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No winner or loser. The classic between OM and PSG, played Sunday in Marseille, ended in a goalless draw. The poster of French football, which kept its promises in terms of atmosphere and intensity, honored the defenders who got the better of the uninspired attackers. Debrief.
They came, they saw, but they left with one point. The offensive armada of PSG failed to gain the upper hand over the defense of Olympique de Marseille, Sunday, October 24, in the highly anticipated Ligue 1 classic played in the city of Marseille, at the end of the 11th day of the French championship.
However, on the ground, the Parisian coach, Mauricio Pochettino, had decided to start his quartet of stars – Neymar, Messi, Mbappé and Di Maria – with the announced goal of winning. But the leader of the championship, reduced to 10 after the exclusion of Hakimi (57th), failed to shake the rearguard of OM, despite a controlled first half in terms of possession.
The stars of the Parisian attack gave the impression of betting more on individual exploits, playing collectively only intermittently. Back in the eleven Parisian near a discomfort in the adductors, positioned as a playmaker, Neymar alone illustrated the offensive helplessness of the Parisians. Not in the rhythm and uninspired, it made no difference, nor caused any imbalance in Marseille. A score to forget for the Brazilian star who has not yet really launched his season.
His friends Kylian Mbappé and Leo Messi – the most enterprising of the Parisians in attack – did not shine either, well muzzled by the Marseille defenders.
Conspired with each shot taken by a molten Velodrome which had perfectly identified the threat they represented, they failed to find the fault. The only satisfaction for PSG fans, the duo seem more and more to seek to combine and refine their relationship on the lawn.
Defenders in the spotlight
If this classic ended in a goalless draw, it is also because the defenders of both teams were in the spotlight. On social networks, Marseille fans were almost unanimous after the match when they appointed their Olympian for the evening: the impassable central defender William Saliba.
And for good reason, the international hope managed to eclipse Kylian Mbappé and showed the extent of his progress recorded since he put his bags in Marseille, during the last transfer window.
Serene, lively, focused and strong in the duels, the player loaned by Arsenal has burst the screen on several occasions, in particular against the world champion 2018. Their duel was one of the keys of the match, like the authoritative return of the Marseille defender on the Parisian arrow launched towards the goal of Pau Lopez (83rd).
On the collective level, in addition to his sense of a fair recovery, his association with the Croatian international Duje Caleta-Car, back at the highest level, brings a defensive serenity to Jorge Sampaoli’s hybrid system. Under the eyes of Guy Stéphan, the assistant to the national coach Didier Deschamps present in the stands, the former Stéphanois delivered an impressive copy.
On the Parisian side, captain Marquinhos also delivered a great match by displaying character in his ability to negotiate all the hot balls (35th, 53rd, 87th) which arrived in his area of PSG. The commitment and determination of the central defender of the Seleção allowed his team not to falter, even at 10 against 11 after the expulsion of Achraf Hakimi, when the Marseille pressure rose in temperature.
A very high level performance which can only leave regrets to the voluntary and united Marseillais who only missed a small goal to completely capsize the Vélodrome.