Olympique Marseille vs. PSG  2 - 2

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Ibrahimovic display upsets Ancelotti

8 October 2012 11:21

Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti has criticised star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The Sweden international netted twice to help the Parisiens draw 2-2 with Olympique Marseille at the Stade Velodrome on Sunday, but the former Chelsea boss was not pleased with the striker's display.

"I was not impressed by his performance, because I know Zlatan very well. He's a great goalscorer and a very complete player," Ancelotti told RMC.

"Zlatan was excellent from set-pieces but there were also chances for (Javier) Pastore and (Kevin) Gameiro.

"Ibra is used well in our side. He's scoring and that's good for us. People say he's tired? Maybe. I think that at even 80 per cent he is good enough to play.

"He has a lot of qualities and has a nice character as well. He's very useful for the team."

Ibrahimovic has netted nine goals in seven Ligue 1 appearances so far.

Article

Mixed emotions for Ancelotti

8 October 2012 03:44

Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti insists his team were not at their best during the 2-2 draw against Marseille on Sunday.

Andre-Pierre Gignac and Zlatan Ibrahimovic both netted braces as the clash between the top two teams in Ligue 1 finished level at Stade Velodrome.

Ancelotti was disappointed with the result and felt his players struggled to back up from their Champions League loss to Porto on Wednesday.

"We have not played with great intensity, I grant you," the Italian told reporters.

"We could have put more intensity, but we left a lot of energy in Wednesday's game and the trip to Portugal.

"We did not have a great game, it's true. We should have exercised better control and should have tried to score again after taking the lead."

The draw kept big-spending PSG, who are unbeaten in Ligue 1 this season, three points adrift of league leaders Marseille.

Ancelotti insisted the draw was an acceptable result but believes his side could have collected all three points.

"This is not a bad result. We even could have won. We took the lead but we were not able to control the game then. It's a shame because we could win," he said.

"We gave a good performance with a good grasp of the game and a good state of mind."

Marseille coach Elie Baup was full of praise for his team for their efforts against Ancelotti's men.

"We gave 100 percent then we tried to play and create some opportunities," he said.

"Against such a good opponent it was not easy but I really can't blame the players tonight, all I can say is that they tried their best."

Article

Anigo doubts Ibrahimovic influence

7 October 2012 14:45

Marseille sporting director Jose Anigo PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not the best player Ligue 1 has ever seen.

Anigo's side sit atop of the Ligue 1 standings with 18 points out of the 21 available so far, with the French capital club a further three points adrift. The winner of their clash on Sunday will be top of the standings after eight matches.

However, Anigo – who coached Marseille between 2001 and 2005 – guiding them to their last European final in 2004, played down Ibrahimovic's impact on French football, despite the Swedish star's goalscoring form in France.

"It is not as (if he is) the best the league has ever seen. We had (Enzo) Francescoli, (Dragan) Stojkovic, and (Didier) Drogba," the 51-year-old told Sport365.

"If you give me the choice between Drogba and Zlatan, for many reasons I (will pick) Didier, even at his age."

Article

Jallet targets ´slapping´ of Marseille

7 October 2012 06:41

Paris Saint-Germain full-back Christophe Jallet believes his team's clash against Marseille could decide the Ligue 1 title.

Carlo Ancelotti's men comprehensively lost 3-0 at Stade Velodrome last November, a result the defender is particularly eager to level against Elie Baup's men on Sunday.

"(September's 2-1 victory over) Lille proved to be a turning point for us," Jallet told reporters.

"Marseille have been in stable form, as well as possessing a physical advantage, but let's hand them a slapping.

"This match will prove to see how well we can do in the league, and indeed if we can beat anyone."

Jallet is anticipated to start over off-season purchase Gregory van der Wiel at the back, while Mamadou Sakho is suspended for the key clash.

Article

Baup targets title tilt

7 October 2012 04:49

Marseille coach Elie Baup has urged his men to display their worth in Sunday's top-of-the-table clash against Paris Saint-Germain.

After falling to a 4-1 defeat to Valenciennes in Ligue 1 last Saturday, Marseille returned to winning ways with a 5-1 thrashing of AEL Limassol in the Europa League.

Baup, 57, has pressed his charges to keep their chins up if they are to secure a memorable victory against Carlo Ancelotti's men.

"Since Thursday, I've been thinking of Paris Saint-Germain every second," Baup joked to reporters.

"We are looking forward to it."

Baup says his side will disregard the high-profile players of PSG and will instead focus on their own performances.

"We have this subconscious desire to project ourselves, and challenge on an even footing at the top of the table, showing our collective strength as a team," he said.

"With their financial prowess and recruitment of great players, Paris Saint-Germain remain a force to be reckoned with, but during a game we should be treated as equals.

"I'm not fixated on Zlatan Ibrahimovic's performance, what I'm interested in is our game, our players and our ability to form a great team against our opponents on Sunday."

The league frontrunners have already been hit by a number of notable absentees, with Joey Barton suspended and injured duo Rafidine Abdullah and Kassim Abdallah set to miss out.

Article

Cheyrou: Ibrahimovic not our sole focus

6 October 2012 15:46

Marseille's Benoit Cheyrou says his side do not have a specific plan to deal with Paris Saint-Germain's Zlatan Ibrahimovic ahead of Sunday's clash.

Marseille and PSG currently find themselves in first and second place respectively, and Elie Baup's men will be hoping to throw the heavy-spending capital club off course early in the season.

"Ibrahimovic is a real star and one of the best in the world. It's good that he came to Ligue 1," the midfielder told reporters.

"But we will have no anti-Ibrahimovic or anti-Menez plan. We have used specific plans since the season started and we will use these against PSG. We must press on, regardless of the opponent.

"This is a game which is played with the mind and the tactics. This is not a game you prepare for 48 hours before."

Cheyrou went on to bemoan the amount of media attention PSG were attracting, with little attention given to Marseille's six consecutive opening victories. The midfielder sees Sunday's fixture as the ideal opportunity for his side to showcase their abilities.

"It is pleasing to play against PSG under these conditions, because no one saw our strong start to the season," the 31-year old stated.

"It's good that it is first against second. This puts more spice to the game, but it is not yet the final sprint."

Article

Remy ready for French blockbuster

6 October 2012 09:12

Marseille striker Loic Remy said he cannot wait to take on Paris Saint-Germain in Sunday's top-of-the-table clash at the Stade Velodrome.

The 25-year-old scored twice in Marseille's 5-1 Europa League victory over Cypriot side AEL on Thursday to record his first goals of the season.

His side sit three points above PSG in the Ligue 1 table, but defeat would cost them first position as the capital club have a superior goal difference.

"I cannot wait for the match and to sample the atmosphere around it," the France international told ligue1.com.

"We've got quality and team spirit. That spirit's what we need to retain in all circumstances. That didn't necessarily happen last season and we saw the consequences.

"This season the collective is the most important thing. I know on Sunday we'll do what we need to do to win the game."

The France international has declared that the game is like a top European match, such is the buzz approaching kick-off.

"For me, Sunday is like a Champions League match. It will be a difficult task for us but not an insurmountable one (for us).

"People are talking up PSG and they're a team with a lot of individual quality who have certain problems collectively.

"We're going to use our collective force."

Article

Pastore wary of Marseille

5 October 2012 20:21

Javier Pastore believes Sunday's clash between Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille is a key match for both clubs.

The 23-year-old says PSG must win the match but the Argentine playmaker expects Marseille – who are three points ahead of Carlo Ancelotti's side and on top of the table – to provide a huge test.

"This is a game that will count," he told France Football.

"We must try to win to go in front (of Marseille in Ligue 1). But it will be difficult, as it was last year.

"Anyway, this year we are confident. Yes, we could lose, of course, like last season. I feel that we will be successful in a big match."

PSG sit in second place with 15 points from seven matches.

Article

Ligue 1 preview: Marseille bid to topple PSG

4 October 2012 12:18

Marseille are set for their biggest test of the Ligue 1 season so far when they host Paris Saint-Germain in a top-of-the-table clash.

Elie Baup's Marseille side dropped points for the first time this season when they were thrashed 4-1 away to Valenciennes last week.

While Marseille won six games straight before the loss to Valenciennes, Baup's team have only beaten one side, newly-promoted Reims, in the top 10 of Ligue 1's standings, meaning the south-coast club have a lot to prove against big-spending PSG.

Known as Le Classique, Marseille versus PSG is always keenly anticipated and Baup's captain Andre Ayew could not resist a jab at the capital club heading into Sunday's game.

"It has never been my dream to play for PSG," Ayew said.

"For me, Marseille is the biggest club in France.

"It is not a question of the PSG's image but identity."

PSG head into the match having slumped to a 1-0 defeat away to Porto in the Champions League, while Marseille were in Cyprus this week for their Europa League fixture against AEL Limassol.

Sunday shapes as a big day in Ligue 1 as third-placed Lyon travel to Lorient, who sit in fourth on the table.

Lorient are the top-scorers in France's top division with 13 goals, while Lyon (12) are equal second with PSG, and with both teams having conceded at least a goal per game on average, the game should be a cracker.

Striker Alain Traore will be the main threat to Lyon's backline as the 23-year-old Burkino Faso international is Lorient's most-prolific scorer this season with four goals.

Lyon includes a triple-threat to Lorient goalkeeper Fabien Audard with Lisandro Lopez, Bafetimbi Gomis and Michel Bastos all with three goals to their name this season.

In the other fixture on Sunday, Brest host Bordeaux.

Round eight of Ligue 1 begins on Friday with Nancy travelling to St Etienne, while on Saturday reigning champions Montpellier should extend their unbeaten streak to four matches when they host Evian.

Montpellier fought back for a 2-2 draw away to Schalke in the Champions League on Wednesday despite losing Garry Bocaly to a red card early in the second half with Souleymane Camara scoring a 90th-minute equaliser.

Lille will try and bounce back from a 2-0 defeat away to Valencia in their home game against Ajaccio, while Sochaux host Rennes.

In other games, Troyes head to Bastia, Reims take on Nice and Toulouse face Valenciennes.

Ligue 1 table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +46 83
2 38 +6 71
3 38 +23 67
4 38 +11 64
5 38 +28 63
6 38 +19 62
7 38 +6 55
8 38 -1 53
9 38 +3 52
10 38 +2 51
11 38 -4 48
12 38 -16 47
13 38 -11 46
14 38 -9 43
15 38 -16 41
16 38 -7 40
17 38 -12 40
18 38 -20 38
19 38 -18 37
20 38 -30 29