PSG book their quarter-final spot after slight scare
Cup holders Paris St-Germain were taken to extra time by third division side Villefranche Beaujolais on Wednesday. However, they still managed to reach the French Cup quarter-finals.
After starting with a second-string team, the capital side had to rely on Mbappe and Cavani. Within moments of their introduction, PSG gathered a comfortable 3-0 lead.
The duo had a hand in all three goals, to dig them out of a hole following a goalless draw after 90 minutes. Uruguay striker Cavani set up Julian Draxler for the opener in the 102nd minute.
France forward Mbappe gifted the second to Moussa Diaby in the 113th. Before setting up the third for Cavani in the 119th.
PSG struggled for long periods of the match at Lyon’s Groupama Stadium.
Coach Thomas Tuchel was even sent off in the 72nd minute. When he lost his cool following a foul on midfielder Leandro Paredes.
Mbappe and Cavani started on the bench as Eric Choupo-Moting was fielded upfront. Midfielder Marco Verratti, who has just returned to training after an ankle injury, was also left out of the squad.
PSG, who travel to Manchester United next Tuesday for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie dominated the game.
But winger Diaby missed a clear chance in the 13th minute as the hosts held firm. With PSG struggling to break the deadlock, Angel Di Maria was replaced by Mbappe in the 62nd minute. While Choupo-Moting was also replaced by Cavani in the 79th.
The changes proved decisive as PSG, bidding to win a fifth consecutive French Cup, set up camp in the Villefranche half.
Thomas Tuchel’s side face Bordeaux at home in the league this weekend. Before travelling to Old Trafford on February 12 for the first leg of their Champions League tie with Manchester United.
“It’s normal to have the match against Manchester United in one corner of your head. Even if we’re trying to go step by step,” said PSG defender Marquinhos.
“You saw the coach look to rest some players to best manage the squad. We’re thinking about the important dates coming up.”
Argentine midfielder Leandro Paredes made his first start for PSG after his arrival from Zenit Saint Petersburg for a reported €47 million ($54 million.)
“He played well, he was very reliable in the middle. Leandro didn’t lose the ball. He had a lot of quality in his passes. It wasn’t easy. But he was very good,” Tuchel said of Paredes.
PSG will be without Brazilian forward Neymar for both legs of the last-16 clash against United. After the world’s most expensive player suffered an injury to his right foot last month.
Elsewhere, Jordan Siebatcheu scored twice, including a 91st-minute winner, for Rennes as they came from behind to defeat 10-man Lille. Who saw Adama Soumaoro sent off after just 19 minutes.
Fourth-division Vitre reached the last eight of the French Cup for the first time in club history. A stoppage-time penalty completed a remarkable 3-2 victory. Previously they had trailed third-tier Lyon-Duchere by two goals.
Lyon, who snapped PSG’s unbeaten league run at the weekend, visit Guingamp in the final of the last-16 games on Thursday.