PSG overcome Marseille to go 15 points clear at top of Ligue 1

·2-min read

There was no Easter Day resurrection of the Ligue 1 title race as pacesetters Paris Saint-Germain edged past second-placed Marseille 2-1 to establish a 15-point lead with six games remaining of the 2021/22 season.

A win for Marseille would have given them a six-point cushion over third-placed Rennes in the fight for the second automatic berth from Ligue 1 for next season's Champions League.

It would also have brought them to within nine points of PSG and at least projected an air of competition for the remaining weeks of the top flight.

Fireworks preceded the entry of the teams onto the field at the Parc des Princes. But both sides failed to emulate the pyrotechnics.

The caginess certainly suited the hosts. And yet for all the intricate passing, the opener after 11 minutes was somewhat route one.

Direct

Marco Verratti lofted a pass over the Marseille defenders and Neymar ghosted through to flick the ball over the goalkeeper Pau Lopez.

Marseille's response was muted. They were bogged down in their own half under the insistence of the PSG pressing patterns to recover the ball.

They did eventually break out but failed to test the PSG goalkeeper Gigi Donnarumma.

When they did, the Italy international was found wanting.

Marseille's first corner of the game sewed panic in the PSG rearguard but was shuffled away for another corner.

Donnarumma tried to claim Dimitri Payet's delivery but missed it and crashed into one of his own defenders. But even after that slapstick, Verratti could have cleared.

But he botched his kick. Duje Caleta-Car gleefully profited from the Italian's incompetence to tap the ball into the net.

Clearly rattled, PSG failed to regain their composure.

But they got a helping hand in first-half stoppage time. Neymar's surge and shot was blocked by the outstretched arm of Valentin Rongier.

Though referee Francois Letexier missed the infringement, he was alerted by the video assistants and awarded a penalty.

After a flurry of Marseille protests, Kylian Mbappé stepped up and rammed the ball to the right of Lopez into the net.

Edge

A couple of showy scuffles and Marseille's Matteo Guendouzi emerging as the favourite target of the boos, helped to jolly the game along in the second-half.

Marseille, the more cultured of the two sides in the latter stages, thought they had an equaliser five minutes from time when William Saliba thrashed in Payet's free-kick.

But to the delight of the home faithful, he was ruled off-side.

Marseille pushed for that lost leveller in the six minutes of stoppage time. But an increasingly bedraggled PSG held firm to effectively wrap up an eighth title in 10 years.

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