Clinical finishing from PSG helped them to a 2-0 derby day win over Marseille in Ligue 1 at the Orange Velodrome, consigning the home side to a third consecutive home defeat.
It was a surprisingly subdued Le Classique. Particularly considering the tense mood at Marseille given their recent violent fan protests, their poor form and the attempted resignation of Andre Villas-Boas.
Their fortunes got worse when Kylian Mbappe finished off a rapid counter-attack that started from a Marseille corner less than 10 minutes into the match.
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Fifteen minutes later, Mauro Icardi was the beneficiary of good fortune when Alessandro Florenzi’s unremarkable cross hit the back of his neck and looped over Steve Mandanda to give PSG a second goal.
Marseille were far from overwhelmed on the night, but the quality of finishing proved to be the difference.
Ultimately, Dimitri Payet let his frustrations reach boiling point and was shown an injury time red card for an awful studs-up challenge into Marco Verratti's midriff to cap off a poor performance from him
The result means Les Olympiens continue to languish in ninth place in Ligue 1, while PSG stay third but move within a point of Lyon in second and three points off current leaders Lille.
TALKING POINT - HOW SOON CAN THINGS GET BETTER FOR MARSEILLE?
In recent weeks, the eyes of the footballing world have largely been on Marseille, and not for the right reasons either.
For a good while, the managerial appointment of Andre Villas-Boas seemed to be an astute one. Especially after finishing second in the league last season to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since the 2013-14 season. He also brought them their first league win against PSG since November 2011 in a fiery 1-0 victory last September. However, this season their form rapidly deteriorated as Villas-Boas appeared to be at odds with the board over recruitment, claiming that he did not want to sign Olivier Ntcham - a deadline day arrival from Celtic - and offering his resignation.
He has now been suspended as manager, with his dismissal surely pending, but the search for his replacement has provided even more embarrassment due to reports Ernesto Valverde, Maurizio Sarri and Rafa Benitez have all allegedly turned down the role. The termination of French football's TV deal in December that has caused a financial collapse of sorts to their domestic game has certainly made it a less appealing prospect financially for potential managers.
The true measure of whether things can get better will largely depend on who is brought in as manager as well as the impact their financial situation have on transfer activity. Morgan Sanson, Kevin Strootman, Marley Ake and Nemanja Radonjic all departed in January, albeit some admittedly on loan. But an ageing squad, key players such as Jordan Amavi and Duje Caleta-Car being linked away and others due to have their loan expire in the summer means that it really could be downhill from here.
MAN OF THE MATCH - ALESSANDRO FLORENZI (PSG)
Not many players stood out in what was a relatively poor game to be brutally honest, but Florenzi's impact going forward as well as the way in which he kept Payet at bay was a rare highlight. The Italian right-back constantly bombed forward and put crosses into dangerous areas, one of which ended up being the assist for the second goal, and his strong performance caused Marseille left-back Yuto Nagotomo to be their first substitution of the game amidst their desperation to cope with Florenzi and the PSG front three. Many were sceptical when he joined on loan from Roma in the summer. If he keeps performing like that, Pochettino will surely look to exercise his option to buy, which is supposedly only €8 million.
Marseille: Mandanda 5, Sakai 5, Nagatomo 5, Gonzalez 6, Caleta-Car 6, Rongier 6, Kamara 7, Gueye 6, Payet 4, Germain 5, Thauvin 5...Subs: Benedetto 5, Lirola 5, Henrique 6, Perrin 5, Cuisance N/A
PSG: Rico 7, Florenzi 8, Kurzawa 8, Kimpembe 7, Marquinhos 7, Gueye 6, Paredes 7, Verratti 7, Mbappe 8, Icardi 7, Di Maria 7...Subs: Sarabia 6, Neymar 5, Pereira 6, Kean N/A, Kehrer N/A
9' - GOAL!!! Textbook counter-attacking goal for PSG and Mbappe! Payet's corner is headed away and Mbappe caps it off with a fantastic finish to mark his 18th goal of the season in his 150th game for the club.
23' - SAVED!! Gueye produces a rocket of a shot, which Rico somehow manages to tip out for a corner. Are Marseille starting to grow into this game?
24' - GOAL!!! I spoke too soon! Florenzi's cross doesn't look too dangerous and it skims off the back of Icardi's neck, looping over Mandanda and into the goal to double PSG's lead. Things are going from bad to worse for Marseille.
36' - CLOSE!! Fantastic ball in from Paredes. Icardi gets a touch on it, but Sakai manages to deflect it over. The referee didn't notice though and it's a Marseille goal-kick, much to the PSG players' annoyance.
50' - VERY CLOSE!! Kamara's low shot is deflected and Rico just about manages to push it away. He's very fortunate to not see the ball end up in the back of his net. It will be a Marseille corner instead.
90+1' - HE'S OFF!! Horrendous challenge from Payet, going studs up into Verratti's chest! He left the ref with no choice but to send him off and that caps off for a woeful night for the him.
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