Zlatan scores as PSG win
Last Updated: 06/10/13 10:17pm
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the winner from the penalty spot
Ten-man Paris Saint Germain kept up the pressure on Monaco with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Marseille at a vociferous Stade Velodrome.
Despite falling behind to an Andre Ayew penalty and having Thiago Motta sent off, a Maxwell header and a second-half Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty proved to be enough to seal a vital three points which moved the capital club back level on points with Claudio Ranieri's men at the top of Ligue 1.
Defeat for Marseille, only their second of the season after a home defeat to Monaco, leaves them four points behind the joint leaders which, even so early in the season, looks like a difficult mountain to climb.
The first effort on goal came from Elie Baup's men when a Mathieu Valbuena free-kick almost caught out Salvatore Sirigu - but the Italian shot-stopper got down well to turn the ball away for a corner.
Play was temporarily held up after a flare landed on the pitch but, once the game got back under way, the fireworks threatened to continue between the players with both sets of teams guilty of committing needless fouls.
With Valbuena clearly fired up and looking to impress, Marseille continued to cause problems for their visitors and Sirigu was called into action again, making a superb double save from Jordan Ayew's volley and then Valbuena - whose drilled effort was pushed away by PSG's number 30.
Marseille's Andre Ayew was guilty of missing a glorious chance in the 28th minute after some good work from Rod Fanni before the game really erupted into life five minutes later when Thiago Motta brought down Valbuena in the area and Clement Turpin pointed at the spot.
Somewhat harshly, the Italian midfielder was then given a straight red card for the foul and, despite tempers flaring around him, Andre Ayew was left to hammer the ball beyond Sirigu.
PSG attempted an instant response but Marco Veratti's header was pushed away by Steve Mandanda, before the France international keeper was called into action to keep out Ibrahimovic's first-time volley from inside the area.
Mandanda was beaten, however, on the stroke of half-time and it was Maxwell who got ahead of the keeper to head Gregory Van der Wiel's delivery into an empty net and send the 10 men of PSG into the break level.
Considering the intensity and tempo of the first half, the early part of the second-half was somewhat of a disappointment as PSG seemed happy to just contain their hosts in an attempt to leave with a point.
Sirigu was almost caught out on the hour mark when Dimitri Payet fashioned an opening about 20 yards out and his swirling shot caused the Italian goalkeeper to unconfidently parry the ball to safety.
PSG were gifted a perfect opportunity to take the lead just moments later though when Ayew made an unnecessary challenge on Marquinhos inside the area and Turpin was left with no choice but to award a second penalty of the evening.
Captain Ibrahimovic took charge and, despite the distraction of laser pens from the Marseille fans, calmly slotted the ball beyond the diving Mandanda to score his sixth goal against OM in all competitions.
Marseille will be disappointed not to have been able to capitalise on the man advantage but the hosts lacked invention in the second half.
French Ligue 1
|2||Paris St Germain||27||53|
|17||Evian Thonon Gaillar||26||29|