Friday, December 9, 2022



Ligue 1 – PSG won the French derby



Ligue 1 – Olympique Marseille failed to beat PSG at the Parc des Princes. And the victory puts Pochettino’s team on the road to the title. They will be able to lift the trophy again. But it will be one of the most inconsequential and bitter in their history.

By Facundo Di Bona (@facudibona).

There is only one step left to complete the process. Since the start of Ligue 1, 32 rounds ago, it has been known that PSG would be on parade at home.

PSG has a star-studded squad with too many players to spare and is light years ahead of the other teams in France. In fact, their closest rival is Olympique de Marseille. They faced them on the last day of Ligue 1.

The 2-1 win in the French derby meant PSG were just one step away from the league title. They took 15 points with 18 at stake and could secure the title on the next matchday. But it won’t be much to celebrate in Paris.

Hardly anything, in fact. The goal was, at last, to win the Champions League. That is why Messi arrived. But it was failure and elimination in the Round of 16 with bad luck because the draw paired him with Real Madrid.

With the Champions League in the past. And with Pochettino’s continuity in doubt despite the fact that he has one more year on his contract. PSG focused on at least finishing on a high in Ligue 1.

With lukewarm support from the crowd, against Olympique Marseille, they played with all the starters. And they won in a match that had as many goals scored as disallowed.

It was a vibrant match

12 minutes into the first half, Neymar made it 1-0. Verratti’s long pass and the Brazilian made a pirouette inside the box to beat the goalkeeper who went wide. And badly.

It looked like it could be a rout because Sampaoli was playing with fire. He had decided that his last line would stand in midfield to compact the lines. And Mbappé had a stay to win the backs. It did not end up happening because the home side was not as lucid as on other occasions.

In fact, Olympique Marseille reached the equalizer in that first half. Donnarumma left alive across with a lot of thread and Caleta-Car pushed it inside the small area. It was 31 minutes in and the tournament once again had a slim hope of a comeback. But it didn’t happen.

In the last play of the first half, there was a handball inside the area not seen by the referee. But the VAR called it and they ended up awarding a penalty. It was Mbappé who made it 2-1 with a cross-shot. Messi had earlier had two goals disallowed for being in an advanced position.

The game of the best player in the world was barely discreet. This time he neither scored goals nor assisted. Although he did accompany a team that had the ball most of the time. But which strangely lacked forcefulness in the last meters.

It could have been a draw. Because 42 minutes into the second half Saliba made it 2-2. But it was disallowed for a millimetric overtaking position. Thus PSG won and is on its way to a new title. One of the most inconsequential in its history.

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