France’s two billionaire clubs, PSG and Monaco, played out a 1-1 draw on Sunday in their first clash of the season.
It was two big-name strikers who ensured the points were shared at the Parc des Princes, in a match that proved wealth does not equate to bravery.
Neither side wanted to lose the match, which should be true of every game. But equally, it seemed that neither side was spirited enough to risk it all and chase three points wholeheartedly.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave PSG the lead after just five minutes, lashing home a typically spectacular kung-fu volley after a cross from the left by Maxwell.
The goal could not have occurred without the superb vision and technique of skipper Thiago Silva, who torpedoed a stunning pass across the pitch to find Maxwell, who in turn found the pouting warrior-artist Ibra.
But that was to be Silva’s last major contribution, and PSG’s point came at a high price, when their skipper limped off injured after just 20 minutes.
PSG already had defensive injury woes, and had sold Mamadou Sakho to Liverpool.
And their now patchwork backline was no match for Colombian destroyer Falcao, who stole a march on debutant Marquinhos and unheralded sub Zoumana Camara, to head home a cross by Joao Moutinho.
With the points shared, this billionaire’s grudge match looks set to go all the way until the end of the season, when the number of goals scored by marquee strikers like Ibra and Falcao could prove the most minute of differences.