Paris Saint-Germain were held to a 0-0 draw by Marseille in Le Classique at the Stade Velodrome after going down to 10 men in the second half.
Achraf Hakimi's red card offered Marseille a golden opportunity to beat their old rivals they couldn't take. Chances were at a premium in a game decorated with VAR calls and marred by crowd trouble.
PSG thought they had taken the lead on 14 minutes when Luan Peres deflected Neymar's mis-hit shot into the net, but VAR intervened with an extremely tight offside call.
Messi ‘deeply regrets’ snubbing 2006 Champions League final celebrations
Seven minutes later, it was roles reversed. This time, Marseille believed they had scored when Arkadiusz Milik, who headed wide from a Dimitri Payet free kick early on, punished PSG's porous defence.
His finish was emphatic, but Pol Lirola was adjudged offside at the near side as he fired in a low cross.
The game had to be stopped for a few minutes when fans threw objects onto the pitch, with Lionel Messi and Cengiz Under going close at either end with half time looming.
Neymar of Paris Saint-Germain takes a corner under the protection of the police, Marseille v Paris Saint-Germain, Stade Velodrome, Marseille, October 24, 2021
Image credit: Getty Images
Just before the hour mark, the pendulum swung the hosts' way massively. After initially giving a handball against Under after a coming together with Hakimi, the referee checked the VAR monitor and changed his decision, sending the defender off for denial of a clear goalscoring opportunity.
But the home side were unable to take advantage of the extra man, appearing too timid and reluctant to up the tempo.
Under volleyed wide with around 20 minutes left, before substitute Konrad de la Fuente fumbled the best chance of the match yards out at the back post. Keylor Navas didn't really have a save to make all night.
It wasn't a good night for PSG's starstudded attack, either. Di Maria and Neymar were withdrawn early, while Messi was kept quiet. William Saliba denied Kylian Mbappe with a superb last-ditch tackle, while an attack from the Paris side was stopped in its tracks as the referee halted play on account of a pitch invader.
TALKING POINT - VAR decides the outcome with three correct calls
Neither PSG nor Marseille created too many chances, but they both thought they had scored the first goal. Neymar's tame shot found the net via Peres, but there was a correct offside call, just as there was at the other end with Milik, while Hakimi can have no complaints over his sending off. It was an entertaining enough game and both sides will be happy enough with a point; PSG extended their lead atop Ligue 1 to seven points.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Luan Peres (Marseille)
It hasn't been the best start to Peres' Marseille career and this game could have gone in a different direction had his own goal stood. But it could prove to be a turning point; he was magnificent in defence, and helped keep the PSG attack quiet when they would have expected to overpower him.
Marseille: Lopez 7, Peres 8*, Caleta-Car 7, Saliba 7, Kamara 6, Lirola 6, Rongier 6, Guendouzi 7, Payet 7, Under 7, Milik 6 Substitutes: De la Fuente 6, P.Gueye 5, Bamba Dieng n/a, Gerson n/a
PSG: Navas 6, Mendes 6, Kimpembe 6, Marquinhos 6, Hakimi 4, Danilo 5, Verratti 5, Di Maria 6, Neymar 5, Messi 6, Mbappe 6: Substitutes: I.Gueye 6, Kehrer 5, Wijnaldum n/a
14' - GOAL DISALLOWED! Peres deflects Neymar's cross-shot into the net. He had far too much space though. VAR rules it out for offside.
21' - GOAL DISALLOWED! Marseille carve PSG open and Milik thinks he has scored his second goal in a week after injury. Again, though, VAR intervenes.
57' - RED CARD! Hakimi is off after the referee checks the VAR monitor and decides he did indeed foul Under.
Marseille have failed to win two of the last seven Ligue 1 games where the opponent had a man sent off.
Xavi: Messi's seventh Ballon d'Or win 'total justice'
Ibrahimovic admits he told Mbappe to leave PSG, says Lewandowski should have won Ballon d'Or
Olympique de Marseille