PSG hammer rivals Marseille but concern surrounds Neymar
PSG extend Ligue 1 lead over second-placed Monaco to 14 points.
Paris St Germain turned on the style to beat Marseille 3-0 in Sunday’s Classique at the Parc des Princes – but were left fretting on the fitness of star striker Neymar.
The Brazilian rolled his ankle in the final quarter and was carried off the field on a stretcher in some discomfort.
Kylian Mbappe, with his 10th league goal of the season, and a Rolando own goal put the Parisians in control before the break, and a superb Edinson Cavani strike rammed home the Ligue 1 leaders’ superiority.
PSG’s 23rd league win, from 27 games, extended their advantage at the top to 14 points after second-placed Monaco had drawn 3-3 at Toulouse on Saturday.
Marseille remain in third place, two points adrift of Monaco and with a five-point cushion over Lyon in the race for Champions League qualification.
PSG were in command from the 10th minute when Jordan Amavi failed to cut out Dani Alves’ pass.
Mbappe picked up the loose ball and stepped inside on his left foot to fire past defender Rolando and Yohann Pele in the Marseille goal.
Alves was again the provider with a cross Neymar narrowly headed wide, before the full-back was temporarily slowed by a poor Lucas Ocampos challenge.
The Argentinian was booked for connecting with Alves’ shin, but he could easily have seen red for endangering an opponent.
PSG doubled their lead after 27 minutes when Layvin Kurzawa slipped in Adrien Rabiot down the left.
Rabiot pulled the ball back into Neymar’s path and his shot diverted in off the luckless Rolando.
Neymar – who was sent off in the reverse fixture at Marseille in October – was almost on the scoresheet 10 minutes later but his attempt from 25 yards curled just wide.
Marseille did not muster any threat until the final moments of the first half, but even then Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa’s header was comfortably collected by Alphonse Areola.
The contest was put well beyond them 10 minutes into the second half when Neymar’s power and pace took him past several defenders down the left.
Cavani controlled the Brazilian’s centre with a delicious touch, turned and smashed home his 24th league goal of the season.
Luis Gustavo skewed over and a looping Rolando header was pushed wide by Areola as Marseille chased a consolation goal.
Areola made acrobatic saves late on to deny Florian Thauvin and and Gustavo as PSG took their foot off the pedal.
But there was no way through, even when Neymar’s injury forced PSG to play the final 10 minutes a man short as the leaders had made all their substitutions.
Neymar’s departure took the gloss off a convincing PSG performance and must put in doubt the Brazilian being involved when the two teams meet in the last eight of the Coupe de France on Wednesday night.