back into play rather than away for a corner. Marseille substitute Benoit Cheyrou was quickest to follow up but he blasted over with his favoured left foot when it seemed easier to score. Thereafter the pace of the game slowed and it was no surprise to see the sides earn a point each.
PSG are unbeaten in four matches, although three of those games have been draws so they remain stuck in mid-table. This was a better performance from Marseille than they produced in midweek when losing 2-0 at home to Nice but fans will be dismayed to see the team trailing Ligue 1 leaders Nancy by nine points.