Olympique de Marseille 3-0 PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
Paris Saint-Germain succumbed to a resounding defeat at the hands of Olympique de Marseille this evening, piling the pressure on Coach Antoine Kombouare.
Goals from Loic Remy, Morgan Amalfitano and Andre Ayew gave the hosts a deserved 3-0 victory in Le Classico.
PSG started the better of the two. They dominated possession in the early sparring and looked to force the issue in their opponents half. Nevertheless, defensive frailties had again occurred – just as it did last week in the defeat to Nancy – as Remy, against the run of play, opened the scoring in the eighth minute. A tantalising ball from the right by Cesar Azpilicueta was met by the head of the Frenchman, beating Christophe Jallet in the air and subsequently thumping it past Salvatore Sirigu’s left-hand side.
That seemed to really knock the visitors for six. They became sloppy in midfield, continuously giving the ball away. Even though they had good spells of possession, there was no penetration in the final third.
Remy had to go off midway through the half after his ankle appeared to buckle under him after jumping for the ball. Jordan Ayew came on his place and gave the Parisian defence food for thought with his pace and movement.
The best chance of the half for PSG – and the entire game in truth – came from Mohamed Sissoko who tried his luck from distance but rattled the foot of the post. Despite not hitting it cleanly, it evidently had Steve Mandanda beaten all ends up.
Director of football Leonardo had spoken with the players during the interval and his words must have fallen on deaf ears. OM came within a whisker of making it two within a minute of the second-half, only for Lucho Gonzalez to be denied by Diego Lugano’s trailing leg when it seemed as if he was going to slam the ball home from close range.
With an hour gone and little change in the balance of play, Kombouare made a bold decision to take off both Javier Pastore and Kevin Gameiro. This came as an evident shock, particularly to Gameiro, who showed a volatile nature as he made his way to the bench. Mevlut Erding and Mathieu Bodmer came on in their place but could not integrate into the game.
Then in the 65th minute, Marseille made it 2-0 thanks to Amalfitano. Blaise Matuidi was disposed in midfield, allowing J.Ayew to break down the right before slipping in his colleague who hammered the ball from the inside right and giving Sirigu no chance.
The men in blue had no answers, failing to conjure any meaningful chances. Mandanda in goal was a mere spectator for much of the game.
Then with just under 10 minutes remaining, striker Andre Ayew’s hard work throughout the 90 was rewarded with a goal as his header deflected off Ceara and trickled over the line despite the keeper’s best efforts to prevent it.
Even with one stand virtually empty, the notorious Velodrome atmosphere did not miss a decibel. Ayew’s goal was met with a deafening cheer of relief and jubilation.
The defeat is a huge blow for Paris. Knocked off top spot by Montpellier last night, they now trail them by three points. A sheer lack of creativity in midfield was apparent, with Gameiro once again being isolated up top. The defence looked nervous at times and failed to deal with Marseille’s electric pace.
Of course Kombouare will be scrutinised for this but the players have not helped him at all tonight. There seemed to be no direction on the pitch when leaders were needed to aid their peers in such an intense atmosphere.
Europa League qualification this Thursday away to Salzburg is now imperative!