Big two reach Coupe quarters
Ligue 1 big-hitters AS Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain made it through to the Coupe de France quarter-finals on Wednesday and will be joined in the last eight by En Avant Guingamp.
Beaten 5-1 by arch-rivals Paris Saint-Germain last weekend and with memories of their recent 4-1 defeat to Monaco in Ligue 1 still painfully fresh, OM wanted - and needed - to make a positive start to bolster their fragile confidence.
Florian Thauvin did test Morgan De Sanctis (11'), but it was OM goalkeeper Yohann Pelé who would make the first significant contribution to the scoreline - unfortunately for the hosts, it was to unwittingly divert Joao Moutinho's free-kick into his own net after the Portugal international's effort had ricocheted wickedly off a post (19').
OM did not crack though, and Dimitri Payet brought them level before the break, sending a half-volley beyond De Sanctis after the January signing from West Ham United had been picked out by Thauvin's cross (43').
Monaco seized the initiative again on 66 minutes when the irrepressible Kylian Mbappé found the net, nipping in front of Rolando to turn in Benjamin Mendy's cross (66') to embellish his flourishing reputation still further.
With six minutes left, OM took the game into an extra period thanks to Rémy Cabella's smart finish (84'), but Monaco - through the unlikely source of their left-back Mendy - went ahead again thanks to the former OM defender's strike on 104 minutes.
Still OM showed heart, and Cabella levelled once more on 111 minutes, but just two minutes later, Thomas Lemar found the net to take Leonardo Jardim's men, who had beaten amateur side FC Chambly 5-4 after extra-time in the previous round, into the quarter-finals.
The reigning champions remain on course to complete a hat-trick of successive Coupe de France wins following a solid performance in victory over Ligue 2 outfit Chamois Niortais.
Home goalkeeper Arthur Desmas was the busiest man on the pitch in the opening minutes as he denied Thomas Meunier (11') and then halted a Gonçalo Guedes shot deflected by Jérémy Choplin (23').
PSG's January signing from Benfica failed to take a handful of chances as Unai Emery's men appeared set to endure extra-time, which - with their fixture list already well-stocked - would not have been in their ideal script.
Javier Pastore's finessed finish to Christopher Nkunku's free-kick 12 minutes from time spared PSG's tired limbs before Edinson Cavani got on the end of a cross from the Argentina international to give the scoreline a more flattering gloss (90+4').
The top-flight side were given a real scare by their third-tier hosts, who tore into Antoine Kombouaré's men from the off and were awarded a penalty early in the second half.
The spot-kick smashed off the crossbar (49') and Guingamp exploited their luck, taking the tie away from their Norman opponents in the space of two minutes in which Alexandre Mendy (59') and Nill De Pauw (61') both found the net.
Pierre Vignaud pulled one back with a cleverly executed free-kick in added time (90+2'), but could not prevent the Ligue 1 side progressing.