PSG-OM: Paris wins a disappointing Classic and gets closer to the title

The shock was highly anticipated and he gave birth to a mouse. In a boring match, PSG did the essentials to beat OM on Sunday April 17 (2-1), thanks to goals from Neymar (12th) and Kylian Mbappé (45th) in the first period. Enough to increase his lead over his runner-up and Marseille rival, too cautious to seize the opportunity to consolidate his second place.

With now fifteen points ahead of OM six days before the end of this Ligue 1 season, Paris Saint-Germain have never been so close to a tenth title. He could even officially become French champion in Angers on Wednesday if he does better than Marseille, who will receive Nantes.

We expected this PSG-OM to sound like the last artists’ ball for the ultimate shock of the Parisian season at the Parc. Instead of the expected fanfare, the supporters were treated to, at best, a scrubbing of intermittents from the show. Unequal in the first period, the production of the two teams turned soporific in a second act devoid of opportunities. The statistics reflect the feeling: Paris fired seven times, when Marseille fired three small strikes. A total of ten shots, the lowest recorded in an L1 game this season. In their defense, two goals were denied to the Parisians for minimal offsides.

The tempo – when there was – was dictated by the Parisian offensive trident. Capable of flashes and polished combinations, Neymar, Messi and Mbappé offered the only madness of the meeting. On a brilliant opening from Verratti, the Brazilian stretched out his left foot to deceive Pau Lopez – not free from any reproach – with an acrobatic gesture (12th). Author of a sixth goal in three games, Neymar obtained a penalty on a hand from Valentin Rongier (45th + 2). The sentence was carried out by a Mbappé now involved in 50 of the 94 Parisian goals this year.

Inspired in his dribbling and passing, the Brazilian showed nervousness in the second act. His yellow card obtained – after a simulation of Guendouzi – was symptomatic of a match that had become tense and choppy. In all, six Parisians have been warned. But OM could not take advantage of this annoyance. Well in place in their 5-3-2, the Marseillais did not take enough risks, even with 58% possession. Unable to get the slightest chance in the game, the Olympians came close to the perfect shot on a free kick. But William Saliba, for a shoulder, was reported offside (87th).

The fact that the Marseille goal was due to a – new – blunder by “Gigio” Donnarumma and a scramble on a corner is, in this sense, no coincidence. Duje Caleta-Car pushed the leather to the bottom (31st), but this then equalizing goal was hardly an illusion. Attacking leaders Payet and Ünder were invisible, and Jorge Sampaoli failed to bring in a centre-forward to fix the problem.

This result marks a setback for OM, whose winning streak counter remains stuck at eight. Marseille misses the opportunity to widen the gap on Rennes, third with three lengths behind. Direct qualification in C1 is far from certain for the partners of Dimitri Payet, who still have to face Lyon, Rennes and Strasbourg.

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