Paris Saint-Germain overcame fierce rivals Marseille 2-1 in ‘Le Classique’ on Sunday night to move within one win of the Ligue 1 title.
Neymar opened the scoring in the 12th minute diverting Marco Verratti’s teasing ball past Pau Lopez.
Marseille took advantage of a Gianluigi Donnarumma error and Duje Caleta-Car tapped home the equaliser on the half hour.
PSG were awarded a penalty for a handball by Gerson on the stroke of half time and Kylian Mbappé made no mistake to notch his 21st goal of the season.
The second half failed to live up to the first, with Marseille controlling possession in deep areas and PSG happy to hit Jorge Sampaoli’s men on the counter.
PSG were given a scare five-minutes from time when Willaim Saliba turned home Dimitri Payet’s free-kick but VAR overturned the goal for offside.
Not a ‘classique’ for the ages but one that was key for a PSG side looking to wrap up the title as quickly as possible.
The result sees PSG move 15 points ahead of second-placed Marseille with six games to play and the Parisians could seal the title if they beat Angers on Wednesday and Jorge Sampaoli’s men fail to beat Nantes.
TALKING POINT – DONNARUMMA’S WORRYING FORM
PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma is in the midst of some worrying form and was again at fault for Marseille’s goal as he failed to connect with a punch from a corner. For former AC Milan ‘keeper has endured a diffcult few weeks with his blunder against Real Madrid that set the tone for PSG’s collapse and eventual exit from the Champions League, followed by Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup when Donnarumma was beaten from range in the final minute against North Macedonia. It’s a far cry from last summer when he was named the player of the tournament at Euro 2020 as the Azzurri lifted the trophy but maybe it is time for Pochettino to take the 23-year-old out of the firing line and give Keylor Navas a run between the sticks.
MAN OF THE MATCH – NEYMAR
Since coming in for some fierce criticism after the Champions League exit to Real Madrid, Neymar has delivered some of his best football of the season, chipping in with six goals in his last four outings. The Brazilian’s all-round game has improved with excellent link-up play and passing as well as providing much more of an attacking threat. Sadly for PSG, his upturn in form has come at the wrong time but there will be hope that the former Barcelona man can have a strong and injury-free campaign next season.
Paris Saint-Germain: Donnarumma 4, Hakimi 5, Kimpembe 6, Marquinhos 6, Mendes 6, Verratti 6, Danilo 6, Gueye 6, Messi 7, Neymar 8, Mbappé 7. Subs: Ramos n/a, Wijnaldum n/a, Icardi n/a.
Marseille: Lopez 6, Rongier 6, Saliba 6, Caleta-Car 6, Luan Peres 6, Gerson 7, Kamara 7, Guendouzi 6, Gueye 7, Under 5, Payet 6. Subs: Harit 6, Lirola 5, Dieng n/a, Bakambu n/a.
12′ GOAL! PSG 1-0 MARSEILLE (NEYMAR): Verratti plays a beautiful pass over the top of the Marseille defence and Neymar latches onto it and steers the ball past Lopez to break the deadlock.
31′ GOAL! PSG 1-1 MARSEILLE (CALETA-CAR): Poor goalkeeping from Donnarumma who can’t clear a corner, Caleta-Car taps home the rebound from close range. 1-1 in Le Classique
45′ GOAL! PSG 2-1 MARSEILLE (MBAPPÉ): Mbappé fires home the penalty and puts PSG in front on the stroke of half time