Paris St Germain extended their unbeaten run against Le Classique rivals Marseille to 15 matches after Edinson Cavani’s late free-kick rescued a 2-2 draw.
Neymar cancelled out Luiz Gustavo’s brilliant opening goal for Marseille before half-time and was later sent off for a second yellow card, while Florian Thauvin’s 78th-minute volley appeared to have won it before Cavani’s late intervention.
Here, we take a look at what we learned from Sunday night’s encounter at the Stade Velodrome.
PSG lack tactical discipline
For all their creative, world-class talent, PSG have been criticised this season for their tendency to over-play. That was evident again at the Stade Velodrome with too many players inclined to attempt the extraordinary when a simpler option was available. Unai Emery appears unable to instill the same clinical discipline in his players that Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola demands from his.
No-nonsense police ban PSG fans
PSG fans were banned from attending Le Classique at the Stade Velodrome for a third successive year as the local police continued their crackdown on violence. This fixture, the biggest in French club football, has been marred by street battles among both sets of supporters in recent years. Following PSG’s 5-1 win in Marseille in February, police used tear gas and water cannons after projectiles had been launched at them by the home fans.
Marseille face UEFA sanctions
Marseille are renowned for their ‘ultra’ fans and passion once again got the better of a large minority of them at the Stade Velodrome. PSG playmaker Neymar was behind all of the visitors’ better work and did not deserve the treatment dished out by supporters, who hurled all sorts of objects at the Brazilian every time he took a corner. The television images are sure to alert UEFA officials and Marseille could find themselves in trouble over the unruly element among their fans.
Neymar shines before sending-off
The world’s most expensive footballer appears to have settled into the groove in Paris. He was the most influential player on view for large parts of Le Classique and orchestrated all PSG’s better moments. He set up an early chance for Layvin Kurzawa, started and finished the move which led to his first-half equaliser and looked a threat whenever he was on the ball. His goal out of nothing was his 11th in 10 PSG appearances.
Cavani keeps banging them in
Cavani has followed up his impressive 35-goal haul in Ligue 1 last season by notching nine in as many league appearances this time around. The Uruguayan striker has his critics, who claim he misses too many chances in a dominant team that creates plenty. He did miss a golden first-half chance against Marseille, but he once again proved his worth to Emery’s side with his stoppage-time free-kick after Neymar’s dismissal.