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Ligue 1 Performance Index: Di Maria shines bright as PSG win Le Classique

3:52 PM GMT 19/03/2019
Angel Di Maria PSG Montpellier Ligue 1 20022019
The Argentina international scored two and set up one as Thomas Tuchel's side secured a 3-1 win over Marseille

Paris Saint-Germain underlined their dominance of Ligue 1 once again on Sunday as they claimed a 3-1 win over bitter rivals Marseille.

A section of the club’s fans boycotted the early stages of the match in protest at the Champions League exit that PSG had suffered in their previous outing at Parc des Princes, yet they had returned to their seats by the time the Argentine began his fireworks.

First, he set up Kylian Mbappe to open the scoring with a precise pass, but it was in the second period that he truly came to life. He had been denied a goal for a marginal offside in the opening period but made amends with a solo effort from a tight angle and then wrapped the game up with a sumptuous free-kick from range that kissed the post before flying into the net.

As well as being a performance that will see him writ large in PSG history, it was also the best display of the weekend in Ligue 1, as judged by the Opta Performance Index, which presents every player with a score out of 100.

Di Maria’s effort of 99.1 was not far short of perfect – something that not too many PSG fans would argue with after watching some dazzling moments of individual brilliance during the game.

Indeed, he was the one player that lit the fixture up, with Mbappe finishing in 12th and Valere Germain, who got OM’s reply, one spot further back.

This week’s Top 10 is instead dominated by Saint-Etienne players thanks to their somewhat unexpected 5-0 win over Caen.

The league table suggests that result is not illogical, but Sainte were badly depleted by injury and suspension, missing star man Wahbi Khazri.

In his absence, it was Romain Hamouma who came to the fore, showing his class at last in what has been a difficult season due to a string of injury problems. The former Caen winger tortured his former club, scoring the opener after five minutes then setting up Robert Beric and Arnaud Nordin to put the game beyond doubt after 31 minutes.

Nordin joined his club-mate in the Top 10 by finishing eighth, but it was cameos from Valentin Vada and Lamine Ghezali which ended up scoring higher. Both players got their first goals for the club, the latter netting his first senior strike on his debut.

It was a good weekend overall for substitutes, with Souleymane Camara winning third place thanks to a fine late header against Lyon that proved no more than a consolation. Meanwhile, Firmin Mubele grabbed a vital equaliser for Toulouse against Nice after appearing off the bench, taking him to sixth.

Wylan Cyprien had opened the scoring for Nice in that match and his solid overall display earned him a place in fifth on the ranking.

Rennes attacker M’Baye Niang put Thursday’s Europa League loss to Arsenal behind him by scoring a late equaliser against Bordeaux and snuck in at ninth, while Mike Maignan earned some small consolation from Lille’s 1-0 loss at home to Monaco with his fine goalkeeping display rewarded with a spot in 10th.

Ligue 1 will take a brief recess for international fixtures but returns in a fortnight, with Lyon’s trip to Rennes the highlight.

Meanwhile, the first silverware of the season will be won on Saturday March 30, with Guingamp and Strasbourg duelling in the Coupe de la Ligue final in Lille.