Stubborn OM keep PSG at bay
Olympique de Marseille held Paris Saint-Germain to a goalless draw in Sunday's Classique at the Parc des Princes to give new coach, Rudi Garcia, a positive start.
Paris Saint-Germain 0-0 Olympique de Marseille
Having only been appointed on Thursday and having had just two training sessions in which to prepare his squad, Garcia opted to gift possession to the hosts, who enjoyed over 80% of the ball in the opening ten minutes.
However, with a superb Jorge Rolando in a back three, OM held their hosts at arm's length comfortably enough. Visiting goalkeeper Yohann Pelé had little to do other than collect overhit through balls and clear backpasses, though he was fortunate to see Edinson Cavani head an Angel Di Maria free-kick over the crossbar just after the half-hour mark (34').
The Parc des Princes crowd, so boisterous before kick-off, had little to shout about until Cavani tumbled in the penalty area with Rolando in attendance, but referee Clément Turpin waved away appeals for a spot-kick (43').
It was not until after the half-time introduction of Zinédine Machach that OM first threatened. The substitute started the move that then saw Hénri Bedimo find Florian Thauvin - his cross was intended for Bafétimbi Gomis, but Thiago Silva's impeccably-timed challenge denied the in-form striker a clear sight of goal (48').
A Di Maria shot hit the side-netting as Paris struggled to pierce their opponent's stubborn rearguard (67'), and Cavani headed over (69') before the forward, who had nine league goals in eight appearances at kick-off, missed his team's best opportunity.
Maxwell had just shot narrowly wide (81') when Cavani was picked out by Blaise Matuidi - the former SSC Napoli striker failed to hit the target, however, when everyone inside the Parc expected the net to bulge (82').
THE PLAYER: Jorge Rolando
A surprise inclusion in the OM starting line-up, the centre-back was heroic.
THE STAT: 13
PSG are unbeaten in their last 13 matches against OM, but Sunday's draw was only the second stalemate in that streak.