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Ligue 1

Marseille 2 - 2 PSG: last gasp Cavani as Neymar sent off


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Update:
Paris Saint-Germain's players celebrate after their first goal  during the French L1 football match between Marseille (OM) and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) on October 22, 2017, at the Velodrome Stadium in Marseille, southeastern France. / AFP PHOTO / AN
ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULATAFP

Sunday 22 October saw the first meeting of the season of the biggest rivalry in French football as Marseille and PSG clashed in the Stade Vélodrome. We brought you live coverage of the thrilling encounter that saw both sides leave the field a point better off in Ligue 1.

Marseille vs PSG online: match report

The French Clásico, Le Classique, lived up to its billing as a competitive affair. Tackles were flying in from the start, we were treated to a superb opener from Gustavo and then the game ended right at the death with a classy Cavani free kick, following a far from classy exit from Neymar.

The 222-million-euro man had a bitter sweet night in front of a vociferous home support. It was he who fired home the equaliser to get his team back into the match but two yellows in the space of just a couple of minutes saw him head off for an early bath as the minutes ticked towards PSG's first defeat of the season. But his Uruguayan strike partner levelled one minute into stoppage time with a superb 20-metre free kick, one that the Brazilian most likely would have taken had he still been on the field.

Neymar's earlier strike had cancelled out Luiz Gustavo's opener before halftime but Florian Thauvin had put the home side ahead again against the run of play in the second half. Cavani's ninth league goal of the season earned them the draw that puts PSG on 26 points from 10 matches.

"It's an important goal because the game was almost finished but at least we salvaged a point," said Cavani.

In a boiling hot Velodrome, Marseille went ahead on 16 minutes when Gustavo beat Alphonse Areola with a 25-metre strike to give Marseille a deserved advantage after a solid start. Cavani squandered an opportunity to equalise one minute later when he missed the target from close range from a Layvin Kurzawa cross.

Neymar levelled with his first opportunity in the 33rd as he collected a clever cross from Adrien Rabiot to beat Steve Mandanda with a left-footed shot. PSG had the upper hand but the hosts defended well to preserve the score until halftime.

Kylian Mbappe was handed a yellow card for protesting after a Jordan Amavi handball in the box as PSG's frustration grew. In the 78th minute, Clinton Njie, who came on for Konstantinos Mitroglu in the 65th, grabbed the ball from Rabiot on the right flank and Thauvin latched onto his cross to put the home side ahead.

Neymar was booked in the 85th minute for dissent and two minutes later reacted angrily after being fouled, only to be shown the red card. He will miss next weekend's home game against Nice. In his absence, there was no debate about who would take the final free kick in injury time as Cavani preserved the leaders' unbeaten record.

Marseille vs PSG online: how it happened live

Marseille vs PSG online: match preview

Paris Saint-Germain will unleash star strike duo Neymar and Kylian Mbappe on bitter foes Marseille for the first time this weekend in the latest instalment of France's most heated but increasingly lopsided rivalry. 

Marseille

Marseille are fourth in their first full season under Rudi Garcia but needed a late equaliser from Greece striker Kostas Mitroglou on his league debut to salvage a 3-3 draw at Strasbourg last Sunday.

They trail PSG by eight points and must snap a 14-match winless run - 12 defeats and two draws - against the capital club if they are to narrow the gap this Sunday at the Velodrome. Marseille were thrashed 5-1 by PSG in their last meeting in February and Luiz Gustavo conceded it will take an outstanding performance to slow down the league leaders.

"It's difficult to stop Neymar," the Brazilian midfielder told RMC radio, ahead of what will also be his first appearance in Le Classique.

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BERTRAND LANGLOISAFP

"It's almost impossible to stop him doing what he wants to do on the pitch. I know his potential, and I'm very happy to play against him. We're going to try to muzzle him so he can't express himself freely.

Rudi García has a full squad to pick from as he attempts to snuff out one of the world's most exciting attacking forces.

PSG

With a six-point lead at the top of Ligue 1 and three wins from three in the Champions League, PSG are rolling along smoothly both at home and on the continent. Neymar and Mbappe both scored in a 4-0 rout of Anderlecht on Wednesday, along with Edinson Cavani, and the Brazilian is relishing the chance to mentor his 18-year-old teammate in Paris.

"I hope to do the same thing with him (Mbappe) that (Lionel) Messi did with me," Neymar, who spent four seasons in Barcelona before his world-record move to Paris in August, told Brazilian television.

"He's a golden kid who has all the qualities to become a global star... I'm going to try and help him as much as possible."

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EMMANUEL DUNANDAFP

One infuential player who will be missing from the Parisien backline is Dani Alves, who is undergoing some treatment. He joins Thiago Silva, Marco Verratti and Thiago Motta on the sidelines.

Marseille vs PSG online: betting odds

It may be fourth hosting first in the league but the gulf between the two sides has the bookmakers confident of an away win. For this reason, you can back a single goal victory for Marseille at 33/1

Check out all the odds and bet on Marseille vs PSG

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