Paris Saint-Germain held to goalless draw by Marseille in Le Classique
Ligue 1, Parc des Princes – Paris Saint Germain 0 Olympique de Marseille 0
Paris Saint Germain were held to a goalless home draw by arch rivals Marseille in Le Classique and are now six points behind Nice at the top of Ligue 1.
Unai Emery’s side have now failed to win four times in the league and the pressure is mounting on their manager Unai Emery as the league leaders continue to pull away.
Les Rouge-et-Bleu came into this game having won 11 of their previous 12 games against their enemy but on this occasion the hosts failed to find a way past a robust Marseille side that were competing under new manager Rudi Garcia for the first time.
The best opportunities fell to top goal-scorer Edinson Cavani but it proved to be an extremely frustrating night for the Uruguayan.
Paris St Germain's Edinson Cavani reactsReuters
The 29-year-old was brought down in the penalty area by defender Rolando in the first-half but the referee Clement Turpin controversially waved away the protests.
With time running out for the hosts, a golden opportunity was somehow spurned by the prolific striker deep into the second period when he missed from close range after being picked out at the near post by substitute Blaise Matuidi.
In truth, Marseille were fairly comfortable throughout and will be pleased with an away point with their new billionaire owner Frank McCourt, who bought the club earlier this week, looking on from the stands.
The draw means PSG, who were booed off at full-time, remain in third place while Marseille rise to 11th on goal difference.
Unai Emery really isn’t popular at Parc des Princes – The Spaniard was roundly booed by his own fans when he replaced Angel Di Maria for Jese with 20 minutes to play. Admittedly, it was a strange decision, but it showed the supporters clearly don’t trust or respect their manager. He has failed to win the PSG faithful over at this crucial stage and drawing at home with the club's struggling arch rivals won’t do anything to help his cause.
Paris St Germain's coach Unai Emery shout instructions to players.Reuters
MAN OF THE MATCH
Rod Fanni (Marseille) - The defender dealt with everything that was thrown at him in a cool and convincing manner. Had Edinson Cavani in his pocket for the most part.
33’ - OVER! PSG win a free-kick in a wide area. It's delivered into the penalty area from Di Maria where the unmarked Cavani can head at goal but the ball hits his shoulder and goes over the bar.
39’ – CLOSE! Moura is sent through, he rounds goalkeeper Pele who is in no man's land but, from a wide position, he can't pick out a team mate who would have had an empty goal to tap into. Marseille hack the ball clear.
43’ - PENALTY APPEAL! PSG should have a spot-kick but the referee signals play on! Cavani runs onto Di Maria's flick-on but is then brought down inside the area by Rolando. There was definitely contact from the defender.
Paris St Germain's Marco Verratti (L), Edinson Cavani (2ndL), and Thiago Silva speak with referee Clement TurpinReuters
48’ - ALMOST! Marseille create a rare opportunity and only good defensive work from Motta denies Gomis a clear sight at goal. The forward had taken up a good position in the penalty area to latch onto Thauvin's pass from the byline but Motta got in the way.
81’ - MISS! Oh my, what an opportunity for the hosts! Matuidi delivers a low ball across the face of goal, leaving Cavani with a simple tap-in but the forward somehow sends the ball wide of the target from yards out. It was easier to score than miss!
Marseille did not attempted any shot during the game, a first for a Ligue 1 team in a game in the last 10 years.