No goals as Messi plays in his 1st “Classic”


MARSEILLE, France (AP) – Lionel Messi’s first “Classic” ended Sunday in a 0-0 draw between Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain at 10.

The deadlock between the two bitter rivals reduced PSG’s lead over Lens at the top of the French championship to seven points after 11 days.

PSG played with 10 men after Achraf Hakimi’s expulsion in the 56th minute at the Stade Vélodrome in traditionally the biggest match in French football. Hakimi knocked down Cengiz Under in a counterattack.

Messi almost struck shortly before half-time when his left-footed shot from outside the box got wide and he saved a header from close range in the 25th minute.

Both teams had a goal ruled out for offside by VAR in the first half – homeward goal of Marseille defender Luan Peres in the 14th after Neymar’s shot and Arkadiusz Milik’s low shot in the 21st.

Messi is the all-time top scorer in Spain’s “classic” matches between Barcelona and Real Madrid with 26 goals. Host Barcelona played their first classic without Messi on Sunday, losing 2-1 at home to Madrid.

In other French league games, winger Wesley Said scored a brace in the first half as Lens beat Metz 4-1.

Ignatius Ganago and Przemyslaw Frankowski also scored for Lens.

Nice beat Lyon 3-2 and are third in the standings, two points behind Lens.

Also on Sunday, Monaco beat Montpellier 3-1 and Rennes won 1-0 at home against Strasbourg. Lorient and Bordeaux drew 1-1 and Troyes won 2-1 at Reims.

PSG’s Lionel Messi, right, runs with the ball during the French Ligue 1 soccer match between Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain in Marseille, France, Sunday October 24, 2021.

On Saturday, defending champion Lille lost more points after a 1-1 draw against Brest.

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More AP football: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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