Paris Saint-Germain – Olympique Marseille: Individual Brilliance From Ángel Di María Wins Le Classique (3-1)
In a surprisingly cagey Le Classique, Paris Saint-Germain triumphed thanks to a brilliant performance from Ángel Di María. The Argentinian had an opener chalked off after consultation of the Video Assistant Referee, before assisting the first goal, scoring the other two and enforcing Steve Mandanda’s sending off. Olympique Marseille manager Rudy Garcia got his tactics right but eventually had to leave Parc des Princes empty handed.
Tactical analysis and match report by Cem Soylu.
Thomas Tuchel made two changes compared to the 4-0 away win last weekend in Dijon, with Dani Alves returning from suspension to replace Christopher Nkunku in an unaccustomed midfield role, while Leandro Paredes returned from injury and replaced Juan Bernat. PSG fielded a 3-5-2 formation which was used often in recent weeks.
Rudi Garcia’s Marseille side was unchanged from the 1-0 win against Nice, high on confidence after winning five and drawing one in their last six games in a late charge for a Champions League spot. Garcia kept the same 4-4-2 formation in the last four games; ten out of eleven players from the lineup started all previous four.
Marseille’s tweak in their defensive shape when PSG has possession turned them into more of a 5-3-2 shape off the ball.
Garcia’s slight tweak in defensive shape nullifies PSG
A 4-4-2 formation has structural issues against a 3-5-2 – no spare man at the back against the two strikers. The two banks of four have a natural tendency of playing narrow to deny space in the middle, which allows space for wingbacks, and the opponent . . .