Marseille march up to second with Clasico win
By D. Crossan
Gabriel Heinze and André Ayew scored for Marseille as Didier Deschamps’ side beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in the Clasico to climb to second in the table. OM remain four points behind leaders Lille.
It was still a five-way title race coming into Week 28 but PSG are now ten points off top spot after a third straight Ligue 1 game without a maximum haul. OM have won six league games out of their last seven, the one blot on their copybook being the last-gasp loss to Lille in Week 26, the last time OM ran out at the Stade Vélodrome.
Heinze means goal
Ex-PSG star Heinze made Grégory Coupet’s return to the Paris Saint-Germain goal an unhappy one with a majestic free kick in the 16th minute. Veteran Coupet was preferred to Apoula Edel after the Cameroon-born Armenian international made a costly error in midweek as PSG crashed out of the Europa League to Benfica. But the former Lyon goalkeeper was reduced to a helpless onlooker as Heinze took aim from a central position some 30 metres from goal, lifted the ball over the wall and into the bottom corner of the net.
PSG equalised on 27 minutes after the Marseille defence failed to clear their lines. Christophe Jallet crossed from the right-edge of the box, Nene took the ball down beautifully on his chest and was unlucky to see his left-footed diagonal effort rebound off the post. Fortunately for the visitors Clément Chantôme was the fastest to react and the midfielder slid the ball home through the legs of Heinze, who was patrolling the goal line.
Ayew nets at Stade Vélodrome... at last!
OM just about deserved to go in at half-time in front and André Ayew popped up with a rare headed goal ten minutes prior to the break, the Ghanaian connecting with a fine André-Pierre Gignac cross after getting himself in between PSG defenders Jallet and Sylvain Armand. It was Ayew’s seventh Ligue 1 goal of the campaign but – surprisingly - his first at the Stade Vélodrome
Nene should have levelled before the change of ends after a slip by Souleymane Diawara, the Marseille central defender. The Senegalese international gave the ball away to Nene, who was clean through, but the forward steered the ball wide of the target, seemingly in two minds as to whether to cross or shoot.
Ayew threatened on the resumption with a weaving run which culminated with a decent attempt at goal which was beaten away by Coupet, although the early minutes of the second period were characterised by the sides cancelling each other out with space at a premium.
PSG changes but few chances
Lucho Gonzalez replaced Mathieu Valbuena for OM midway through the half with Antoine Kombouaré, the PSG coach, also shuffling his pack, bringing on attackers Mevlut Erding and Jean-Christophe Bahebeck as he attempted to salvage something from the game.
Lucho and Loïc Rémy both went close to extending the OM lead and PSG struggled to create clear-cut openings. The closest they came in the closing stages was Ludovic Giuly flashing one wide as the game entered the final ten minutes.
PSG are fifth in the table and must get back to winning ways when they host Lorient in Week 29. OM resume after the international break with the long trip north to Lens.