Paris take Clasico honours
Mevlut Erding and Guillaume Hoarau both found their scoring form in a sensational first 20 minutes to set Paris up for a 2-1 win over a Marseille side who struggled to get back into the match despite Lucho Gonzalez’s pulling one back.
After conceding their biggest defeat ever in this fixture, 3-0 last season, as well as losing out to the Ligue 1 champions in the Trophée des Champions in this campaign, PSG concocted the perfect reply with a rampant first 20 minutes to pave the way for a deserved 2-1 win in Sunday night’s Clasico.
With Marseille having romped to a record-breaking 7-0 away win over MSK Zilina in the Champions League in mid-week, many would have tipped the champions to be causing all the problems in the capital, but in fact the shoe was on the other foot as Paris got off to the better start.
PSG come out swinging
Ludovic Giuly was the first to test Steve Mandanda in the OM goal with a fierce 20-metre drive as early as the third minute, and the OM captain’s struggling to judge the bounce of the ball gave an indication of what was to come.
PSG’s Brazilian danger man Nene was everywhere for the home side and was instrumental in the revival of the scoring form of both of Antoine Kombouaré’s star strikers - Mevlut Erding and Guillaume Hoarau - who did the damage up front.
Nene sets up Erding...
After Mandanda failed to hold onto Nene’s fierce drive from the corner of the area, Erding somehow managed to poke the ball out from under him to notch the opener - just his third of the season (9’).
Nene was at it again ten minutes later as the hosts continued to dominate their illustrious visitors, his sublime chipped through-ball for Hoarau eliminating six OM defenders for the France striker to finish with a classy toe-poke that nutmegged the hapless Mandanda (19’).
Lucho Gonzalez stood out for OM as Didier Deschamps’ men struggled to find a balance between attack and defence that could break down the solidly in-place PSG rearguard, and it was the Argentine who pulled one back with a close-range finish after Apoula Edel could only parry André-Pierre Gignac’s fierce shot from a tight angle (22’).
Search for a solution
Deschamps tried desperately to adapt his tactics to the resolute Parisian performance, starting with a 4-3-3 formation before changing to a 4-2-3-1 and finally a 4-4-2 but his tinkering didn’t pay off even though OM came agonisingly close to notching an equaliser in injury time.
Luckily for the home fans, however, the excellent Edel wasn’t to be beaten again and produced an imperious save to deny André Ayew’s thumping close-range volley from a Brandao flick-on (90’+2).
Paris into the top three
The win sees PSG leapfrog their arch-rivals - who could have pipped Brest to top spot with a win - into third place on the table. Marseille are now fourth with their postponed match against second-placed Rennes still in hand.