Clasico! Paris topples Marseille

Ligue 1 Conforama


Goals abounded as PSG handed Marseille its first league defeat of the season, outscoring their arch-rivals four goals to two and denying them top spot on the table in a thrilling 'clasico' at the Stade Vélodrome on Sunday night.

Sunday October 26, 2008

 Olympique de Marseille / Paris Saint-Germain : 2 - 4


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Marseille would have taken top spot in the league with a win, and looked set to do so as they went into the break 2-1 up in this high quality and hotly contested match.

Paris, back to full strength after Paul Le Guen rested most of the first tema in mid-week UEFA Cup action, had gone ahead in the 10th minute after having the better of the early exchanges. After a clever run into the box, promising young striker Guillaume Hoarau rose above Hilton and OM captain Lorik Cana to head Jérôme Rothen's corner into the back of the net.

But Marseille were handed a break by the Paris defence when Grégory Bourillon flicked on an OM cross that should have been a routine take for Mickael Landreau. The ball sailed past the PSG 'keeper to Senegal international Mamadou Niang, who headed down to even the score and notch his 4th of the season.

OM piled forward and scored again just before half time, with Mathieu Valbuena blasting home from close range after Landreau could only parry Bakary Koné's shot on the turn from the edge of the area.

Second half comeback

Paris came out firing and it took just eight minutes for their increased pressure and smooth passing to pay off. Benin international Stéphane Sessegnon and Fabrice Pancrate combined to set up Pegguy Luyindula finished coolly with a chipped shot from the edge of the area to take the match to 2-2.

With the scores locked, both sides went in for the kill, with OM creating the bulk of the chances before Paris took a shock lead in the 76th minute when Rothen's long-distance free kick beat everyone, including Steve Mandanda in the OM goal, to take the score to 2-3.

Hoarau made it 2-4 just 6 minutes later when he capped an excellent performance with his second of the night, this time set up by the resurgent Luyindula. It was the giant young striker's 6th of the season, which puts him level with Lyon's Karim Benzema at the top of the scorer's charts.

PSG held out for the rest of the match to claim an historic 'clasico' victory - the first time PSG has scored four goals at the Stade Vélodrome in any competition - and climb to 6th place on the league table, just two points behind Marseille in second and four points behind leaders Lyon.

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