Paris St Germain beat Marseille again to extend lead at the top of Ligue 1

Paris St Germain continued their recent dominance of Le Classique with a 3-1 victory over Marseille at the Parc des Princes.

Kylian Mbappe’s 26th league goal of the season gave PSG the half-time lead but Valere Germain equalised right at the start of the second half.

Angel Di Maria struck either side of a red card for Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda to seal the win and move PSG ever nearer to another Ligue 1 title.

Mbappe could have made the scoreline more emphatic but he saw an injury-time penalty saved by back-up keeper Yohann Pele.

The win was PSG’s fourth in a row against their rivals and saw Thomas Tuchel’s team extend their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 20 points.

Marseille stay fourth, six points behind Lyon, after seeing their six-match unbeaten run, which included five victories, come to an end.

Mandanda almost gifted PSG an early lead with an embarrassing mistake. Duje Caleta-Car made what should have been a routine back pass, only for the veteran goalkeeper to slice the ball and almost kick it into his own net.

The ball rolled wide for a corner, which Marseille spared Mandanda’s blushes by clearing away.

Marseille had another escape shortly afterwards. Di Maria thought he had opened the scoring after 15 minutes with a lovely chip over Mandanda but his effort was chalked off after the referee consulted the Video Assistant Referee.

PSG were having a lot of possession without really creating anything, although Thomas Meunier forced Mandanda to tip his shot over the crossbar midway through the first half.

The hosts were forced to change things just after the half-hour mark with Meunier and Dani Alves having to come off. Colin Dagba and Thilo Kehrer replaced the injured pair.

Despite the double setback, PSG went into half-time ahead. Mbappe’s goal came from a Marseille corner which was cleared upfield to Di Maria, who laid the ball off into the 20-year-old’s path to finish with a first-time shot.

Marseille responded well to falling behind and they were level straight from the kick-off at the start of the second half. Lucas Ocampos got the better of Marquinhos down the left and crossed the ball for Germain to sweep home a low shot.

However, it quickly went wrong for the visitors. Di Maria, denied earlier by VAR, got his name on the scoresheet with a shot from a tight angle to restore PSG’s lead after 55 minutes.

The Argentinian was in the thick of the action and it was his break forward five minutes later which prompted Mandanda to charge from his goal and handle the ball outside of his penalty area. The referee had no option but to issue a red card.

Down to 10 men, Mario Balotelli was the man sacrificed to allow Pele to come on in goal. His first involvement was to pick the ball out of his net as Di Maria curled home a fine shot from the resulting free-kick.

Marseille put their remaining players behind the ball thereafter in an attempt to keep the scoreline respectable, although PSG were presented with the opportunity of a fourth goal in injury time when Mbappe was tripped inside the penalty area by Hiroki Sakai.

Di Maria was denied the chance of a hat-trick as Mbappe took the spot-kick himself, but his effort was saved by Pele.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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