FRANCE: Gonçalo Ramos and “perfect player” Vitinha give PSG Classique win

Marseille 0-2 Paris Saint-Germain

There was a Portuguese double in France on Sunday evening as Paris Saint-Germain took a major step towards successfully defending their Ligue 1 title with victory at arch rivals Marseille.

Both Gonçalo Ramos and Vitinha scored for the champions, while Nuno Mendes missed the biggest fixture in the French calendar. After the match, PSG boss Luis Enrique was once again glowing in his praise of Seleção midfielder Vitinha’s performance.

The visitors’ win was made all the more impressive given they were reduced to ten men in the first half. Brazilian defender Beraldo was issued a straight red card via VAR for a tactical foul five minutes before half time, meaning PSG would play the entire second half with a numerical disadvantage at the Stade Velodrome.

However, once again the champions were able to count on the irresistible form of ex-Porto midfielder Vitinha. The Portugal man broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute, driving forward with the ball on a counter attack and playing a one-two with Ousmane Dembele to disorganise the Marseille defence, before Vitinha fired past Pau Lopez for his 7th league goal of the campaign.

Luis Enrique, who started with Danilo Pereira in defence, opted to introduce Gonçalo Ramos on 65 minutes, once again making the decision to substitute star man Kylian Mbappe. Ramos vindicated the call with five minutes left on the clock, rounding off a swift break by taking a pass from Marcos Asensio and firing past Pau Lopez.

Speaking after the final whistle, Luis Enrique was particularly high in praise of Vitinha. "Vitinha is a perfect player for a coach like me,” said the Spaniard. “He doesn't lose the ball, which is exactly what we want. Then, he's capable of moving between the lines unmarked, scoring. I can only congratulate him and encourage him to maintain this level. Or even raise it.”

PSG remain 12 points clear at the top of the standings. With the league title all but wrapped up, thoughts will soon be dominated by their mouthwatering Champions League quarter final tie with Barcelona later this month.

By @SeanGillen9