PSG show Marseille their place with 5-1 rout in French League
Paris Saint-Germaine outclassed Marseille in every aspect in what used to be the biggest game in French football.Updated: Feb 27, 2017 13:11 IST
Marseille players witnessed firsthand how big the gap is between them and the top sides of the French league as they slumped to a humiliating 5-1 loss to bitter rival Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday.
In a game that used to be the biggest in French football, host Marseille was outclassed in every aspect and was already trailing by two goals after 16 minutes. Marseille’s defensive frailties were constantly exposed afterward and the home side could have been handed a heavier loss.
Second-placed PSG remained within three points of leader Monaco, which won 2-1 at Guingamp on Saturday. Marseille sits seventh, lagging 23 points behind Monaco.
Known as “Le Classique,” the match between PSG and Marseille became popular during the 1990s when the arrival of prominent stars such as Rudi Voeller and George Weah in France ignited a strong rivalry. But Marseille, the only French team to win the Champions League back in 1993, has fallen well behind since PSG was taken over by Qatari investors in 2011. Since the club’s last victory in November 2011, Marseille has lost 12 and drawn two.
Marseille’s new owner Frank McCourt has pledged to spend 200 million euros (about $210 million) over the next four years to make the team competitive again, and the recent arrivals of Dimitri Payet and Patrice Evra had boosted fans’ hopes that their team would be able to compete with PSG.
But once again the defending champions were too strong and prevailed at the Velodrome stadium with goals from Marquinhos, Edinson Cavani, Lucas, Julian Draxler and Blaise Matuidi.
Combining fluidity and pressing throughout the first half, PSG was rewarded for its dominance with two early goals. The visitors broke the deadlock after six minutes when Thiago Silva headed a long free-kick from Thiago Silva across goal and Marquinhos headed the ball in at the far post.
Cavani, the league’s top scorer with 26 goals, then made it 2-0 with a clinical finish from Javier Pastore’s assist.
Marseille defenders were caught napping early in the second half after Rod Fanni gave the ball away on the edge of the area, allowing Lucas to find enough space to score.
Substitute Julian Draxler then extended PSG’s lead with a fine finish from Thomas Meunier’s cross before Fanni scored a consolation goal for Marseille and Blaise Matuidi rounded up the win with a powerful strike in the top corner from a cut-back pass.
First Published: Feb 27, 2017 13:11 IST