Paris Saint-Germain maintained their unbeaten start to the Ligue 1 season, beating rivals Marseille 2-1 at the Stade Velodrome despite the first half dismissal of Thiago Motta.
The Brazilian midfielder was shown red after 34 minutes after bringing down Mathieu Valbuena inside the box, affording Andre Ayew the chance to make it 1-0 from the spot.
But despite the man handicap, Laurent Blanc’s men rallied with goals from Maxwell and Zlatan Ibrahimovic giving PSG their first ‘Clasique’ win at Stade Velodrome in four attempts.
The result draws PSG level with league leaders Monaco, as both teams sit on 21 points from their opening nine games.
Marseille started lively and forced Salvatore Sirigu into a smart save from Mathieu Valbuena’s low free-kick under the wall after 11 minutes.
And minutes later the visitors had their Italian goalkeeper to thank once again, this time pulling off a magnificent double save from Jordan Ayew and Valbuena, preserving the deadlock.
The hosts continued to threaten the PSG goal and came within a few inches of opening the scoring when Andre Ayew met Rod Fanni’s low cross at the near post, but the Ghanaian forward flashed his stabbed effort past the target.
However, Sirigu was finally beaten when Andre Ayew fired high into the net from 12 yards after Motta’s reckless red-card challenge on Valbuena.
Marseille’s weakness from set-pieces was providing PSG with opportunities, and Ibrahimovic was unfortunate not to find the net after Steve Mandanda pulled off a flying save to repel his volley on the spin.
Despite the man advantage Marseille failed to build on their lead and found themselves level just before half time, when Maxwell beat Mandanda to a floated Gregory van der Wiel cross, heading into the empty net.
PSG proved to be the better side after the break and were awarded a penalty of their own when Jordan Ayew brought down Marquinhos inside the box. Ibrahimovic stepped up to convert the spot kick and give his side an unlikely lead.
Marseille’s response to going behind was feeble and Fanni was somewhat fortunate to remain on the field, fouling Cavani while already on a yellow card.
Florian Thauvin passed up one final opportunity to restore parity for the home side, nodding his back-post header into the arms of Sirigu, before Andre Ayew struck a free-kick from the edge of the box into the top of the PSG wall.