Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel praised his players’ attitude as his side continued to bounce back from their Champions League exit.
On Sunday night, PSG recorded their fourth win in a row against their rivals Marseille and extended their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 20 points.
It comes after Manchester United secured an extraordinary victory at the Parc des Princes nearly two weeks ago to progress into the Champions League quarter-finals.
Quoted in a post-match interview on PSG’s official website, Tuchel said he only had compliments for his team’s 3-1 win in Le Classique and suggested they had put the defeat to United behind them.
“The players played with a great mentality and a lot of quality. We showed how much we wanted to win,” he said.
“After Manchester United, it has been tough, but we have to accept what happened. The team reacted fantastically tonight.”
Kylian Mbappe scored his 26th league goal of the season to give PSG a half-time lead but Valere Germain equalised moments into the second half.
Angel Di Maria struck either side of a red card for Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, sealing the win and moving PSG ever nearer to another Ligue 1 title.
The hosts were forced to change things just after the half-hour mark with Thomas Meunier and Dani Alves coming off and Colin Dagba and Thilo Kehrer replacing the injured pair.
“I’m very happy because despite the absentees and the players injured today, we stayed confident and played well. It was exceptional,” Tuchel added.
Dagba, playing in his first Classique, told the website it had been a great match, saying: “I didn’t know I was going to come on so early, but it went well. My team-mates did everything to help me settle. It was a great Classique.”
Paris Saint-Germain continued their recent dominance of Le Classique with a 3-1 victory over Marseille at the Parc des Princes.
Kylian Mbappe’s 26th league goal of the season gave PSG the half-time lead but Valere Germain equalised right at the start of the second half.
Angel Di Maria struck either side of a red card for Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda to seal the win and move PSG ever nearer to another Ligue 1 title.
Mbappe could have made the scoreline more emphatic but he saw an injury-time penalty saved by back-up keeper Yohann Pele.
The win was PSG’s fourth in a row against their rivals and saw Thomas Tuchel’s team extend their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 20 points.
Marseille stay fourth, six points behind Lyon, after seeing their six-match unbeaten run, which included five victories, come to an end.
Mandanda almost gifted PSG an early lead with an embarrassing mistake. Duje Caleta-Car made what should have been a routine back pass, only for the veteran goalkeeper to slice the ball and almost kick it into his own net.
The ball rolled wide for a corner, which Marseille spared Mandanda’s blushes by clearing away.
Marseille had another escape shortly afterwards. Di Maria thought he had opened the scoring after 15 minutes with a lovely chip over Mandanda but his effort was chalked off after the referee consulted the Video Assistant Referee.
PSG were having a lot of possession without really creating anything, although Thomas Meunier forced Mandanda to tip his shot over the crossbar midway through the first half.
The hosts were forced to change things just after the half-hour mark with Meunier and Dani Alves having to come off. Colin Dagba and Thilo Kehrer replaced the injured pair.
Despite the double setback, PSG went into half-time ahead. Mbappe’s goal came from a Marseille corner which was cleared upfield to Di Maria, who laid the ball off into the 20-year-old’s path to finish with a first-time shot.
Marseille responded well to falling behind and they were level straight from the kick-off at the start of the second half. Lucas Ocampos got the better of Marquinhos down the left and crossed the ball for Germain to sweep home a low shot.
However, it quickly went wrong for the visitors. Di Maria, denied earlier by VAR, got his name on the scoresheet with a shot from a tight angle to restore PSG’s lead after 55 minutes.
The Argentinian was in the thick of the action and it was his break forward five minutes later which prompted Mandanda to charge from his goal and handle the ball outside of his penalty area. The referee had no option but to issue a red card.
Down to 10 men, Mario Balotelli was the man sacrificed to allow Pele to come on in goal. His first involvement was to pick the ball out of his net as Di Maria curled home a fine shot from the resulting free-kick.
Marseille put their remaining players behind the ball thereafter in an attempt to keep the scoreline respectable, although PSG were presented with the opportunity of a fourth goal in injury time when Mbappe was tripped inside the penalty area by Hiroki Sakai.
Di Maria was denied the chance of a hat-trick as Mbappe took the spot-kick himself, but his effort was saved by Pele.
Kylian Mbappe still believes in Paris Saint-Germain’s sporting project and will stay at the French club.
The talented youngster was witness to his team throwing away a 2-0 advantage from the first leg of their last-16 clash in the Champions League to Manchester United last week – the Ligue 1 giants lost 3-1 to exit on aways goals.
The Frenchman has decided to stand by his club during this tough time and maintains he has faith in the club’s project.
“After what has happened, I keep believing in this project and I’m sure that we will do something good for this club,” he told Telefoot.
“I will stay at this club, that’s for sure.”
However, the forward did admit that he is still shocked by their elimination. “I’m in shock, there are no words and I haven’t been able to sleep,” he admitted.
“The stadium was full, the fans did their work and supported us and the atmosphere was marvelous. We didn’t want to ruin it, but in the end we did ruin it.
“If we were eliminated it’s because it’s possible that we weren’t as good as we should have been.”