OM-PSG (0-2): Paris didn’t have their bells rung

The clasico did not disappoint its reputation. In the collective unconscious, it is not a match like any other, the meeting between the best enemies of Ligue 1 fulfilled its promise of uniqueness. This Sunday night, under pouring rain, Marseille and PSG did not deliver the most spectacular performance of their long rivalry. But this 107th clash in history will surely be remembered by supporters of both teams, especially for its absurd scenario.

If Luis Enrique’s PSG secured their 50th victory against their favorite rival, it’s because like MacGyver in his time, this Paris team demonstrated the ability to get out of critical situations. Three months before comedian Redouane Bougheraba from Marseille, cheered by a giant tifo from the stands before kick-off, presented his show at the Vélodrome, it was referee M. Bastien who took the spotlight on the field.

A real success with the Marseille crowd as he used VAR to show a red card to Lucas Beraldo, his first ever in a PSG shirt (38th minute). A harsh expulsion following shoulder contact with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang that did not bode well for the Ligue 1 leaders. Apart from Kolo Muani’s sky-high shot (4th minute), a missed opportunity against Lopez (29th minute) and Dembélé’s fantastic run spoiled by a wayward shot (30th minute), it was the Olympiens who were leading the dance.

More energetic, better in their passes, more determined in impact and pressing, Jean-Louis Gasset’s troops seemed to have found the solution to prevent Paris from playing out from the back.

But that was before the boss of the Paris midfield started pulling the strings, before Vitinha confirmed that this possession-based Paris team could be clinical on the counter. Three passes with Dembélé and a sprint later, the Portuguese player scored his seventh goal of the season, dampening the spirits of the Vélodrome crowd. The Marseille fans only found enjoyment when Kylian Mbappé, far from his usual standards (28 touches), was substituted just after the hour mark to the jeers of the fans, expressing his disappointment.

The last clasico of the Paris captain then saw Donnarumma showcasing his unbeatable skills in goal before Gonçalo Ramos also became a executioner. Like his fellow countryman in midfield, he closed the score after a counter initiated by Hakimi and carried out by Asensio.

On this Easter Monday, Paris will not have any bells ringing against them. On the contrary, with a twelve-point lead in the Ligue 1 standings, they are racing towards their twelfth French championship at lightning speed. Moreover, three days before their Coupe de France semi-final against Rennes, ten days before the first leg of the quarter-finals against Barcelona, Luis Enrique’s team has trained for battle and has shown a solid and resilient mindset.

It is probably no coincidence since Paris has not lost any of its 17 matches played in 2024. It’s up to them to push the limits even further.

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