Paris Saint-Germain defeated archrival Marseille 1-0 on Sunday to preserve their unblemished record this season and move three points clear of Ligue 1. Neymar scored the game’s sole goal.
In first-half stoppage time, the Brazilian completed a Kylian Mbappe assist to end a tightly contested game that included chances at both ends and a red card for Marseille defender Samuel Gigot.
In the 72nd minute, he was dismissed for scything down Neymar. Neymar’s dramatic response may have persuaded the referee to issue a red card rather than a yellow.
After three straight draws, two of which occurred against Benfica in the Champions League, and a week marred by fresh concerns regarding Mbappe’s future at the club, PSG is glad to be back on the winning track.
Lorient, the surprise package, sits three points behind PSG after the two teams drew 0-0 on Saturday.
With Marseille now in fourth after their second straight domestic loss, Lens are currently fifth, five points behind the leaders.
Despite this week’s claims that Mbappe wants to leave the Qatar-owned club as soon as possible, he lined up for the Parisians.
The star of France has yet to formally confirm or refute the rumors, which first arose in Spain before Tuesday’s match against Benfica and were subsequently reported by numerous French media outlets.
After missing the previous two games due to a slight injury, Lionel Messi made his return for Christophe Galtier’s team. The Argentine was incredibly unlucky not to score from a first-half free-kick.
His dead-ball attempt from a little over 20 meters after being fouled just outside the area hit the underside of the crossbar and deflected off the line.
Prior to that, Pau Lopez of Marseille made two outstanding stops to deny Mbappe, while PSG lost Danilo Pereira to injury early on.
Marco Verratti won back possession high inside the Marseille half before Mbappe set up Neymar to slot a first-time shot low into the corner for his ninth league goal of the campaign.
Marseille, who beat Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League in midweek, could not find an equaliser in the second half and were handicapped by the loss of Gigot for his lunge on Neymar.