Paris St Germain closed to gap to Ligue 1 leaders Marseille to a single point after claiming a 2-0 win in arguably the biggest Classique in recent seasons. Lucas Moura opened the scoring for PSG in the 38th minute before Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani wrapped up the victory five minutes from the final whistle. Marseille were forced to play out the last 12 minutes with 10 men after Gianelli Imbula was shown a red card for an innocuous looking challenge on Yohan Cabaye. The result means PSG have won their last four league games and their last six matches in all competitions with OM now top of the standings a slim margin. Marseille looked to catch out their title rivals early on and Andre-Pierre Gignac almost opened the scoring in the fifth minute but his header from Florian Thauvin's corner hit the left upright with the aid of a deflection. Marcelo Bielsa's team continued to press and both Romain Alessandrini and Gignac went agonisingly close with first-time efforts that had Salvatore Sirigu scrambling, all inside a frantic opening 10 minutes. Steve Mandanda was called upon for the first time in the Marseille goal with 22 minutes played when the ball fell for Javier Pastore just eight yards out but his snap shot was instinctively saved by the Nigeria international. The visiting defence were proving a tough nut to crack, though, while at the other end the likes of Gignac and Dmitri Payet were operating a shoot on sight policy with the latter grazing the outside of the right post with a 20-yard drive. Then, with half-time fast approaching, PSG grabbed a crucial opening goal following a period of sustained pressure. Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi combined brilliantly on the left before the latter crossed and Lucas crept in ahead of the sleeping Benjamin Mendy to poke home from inside the six-yard box. Despite leading at the break, PSG almost gifted Marseille a leveller just a few minutes after the interval when Sirigu played a loose pass to Gignac but the France international's clever chip did not have enough on it to beat Les Parisiens' first choice keeper. Both sides continued to create chances as the half wore on, with Lucas once again going close for Laurent Blanc's team, while Thauvin and Imbula both failed to find the target from outside of the area. Blanc introduced Zlatan Ibrahimovic with 25 minutes left to play, returning from an injury that kept him out for six weeks, but it was fellow sub Cabaye who almost grabbed a second for PSG within seconds of his introduction, but Mandanda beat away his testing 25-yard effort. Marseille's evening was all but over in controversial circumstances when Imbula was shown a straight red card for an innocuous looking challenge on Cabaye before the hosts doubled their lead in the latter stages. The marauding Serge Aurier broke free down the right and his pinpoint cross found Cavani who powered a header beyond Mandanda to close the gap on the Ligue 1 leaders to just a point.
Football LIGUE 1