Paris Saint-Germain 3 -1 Marseille: Di Maria produces a Classique performance

Paris Saint-Germain continued their dominance over Marseille by claiming a 3-1 win inspired by the superb Angel Di Maria. Angel Di Maria wrote his name into the folklore of Le Classique as his outstanding individual performance earned Paris Saint-Germain a 3-1 Ligue 1win over Marseille.

The visit of PSG's arch rivals to the Parc des Princes was set against a backdrop of protest from the club's ultras, who did not show up until 15 minutes into Sunday's clash in protest at their Champions League exit to Manchester United.
With the league title essentially wrapped up, France's standout fixture arguably carried little meaning but Di Maria produced a performance that will live long in the memory.

After Kylian Mbappe, who later missed a last-gasp penalty, and Valere Germain traded goals either side of half-time, Di Maria put PSG back in front and then ensured victory with a wonderful free-kick, making picking the ball out of the net the first task for Yohann Pele after Steve Mandanda was sent off as Marseille suffered more misery in this one-sided rivalry.

The visitors received an early let-off as Di Maria lofted the ball over Mandanda, only for his effort to be ruled out after a VAR review, the technology again denying PSG in less dramatic circumstances than in their Champions League collapse.

Mandanda was then equal to a fierce Thomas Meunier effort at the end of an impressive run from the full-back, who followed Dani Alves in being forced off by injury.

However, PSG finally broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time and in some style.

Substitute Colin Dagba found Di Maria, who took two brilliant touches to control and then played Mbappe in with a perfect pass that the France star stroked into the bottom-right corner.

Marseille needed only 27 seconds of the second half to equalise, with Thilo Kehrer beaten to a long ball by Lucas Ocampos, who then snuck a cross through his legs for Germain to tuck home on the turn.

Di Maria's response was swift and brilliant. He jinked his way around two Marseille defenders before playing a neat one-two with Kehrer and arcing a finish inside the left-hand post.

The contest was effectively settled by the same man, with some help from Mandanda, whose bizarre decision to race 30 yards from his goal and block a Di Maria shot with his arm was predictably followed by a red card and then by a marvellous free-kick bent in off the right-hand post.

Di Maria was denied a gilt-edged chance for a hat-trick as Mbappe decided to take a stoppage-time penalty after being felled by Hiroki Sakai, but saw a tame spot-kick kept out by substitute keeper Pele.

 Nineteen not out for PSG

PSG are 20 points clear at the top of Ligue 1, with Marseille six points adrift of Lyon, who occupy the third and final Champions League qualification place. In the context of this historic fixture, however, it is 19 games without defeat for PSG. You have to go back to November 2011 for Marseille's last victory.

Marseille can't solve a problem like Di Maria

Were it not for VAR, or Mbappe somewhat selfishly taking the late penalty, Di Maria would have had a richly deserved hat-trick. This was another performance in which he underlined his status as one of the finest players in world football.



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