Paris, March 18 (IANS) A great performance by Argentina's Angel Di Maria, with two goals and one assist, helped Paris Saint Germain beat Marseille 3-1.
In a match marked at the start by the unrest of the Parisian team's radical supporters, who had left their usual location in the Parc des Princes empty, protesting their team's early elimination from the Champions League, PSG accentuated their authority in Ligue 1 on Matchday 29, reports Efe news.
Nine rounds are remaining, 10 for PSG as the match against Nimes is still pending, their advantage in the lead is 20 points ahead of Lille, second, and 24 ahead of Lyon in third place.
The champion put an end to Marseille's good form, who had arrived in Paris with five wins and one draw in their six recent matches.
Paris Saint Germain maintained their form during most of the first half. Until the first appearance of Di Maria, who sent a fine pass to Kylian Mbappe who, as received, crossed the ball over the line at the end of the first half, out of reach of Marseilles' Mandanda.
But after the break, the game changed. Marseille equalised after just a minute into the second half in an action that was started with a long kick from visiting midfielder Lucas Ocampos. The Argentinian gave the ball to Valere Germain who surpassed PSG's goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.
The draw lasted barely 10 minutes. Until a pass to inside the area by German Thilo Kehrer, who replaced Thomas Meunier, gave the first goal of Di Maria, who shot almost without an angle to bring the ball into the net.
The visitors' chances faded away as the hour went by, with goalkeeper Mandanda sent off after intercepting a Parisian attack with his hands outside his area. The substitute goalie Yohann Pele had to come on the field. Marseille's Italian Mario Balotelli was also substituted by Yohann Pele.
Di Maria made it a brace with the execution of a free kick that decided the game.
The difference could have been even greater if Kylian Mbappe, in added time, had succeeded with the penalty shot after a foul committed by Marseilles' Japanese Hiroki Sakai.Published 18 Mar 2019, 09:02 IST