Achraf Hakimi was sent off for Paris Saint-Germain as the Ligue 1 leaders played out a 0-0 draw with Marseille in Le Classique on Sunday.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side, who started with the heralded trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, largely struggled to break down their stubborn hosts, even before Hakimi’s dismissal in the 57th minute for a foul on Cengiz Under.
Valentin Rongier and Konrad De la Fuente wasted glorious opportunities to find a winner, while Messi was chased by a spectator late in the second half as he pushed forward in the Marseille half, with security slow to apprehend the man.
The result means PSG are seven points clear at the Ligue 1 summit, while Marseille are 10 points behind in fourth, although Jorge Sampaoli’s side have a game in hand.
A draw at the Vélodrome in Le #Classique #OMPSG pic.twitter.com/GxVDocxQLb Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) October 24, 2021
PSG thought they had taken a 14th-minute lead when Luan Peres diverted Neymar’s mis-hit shot into his own net, but a VAR review showed the Brazilian was in an offside position.
Marseille had an effort of their own ruled out seven minutes later, Pol Lirola straying into an offside position before Arkadiusz Milik found the back of the net.
Moments after Pau Lopez tipped a Lionel Messi header onto the crossbar referee Benoit Bastien stopped play for a few minutes after projectiles were thrown at Neymar as he tried to take a corner.
PSG’s hopes of claiming all three points were dealt a blow in the 56th minute when Hakimi was shown a straight red card for bringing down Under outside the penalty area as he bore down on goal.
An unmarked Rongier inexplicably headed wide in the 65th minute, while Konrad fluffed his lines when the ball fell kindly to him at the back post as the game petered out for an uninspiring draw.
What does it mean? PSG blunt in attack
A draw away at their bitter rivals is not to be sniffed at, but it will surely be of concern to Pochettino that his side, which featured world football’s most celebrated front three, struggled to break down Marseille’s backline.
Hakimi’s dismissal understandably curtailed their attacking intent in the final half hour, but PSG supporters will be expecting more from their side in attack in the next few weeks.
Saliba solid for Les Phoceens
William Saliba was a rock at the heart of Marseille’s defence and celebrated a late last-ditch tackle on Mbappe as if he had scored the winning goal. The on-loan Arsenal man played more successful passes than any Marseille player (55), while he won more duels than any of his team-mates (83.3 per cent).
Di Maria offers little
Angel Di Maria cut a frustrated figure when he was hauled off shortly after Hakimi’s dismissal, but his stats suggest he cannot have too many complaints. The Argentina international did not have a single shot during his 61 minutes on the pitch, while a pass completion rate of 80.8 per cent was the third lowest of any PSG starter.
Key Opta Facts
– This is the first 0-0 between Marseille and Paris at the Stade Velodrome in Ligue 1 since November 29 1998, the end of a 21-match run. This match is only the fourth 0-0 of the season in Ligue 1, a total reached on matchday 5 in each of the previous three seasons.
– PSG are unbeaten in their last nine trips to Marseille in Ligue 1 (W6 D3), and remain on a run of three clean sheets at Marseille the top flight, a first in their history.
– Marseille have conceded only seven goals after 10 Ligue 1 games this season, their best total at this stage since 2001-02 (also 7) when they finished 9th.
– There has been at least one red card in each of the last three matches between Marseille and PSG in Ligue 1. Hakimi picked up the first red card of his career in Europe’s top five leagues in his 111th match.
PSG host reigning champions Lille on Friday, while Marseille are away to Nice on Wednesday.
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