Monday, June 24, 2019 | ePaper

PSG shrug off fan protest to beat rivals Marseille

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Marseille's goalkeeper Steve Mandanda makes a hands ball outside the penalty box, resulting in a red card as he vies for the ball with PSG's Angel Di Maria (right) during their French League One soccer match between Paris-Saint-Germain and O



Angel Di Maria scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain eased to a 3-1 victory over Marseille on Sunday to extend their long unbeaten run against their arch rivals and move 20 points clear at the Ligue 1 summit.
A group of PSG ultras were boycotting the opening stages of the game over the team's shock Champions League defeat by Manchester United, but when they arrived they were given a 16th win in 19 meetings with Marseille, alongside three draws, to cheer. Banners reading "We don't forget", "respect the establishment" and "banknotes in place of a heart" were hung in a section behind the goal to make clear supporters' unhappiness at PSG's 3-1 home loss to United on March 6.
"There are some thing we can't change, we have to accept that we had a very, very sad defeat -- very, very bad for us. But we started again at Dijon (last week) and even today the guys showed their character," said PSG coach Thomas Tuchel.
"I'm glad we could show that today, because it's important for our supporters and for us." Kylian Mbappe put PSG in front on the stroke of half-time with his 26th league goal of the season, but Valere Germain equalised in the first minute of the second period. Argentine Di Maria restored the home team's advantage, though, and Marseille 'keeper Steve Mandanda was sent off for a clear handball 30 yards from goal.
Di Maria's wonderful free-kick added further gloss to the scoreline, although Mbappe saw a late penalty saved by visiting substitute Yohann Pele.
The capital giants have not lost to Marseille since a 3-0 defeat at the Stade Velodrome in November 2011.
With the Ligue 1 title effectively secured, the only competition left for PSG to play for this season is the French Cup, in which they face Nantes in the semi-finals next month.
Mario Balotelli had the first shot in anger, shrugging off the PSG defence before seeing his long-range drive well held by home goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

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