PSG vs Marseille: Neymar and Kylian Mbappe team up as hosts narrowly win Le Classique

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PARIS – Paris Saint-Germain have the right to brag over Olympique de Marseille after their 1-0 victory at the Parc des Princes in Ligue 1 on Sunday night. Neymar scored the only goal of the match just before half-time while OM ended the bout with 10 men after Samuel Gigot saw red.

It was a welcome return to form for the French champions after three consecutive draws and averted a potentially disastrous first campaign defeat while controversy is on the agenda. Kylian Mbappe may not have scored the deciding goal, but he was instrumental in creating it as he assisted Neymar for it.

The home atmosphere was electrifying, as is regularly the case with Le Classique as it is the most prestigious event in French football. Despite the enforced absence of away fans, the home fans created an intimidating atmosphere that inspired the home team to get off to a fast start with a flurry of chances.

Marseille goalkeeper Pau Lopez was in inspired form in the first half and produced a series of impressive saves to keep PSG at bay. Even when the Spaniard was beaten by a Lionel Messi free kick, the carpentry shop came to his rescue and that of his teammates who had also covered the goal line.

He needed something special to beat Lopez and came just before half-time with Mbappe pulling Neymar up for a nice finish off the post. This was the Brazilian superstar’s first goal in PSG in over a month after scoring the last time at club level in a UEFA Champions League win at Maccabi Haifa.

The second half was a more difficult affair with Gianluigi Donnarumma careful to keep Jonathan Clauss out when Marseille created a good opening. However, substitute Gigot saw the red straight for a foul on Neymar with 18 minutes remaining which effectively put an end to OM’s hopes of taking something away from the Parc des Princes.

It could and probably should have been a bigger winning margin given how many possibilities have been created by the company in the capital. This was a measure of how good Lopez’s show was, however, foiling pretty much anything thrown at him.

Despite the positive result, it was another expensive night for PSG with Danilo Pereira forced out with injury after just 25 minutes to aggravate Christophe Galtier’s defensive crisis. With Sergio Ramos suspended and Presnel Kimpembe injured, a long absence from the Portuguese international could force him to resort to the talent of the youth teams.

However, the result was the most important thing for the home side here and a difficult test was successfully passed to create a three-point lead over second-placed FC Lorient. Mbappe’s latest whim and the recent controversies that rocked the club off the pitch have not yet impacted what is happening.

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