Football

Laurent Blanc shields ball from Brice Dja Djedje during Le Classique

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Laurent Blanc provided a pretty convincing case to suggest that - even at the age of 48 - he could still cut it as a professional footballer, after showcasing a brilliant piece of defensive skill during Le Classique between Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille this weekend.

The French coach riled travelling supporters at Parc des Princes on Sunday evening when he was caught trying to waste time by shielding the ball from Brice Dja Djedje, as the 23-year-old tried to take a quick throw-in near the dugouts.

As the ball rolled out of play the Ivory Coast international sensed an opportunity for a swift counter-attack, and entered Blanc's technical area in an attempt to set his team-mates on their way.

However, the right-back's endeavour to reclaim possession from the opposition manager was purposely thwarted by the awkwardly positioned tactician on the touchline, prompting a word in the ear from the referee at a potentially crucial point in the game.

Of course, Blanc - who formerly played as a centre-back for illustrious European clubs such as Barcelona and Manchester United - knew what he was doing prior to being reprimanded by the man in the middle, particularly as his side were protecting a slender one-goal lead at the time.

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Lucas Moura's first-half strike had given PSG an advantage, and after Giannelli Imbula was sent off for the visitors following a tackle on Yohan Cabaye in the closing stages, the hosts capitalised on their one-man advantage when Edinson Cavani put the game to bed.

The 2-0 scoreline closes the gap at the top of the Ligue 1 table to one point, with the reigning champions in second spot with 27 points from their first 13 games. Marseille, meanwhile, remain on 28 points having played the same number of matches.

"Physically Marseille were better than us." - Laurent Blanc

Speaking after the match, Blanc conceded that Marcelo Bielsa's side were perhaps the better team, admitting that PSG were unlucky not to go behind when chances fell to Andre-Pierre Gignac and Romain Alessandrini early in the first half.

"Physically Marseille were better than us," he was quoted by the Daily Mail. "But it made us aware that we needed to raise our level, and our second half was of a very high standard."

Thanks to the hard work and determination of his PSG players - as well as the cheeky touchline intervention of his own - Blanc recorded a valuable victory for his side, which keeps the French title race very interesting heading into the international break.

Watch footage of Laurent Blanc shielding the ball from Brice Dja Djedje in the video above, and have your say in the comment box provided who you think will win the Ligue 1 title next May.

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Topics:
Paris Saint-Germain
Football
Ligue 1

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