Record win for OM at PSG
Marseille enjoyed their biggest ever win at the Parc des Princes over Paris Saint-Germain. PSG gave as good as they got in the first half but OM ran out comfortable 3-0 winners with goals from France squad members Hatem Ben Arfa and Benoît Cheyrou sandwiching a Lucho Gonzalez strike. OM move up to fourth.
Paris Saint-Germain / Olympique de Marseille : 0 - 3
Didier Deschamps’ Marseille could not be confident of a fifth straight win in all competitions during an opening 45 minutes in which PSG had more chances. OM only had two attacks of note in the opening period and proved themselves ruthlessly clinical by scoring with one and hitting the post with the other.
Brilliant Ben Arfa
Ben Arfa is a player transformed since the winter break, earning himself a France recall from Raymond Domenech, and it was the enfant terrible of French football who gave OM the lead on 15 minutes with a terrific strike. Laurent Bonnart’s free kick was flicked on by Cheyrou and deflected off PSG defender Zoumana Camara before finding its way to Ben Arfa, who cut inside Marcos Ceara and planted a low shot past Apoula Edel with his weaker right foot.
PSG had their opportunities to equalise. Turkish international striker Mevlut Erding volleyed over after a knockdown from his forward partner Guillaume Hoarau. The latter forced a fine stop from Steve Mandanda with a towering header and then Erding skewed a left-footed effort wide after rounding the OM goalkeeper.
OM pick up pace
Yet just before the break Marseille almost scored a second. Again it was a deep Bonnart free kick causing the problems. Ex-PSG defender Gabriel Heinze connected powerfully and Edel was relieved to see the header hit the post.
Marseille grew in stature in the second period. Cheyrou – hoping to make his international debut against Spain on Wednesday – had a long free kick turned around the post by Edel. The Cameroon-born Armenian international goalkeeper was at fault for OM’s second goal ten minutes into the half. Edel came to meet a Heinze left-wing cross and succeeded only in spilling it into the feet of Lucho Gonzalez and the Argentinean playmaker sidefooted home.
Cheyrou nutmegs Armand and scores
A Bonnart long ball resulted in OM’s third on 71 minutes. Ligue 1 top scorer Mamadou Niang – later denied a 15th of the season by a fine save from Edel – knocked the ball down to Cheyrou, who nutmegged Sylvain Armand before, just like Ben Arfa, finishing with his weaker right foot.
The gulf in class between the two sides was apparent but Erding was still desparate to mark his 100th Ligue 1 appearance with a consolation goal. Mandanda ensured that would not happen with two great saves from the striker.
OM are three points behind second placed Montpellier and leaders Bordeaux, having played one game fewer than the former and one game more than the latter. PSG’s challenge now is simply to finish in the top half of the table.