PSG cruise past Monaco and into the Coupe de France final
Paris Saint-Germain beat an experimental AS Monaco 5-0 at the Parc des Princes to set up a Coupe de France final with Angers SCO. Julian Draxler (26'), Edinson Cavani (31'), Blaise Matuidi (52') and Marquinhos (89') scored for PSG.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Coupe de France, semi-finals
Parc des Princes, Paris
Paris Saint-Germain 5-0 AS Monaco
With Monaco's focus on maintaining their narrow Ligue 1 lead over PSG - as well as their UEFA Champions League semi-final duties against Juventus - coach Leonardo Jardim played a heavily rotated side in the French capital, with Valère Germain and Andrea Raggi the only players to have featured in at least 10 top-flight games this season.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, PSG raced into a two-goal lead with barely half-an-hour gone. Angel Di Maria stung the gloves of Danijel Subasic's understudy Morgan de Sanctis in the Monaco goal, and Cavani latched onto the rebound before selflessly teeing up Draxler to tap home the opener (26'). Di Maria sent a cross into the visiting box soon after, and this time Cavani took matters into his own hands, sending a fine finish into the opposite corner (31').
Di Maria show
PSG continued to pile on the pressure in the second half, with Safwan MBae - one of four Monaco debutants - turning past De Sanctis after attempting to deny Cavani what would have been his second goal from a Di Maria cross (50'). Matuidi put the game beyond doubt soon after, latching onto yet another Di Maria delivery - this time low towards the back post - before stroking home for 4-0 (52').
Monaco's best chance of the game came when Belgian youngster Adrein Bongiovanni - who came off the bench for Germain with 20 minutes to go - forced a fine save from Alphonse Areola (72'), but it was to prove little more than a deviation from the one-way traffic, and Marquinhos added gloss to the scoreline late on when he bundled home following a Lucas Moura free-kick (89').
THE PLAYER: Edinson Cavani
PSG fans must be wondering how many goals Cavani might have plundered had he not spent the previous three seasons camped on the wing to accommodate Zlatan Ibrahimovic. With the big Swede gone, Cavani has scored more goas than any other striker in Europe this season, with his tally in this one taking his all-time PSG haul to 126.
THE STAT: 31
Paris head into May's Coupe de France final at the Stade de France with a 31-game undefeated run in French cup competitions. The last time the capital club tasted a cup defeat was January 2014, when they were edged 2-1 by Montpellier Hérault SC in the last 32. Cavani got PSG's goal that day, while Matuidi, Marco Verratti, Thiago Silva and Marquinhos also started that game and this.
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