Marseille claim classico to go second
Marseille are up to second in Ligue 1 after they emerged victorious over a ten-man Paris Saint-Germain in the 'classico' on Sunday.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Paris Saint-Germain / Olympique de Marseille : 1 - 3
Boudewijn Zenden opened the scoring at the Parc des Princes, but Ludovic Giuly equalised four minutes before the break for PSG, who could have gone top with victory.
The game slipped away from the club from the capital on 52 minutes, however, when Zoumana Camara was dismissed for a clumsy challenge on Zenden as the Dutchman bore down on goal.
From the resulting free-kick, Mickaël Landreau saved Zenden's effort only for the ball to ricochet off the unwitting Bakari Koné and into the net before former PSG midfielder Lorik Cana rubbed salt ino the wounds of his old club with a third to reignite Marseille's title challenge.
The sense of anticipation around the most significant meeting between France's two biggest clubs in recent memory proved justified as the pair both made brisk openings, though it was not always easy to see the play through the smoke of the flares set off by the capacity crowd.
Determined to make up for their 4-2 defeat to PSG in Week 10, the visitors bristled into challenges while Brandao did exactly what he was bought for as he hustled and harried the PSG rearguard.
The Brazilian can look awkward and cumbersome at times, but there was more than a hint of his South American heritage as he created the opening for Zenden to strike on 25 minutes.
The ex-Shakhtar Donetsk forward brought down a high ball and held off Camara before executing a neat backheel into Zenden's path - the ex-Barcelona midfielder then advanced before drilling a low shot past Landreau.
With leading scorer Guillaume Hoarau well shackled by Vitorino Hilton and Renato Civelli, PSG had to look for other means of hurting their opponents, and it was the diminutive Giuly - the antithesis of his giant strike partner - who pulled them level with a cool finish four minutes before the break.
The game turned with the second half just seven minutes old when Brandao flicked on a long ball, and Camara - surprised by the pace of Zenden's darting forward run - sent the Marseille midfielder crashing to the turf inches outside the area.
With the PSG defender heading to the dressing-room, Zenden fired goalwards. Landreau produced an excellent stop, but could only parry the ball onto Koné's thigh to gift the Ivorian the easiest of his eight goals this season.
If the home side's spirit was not already broken, it was soon afterwards.
Cana, once worshipped for his combative displays at the heart of the PSG midfield, firing home from outside the box to give the visitors a fourth victory in a six-game unbeaten run.