Kylian Mbappé scored twice as Coupe de France holders Paris Saint-Germain saw off SM Caen 3-1 in Wednesday's semi-final and moved to within a game of completing a domestic quadruple.
Wednesday, 17 April, 2018
Coupe de France semi-finals
Stade Michel d'Ornano
SM Caen 3-1 Paris Saint-Germain
The Ligue 1 Conforama duo had the knowledge either of them would be favourites going into the final on 8 May with third-tier Les Herbiers awaiting them at the Stade de France.
After clinching the Ligue 1 Conforama title on Sunday, PSG were overwhelming favourites to be the amateur outfit's opponents, and though Caen had put paid to Olympique Lyonnais' ambitions in the last round, the Normandy hosts would quickly have been chasing the game had Damien Da Silva not defended bravely after Angel Di Maria had played a tempting ball into the box (5').
Edinson Cavani fired over (13') and Brice Samba made his first save of the game from a Di Maria shot (18') before PSG moved in front. Di Maria and Cavani were both involved with the latter shooting across goal where Mbappé was lurking (25') to net his third of the competition this season.
In their first-ever Coupe de France semi-final, Caen were determined not to go down without a fight. Ivan Santini brought a save from Kevin Trapp (41') before Ismaël Diomandé, the matchwinner against Lyon, fired home clinically when Jessy Deminguet's shot ricocheted into his path (43').
Referee François Letexier used VAR to rule out a Cavani strike just after the break (47') and Ronny Rodelin then sorely tested Trapp (54') as Patrice Garande's side sought to make the most of their luck.
At the opposite end, Samba twice kept out Di Maria (56', 77') before Mbappé struck again — Mr. Letexier this time using VAR to award the goal (81') — and Christopher Nkunku added a third (90+5') to take PSG through as Caen, who lost Diomandé to a late red card (90'), were left to ponder what might have been.
THE PLAYER: Kylian Mbappé
In the injury-enforced absence of Neymar Jr, the 19-year-old Mbappé again put in a performance way beyond his years. If PSG are gunning for a fourth successive Coupe de France, they have their young forward's clinical streak to thank.
THE STAT: 4
If PSG lift a fourth successive Coupe de France, they will become the first club to do so. With three in a row, they are level with Lille and Red Star.