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Ligue 1: PSG Shut Out Olympique De Marseille, Neymar Injured

PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 25: Neymar Jr of Paris Saint-Germain reacts after being tackled during the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint Germain and Olympique Marseille February 25, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

A professional performance from Unai Emery’s Paris Saint-Germain Football Club was on showcase at Le Parc des Princes as PSG shut out Rudi Garcia’s Olympique de Marseille 3-0. Kylian Mbappe scored in the 10th minute, Jorge Rolando scored an own goal off Neymar Santos Jr. In the 27th minute of play and Edinson Cavani slammed the door shut in the 55th minute. Mbappe’s goal makes him the youngest player to score in Le Classique at 19 years, two months and eight days.

“There was an exceptional atmosphere tonight,” said Emery. “You could feel the desire, both in the stands and on the pitch. It was a really competitive match. We showed that it’s a very special match for us and we got an excellent result. It was a clear 3-0 win. We maintained our desire to play against a side that tried to stop us from playing tonight. Now we look ahead to Friday’s match in the Coupe de France. The injury to Neymar was the only negative. We hope it’s nothing serious, but we have to wait for further medical exams.”

Stats wise, both teams had 11 shots and seven shots on goal, with Paris winning the possession battle (57 percent to 43 percent). Marseille had more corners (six to three) but were kept at bay by a strong defensive display led by goalkeeper Alphonse Areola (five saves).

“All Classicos are like this,” said captain Thiago Silva. “The rivalry is fierce. Our first game in Marseille wasn’t easy. But tonight, all the players gave their best out on the pitch. We are very happy with the result and we have extended our lead in the standings. Now we need to produce a big match on Wednesday in the Cup. We have to recover well and come back even stronger because they will be looking for revenge.

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“Our supporters are very excited about the coming weeks, which is great, but we have to stay calm, keep working hard and prepare for these big games in the league, the Cup and in the Champions League. It’s great when the crowd are cheering us on. We finished with ten men after the injury to Neymar, but we kept our control. It was already 3-0 and we held on for a good win.”

Another fierce defensive display will be needed when they take on this same Marseille outfit midweek in the Coupe de France quarterfinals. Neymar was taken off on a stretcher in tears in the 80th minute and his imminent absence could make things challenging for the Ligue 1 leaders in the next few weeks.

“It feels great to have got this win, given the rivalry between the two sides,” said Areola. “We wanted to show our fans that we were ready to fight. We kept a clean sheet and we scored three. It was a difficult match with a lot of free-kicks, but that’s the way it is. We lost a player through injury and we hope he’s back on the pitch soon. But it was a perfect night for us, overall. Now we have to be careful on Wednesday, because they will be looking for revenge.”

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With OM looking to be even with PSG on French Cups won, revenge truly is a dish best served cold. Paris host Marseille on Feb. 28 at Le Parc des Princes at 12:05 p.m. PT/3:05 p.m. ET.

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