PARIS: Paris Saint-Germain hit back from a goal down and being reduced to 10 men to beat bitter rivals Marseille 2-1 yesterday and move onto the shoulders of Ligue 1 leaders Monaco.
The defending champions trailed to a first-half penalty scored by Ghana’s Andre Ayew.
They also had Thiago Motta red-carded for a foul which led to the spot-kick.
But Maxwell levelled on the stroke of half-time before skipper Zlatan Ibrahimovic slotted home a second-half penalty to silence the Stade Velodrome crowd and preserve PSG’s unbeaten start to the season. PSG have 21 points but trail Monaco on goal difference while Marseille drop to fourth behind Lille on goal difference, four points off the lead.
Marseille had lost just one of their last nine home meetings with PSG and they were the better side for most of the opening period.
Mathieu Valbuena saw a 12th-minute free-kick guided around the post by goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.The PSG keeper was called upon again in the 20th minute pulling off a fine double save to deny Jordan Ayew, playing instead of Andre-Pierre Gignac, and the lively Valbuena.
Marseille were in front in controversial circumstances just after the half-hour mark when Motta was penalised for bringing down Valbuena in the area.
The clumsy challenge earned Motta a red card while in the lengthy protest that followed midfielder Marco Verratti was booked.
Motta’s dismissal was the 18th red card handed out by referee Clement Turpin in the official’s last 26 matches. Andre Ayew kept his cool in the mayhem to score from the penalty spot.
But PSG were level on the stroke of half-time with Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda at fault.Dutch full-back Gregory van der Wiel crossed from the right and the ball fell perfectly for Maxwell to beat a flailing, stranded Mandanda with a strong header. Just after the hour, Dmitri Payet unleashed a powerful, swerving drive that Sirigu flapped away as Marseille looked to make their one-man advantage count. But it was PSG who were celebrating in the 66th minute when they were awarded a penalty for Andre Ayew’s needless challenge on Marquinhos who was heading away from the danger zone.Up stepped Ibrahimovic to calmly steer home the penalty for his third goal of the Ligue 1 campaign. afp