An awful night for PSG ended with one set of supporters fighting the police, the other throwing flares at them, and both sets abusing each other - "Ici c'est Paris" indeed. The cursed club can, however, only blame themselves for this heavy defeat. Toothless attacking play allied with a porous defence meant that Marseille really strolled to victory.
The substitutions Paris made tell their own story: Traore, the centre back, was withdrawn before the 70 minute mark, captain Makalele followed soon after and striker Hoarau was deservedly replaced by the ever hapless Kezman. Essentially the PSG coach showed the whole stadium what he thought about the spine of his team, and the performance they had given. The responsibility, though, surely lies with both parties.
All this capped off an awful football weekend for me; Villa lost the cup final, Hibs drew, Cheltenham and Hertha lost. Still each of those results was probably the most likely, and I don't think Villa can have too many complaints about losing to Man Utd. PSG certainly can't after this performance, in which Steve Mandanda, the Marseille goalkeeper, was only really called into action in the last ten minutes.
With the score 0-3 by this time it was much too little, far too late. In the French 'clasico' this was never going to be acceptable and the PSG supporters let their dissatisfaction be known. The ironic cheers which met Kezman's lunge on Gabriel Heinze, for which he was booked, expressed the feeling that PSG simply did not 'wet the shirt' enough in their biggest home game of the season.
So my first experience of live French football was a bad one, but at least I saw an extreme match, not a boring 0-0. It was also in some ways an appropriate introduction to the culture of PSG. Essentially there are two sets of supporters - the Auteuil and the Boulogne. The latter are French nationalists and racists who sing La Marseillaise, the former a more racially diverse representation of France's capital city.
A protest by the Marseille fans meant that none were present at the game, but this only meant that the 1500 extra police would be caught in the middle of the more explosive battles between both sets of PSG fans. The Auteuil are actually on strike at the moment - they turn up to games but don't sing in protest against the universally hated owner Colony - yet broke this silence to exchange insults with the Boulogne, and protest against Colony.
The match was described by my long-term Paris supporting friend as the worst he'd ever seen. In fact the only saving grace was Heinze's first-half header hit the post then crept along the line without crossing it. If la sallope had scored there really would have been trouble.