Dijon stun PSG, Lorient see off Montpellier
Dijon, inspired by Brice Jovial, came from two goals down to dump league leaders Paris Saint-Germain out of the Coupe de la Ligue thanks to a brilliant 3-2 win.
Wednesday 26 October
Coupe de la Ligue, last 16
Stade Gaston Gérard
Dijon 3-2 Paris Saint-Germain
Confidence would have been high for PSG given that they hadn't lost a game in France since the opening day of the season. The capital side went into the match on the back of five straight wins in the league, including one against Dijon on Saturday.
Despite visiting coach Antoine Kombouaré's decision to rest the in-form Kevin Gameiro, Nenê and Javier Pastore, there was a sense of inevitability as PSG took control early on with goals from Jean-Christophe Bahebecq (16') and Mevlut Erding (20').
Jovial inspires fightback
Shaken but not overawed, Dijon refused to be cowed and hit back largely thanks to the efforts of Brice Jovial.
The striker won a penalty after a tangle with Uruguayan defender Diego Lugano which was then converted by former PSG man Younousse Sankhare (30'). Soon after Florin Berenguer made it 2-2 from close range after connecting with a pinpoint Jovial cross (32').
After such inspirational play it was fitting that the Guadeloupian would have the last say. Again the referee awarded a penalty this time when he, perhaps harshly, adjudged that Zoumana Camara had handled in the area. Jovial, however, needed no second invitation and smacked the ball home to give Dijon a precious advantage (61') and cap a magnificent individual display.
Kombouaré responded and threw on Gameiro and Nenê for the last 20 minutes as PSG laid siege to the Dijon goal. Twice the visitors hit the post but the home side took what luck came their way to record their biggest of the season and move into the quarterfinals.
Lorient send Montpellier packing
Stade de la Mosson
In the other early match Lorient sprung a surprise of their own by knocking out last season's runners-up Montpellier. Having made the long trip down from Brittany, the visitors started best and they were rewarded when Ifeanyi Emeghara struck first (14').
Montepellier's night was then complicated 10 minutes intot he second half when Garry Bocaly was sent off for a second yellow card (55'). Second-half substitute Olivier Giroud made an almost immeadiate impact when he levelled the scores just two minutes after coming on (65').
Despite that set-back, Lorient scented victory and Joel Campbell (on loan from Arsenal) delivered the goods when he grabbed what proved to be the winner (69').
There was a nervous finale during which Montpellier's Gabriel Penalba missed a penalty (78') but in the end nothing could stop Lorient, the 2002 losing finalist, from booking their place in the quarterfinals for the third time in their history.