Kylian Mbappé bagged a brace as PSG booked a spot in the Coupe de France quarters at the expense of league leaders LOSC on Wednesday night, injecting a notch more tension into this season's exhilarating Ligue 1 Uber Eats title race.
Coming off a shock 2-1 league defeat at home to 18th-placed Nantes on Sunday, and with a crunch league clash with title rivals Lyon - who are locked with the capital club on 60 points - this coming weekend, Paris Saint-Germain scored a much-needed confidence booster against in-form LOSC at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday.
Violent burglaries to the homes of Angel Di Maria and captain Marquinhos during Sunday night's match also affected the capital club's preparations but Mauricio Pochettino's men looked unfazed as the made most of the running against the league leaders.
Pochettino: 'Massive credit'
"I'm so happy with the performance and the spirit of the team. They deserve massive credit and I want to congratulate them but most of all the families because the last few days were very tough for everyone. We all feel what happened to Marqui and Angel," said Pochettino. "It really touched the squad and that’s why I want to congratulate the team, the players and the families suffering around them. I’m so happy; I think we fully deserved to go through to the quarter finals and in this difficult circumstance I’m happy for the 3-0."
Mauro Icardi broke the deadlock early when LOSC 'keeper Mike Maignan spilled a Di Maria cross (9') and although Burak Yilmaz crashed a shot off the bar on the half-hour mark, Paris went 2-0 up when Mbappé picked himself up to convert form the spot after being brought down by Zeki Celik (41').
Galtier: 'Watched them play'
"We didn't play a cup match," lamented LOSC boss Christophe Galtier, whose eliminated side now have no distractions from their tilt for a first Ligue 1 Uber Eats title in a decade - which continues with the visit of Nîmes Olympique on Sunday afternoon. "In the cup, at the end, you either qualify or you are eliminated. The scoreline may seem harsh, but we can't compete with Paris if we only play one half. Our first half was timid, I think we watched them play a bit too much."
Although LOSC did better in the second half, PSG held firm - with 'keeper Keylor Navas heroically denying Yusuf Yazici form the spot (78') - and then made certain of the result as Mbappé used his trademark acceleration and pace to race onto a long ball and then produced a deft chip to bear Maignan and underline PSG's qualification for the quarter-finals (90'+3).
The rest of the Coupe de France round of 16 action will take place on 6, 7 and 8 April 2021.