It may not have given the club the answers to some of Laurent Blanc’s selection headaches, but Paris Saint-Germain’s victory over Marseille on Sunday did provide a wake-up call to the rest of Ligue 1.
Much has been said about the inability so far to get the very best out of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani at the same time, but the character and quality of the French champion cannot be questioned after a come-from-behind Classique win at the Stade Velodrome which was achieved in the face of adversity.
A man short for the final hour, les Parisiens responded to the situation they found themselves in superbly, reminding the rest of the league that while they may not yet be nearly as devastating as some predicted, they have enough experience and expertise to get three points even when the odds are against them.
When Thiago Motta was late to a bouncing ball in his own box and caught Mathieu Valbuena’s boot, referee Clement Turpin quite rightly pointed to the penalty spot. But when the Italo-Brazilian eventually regained his feet, he was greeted with a very harsh red card.
The PSG players protested the decision long and hard, and could easily have responded to Andre Ayew’s resulting strike by feeling sorry for themselves. Instead they reacted like champions. They put the emphasis on possession, making up for the numerical disadvantage by making the ball do the extra work.