With a 2-1 victory against Marseille in Le Classique, Paris Saint-Germain pulled within four points of the Ligue 1 championship.
Mauricio Pochettino’s team led deservedly at halftime before putting up a spirited second-half performance to take the points and the bragging rights.
With 10 minutes on the clock, the hosts seized the lead with their first opportunity of the game. Marco Verratti wonderfully picked up Neymar’s run, who sneaked in behind Valentin Rongier and softly lifted the ball over the stranded Pau Lopez and into the goal.
Kylian Mbappe had an opportunity to increase the advantage when Danilo Pereira slipped him through one-on-one with Lopez, dragging his effort wide of the Spaniard’s goal.
And Marseille equalized from a corner after a blunder by Gianluigi Donnarumma, who flapped at Dimitri Payet’s cross, allowing Duje Caleta-Car to swipe home.
As PSG looked for a second goal, a powerful Neymar free-kick stung Lopez’s hands before a looping header from Mbappe hit the wrong side of the post.
The inventiveness of Neymar and Mbappe continued to slice Marseille open, but it was Lionel Messi who found the goal next. His shot, though, was called out because the helping Nuno Mendes was offside during the build-up.
Lopez denied Neymar twice in quick succession from close range, though the offside flag was raised both times, and on the stroke of half-time, the pressure told as PSG were awarded a penalty following a VAR check for an incident in which there were two handball claims, with Rongier and Gerson the guilty parties.
Mbappe stepped up and made no mistake from the penalty spot, sweeping fiercely into the left-hand corner to regain the advantage in the fifth minute of first-half stoppage time.
Messi cut up the Marseille defense to pick out Mbappe, but the Frenchman couldn’t get a shot off.
Mbappe did have the ball in the net, but PSG had another goal ruled out for offside, and the hosts were given a respite when VAR chalked off William Saliba’s equalizer from a Dimitri Payet free-kick for a similar infraction.
PSG used six minutes of stoppage time to secure a key victory as their bid to reclaim the French crown comes to an end.