Ligue 1 2018-19: 3 Observations from PSG's 2-0 victory over Marseille
Marseille hosted the French Champions Paris Saint-Germain in front of a raucous home crowd who even got a little hostile towards PSG players in certain moments of the game (particularly Neymar Jr.), but despite the atmosphere, it was the French champions who came out on top whilst making it 11 league wins in a row. (a new record)
Paris started the game with a makeshift backline and a change in formation and personnel from the draw against Napoli, as Thiago Silva and Presnel Kimpembe were injured and not selected respectively for today's big game. This resulted in the Parisiens lining up with Marquinhos, Thilo Kehrer and Stanley N'soki in a back three with Juan Bernat and Thomas playing as wingbacks.
Julian Draxler was selected in midfield ahead of Adrien Rabiot, but it was in attack where we got the real surprise as Mbappe was dropped in place of Eric Chuopo-Moting, the summer signing from Stoke City, who was mediocre at best in his first league start since 7-March. Edinson Cavani was unavailable due to a thigh injury.
Marseille boss Rudi Garcia picked a strong lineup with Dimitri Payet and Lucas Oscampos starting in attack alongside Florian Thauvin with no actual striker involved from the first whistle. The game was enthralling and end to end and could have gone anyway in the first hour, but Thomas Tuchel brought on the world's best teenager who clinched PSG's first just minutes after coming on, and his arrival increased the tempo of play. Julian Draxler completed the scoring in the 95th minute as the Ligue1 defending champions defeated Marseille 2-0.
Here are some observations from the match:
1) Ligue 1 is too easy for PSG :
Paris St. Germain have had quite a change of fortunes since they were taken over by Qatari investment in 2011, and over the past 7 years, they have developed gradually into a fearsome unit capable of beating anyone on their day. In the league things seem to be a bit too easy for the French champions as they strolled to yet another victory, leveling the European record for most consecutive league wins set by Tottenham back in 1960-61.
The gradual decline of the clubs around them and their regular strengthening has lead into making the capital giants the strongest club in France by some distance. Every other club in France is forced to sell off their best players every transfer window to maintain the books whilst still trying to remain competitive, but that simply has not worked out as the league looks as weak as it has in quite some time. Other clubs need to step up to challenge their monopoly on the league otherwise people might soon start getting disinterested in following French top-flight football altogether.