Cavani back on track

2015-02-12 10:57
Edinson Cavani (AFP)

Paris - Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani's first goal in five games helped Paris Saint Germain to a 2-0 win over Nantes on Wednesday and a place in the French Cup quarter-finals.

Cavani, criticised for a poor performance in front of goal for the two-time defending champions against league leaders Lyon in Sunday's 1-1 draw, struck in the 19th minute with French international midfielder Yohan Cabaye adding a second in the 34th minute.

Cavani, who PSG coach Laurent Blanc had said needed to be helped to get him back on form again, headed home after he ran on to David Luiz' freekick.

"Yes of course one can have doubts about him (Cavani) after what happened against Lyon," said Blanc.

"But I wish to repeat he is a player who scores goals. It is imperative one helps maintain his confidence level for him to score."

Cabaye's goal sent the hosts into cruise mode 15 minutes later when, after a poor punch by Nantes 'keeper Maxime Dupe, the ball fell to him.

Cabaye needed no second invitation with the goalkeeper on the ground and fired into the net.

However, the former Newcastle star had to be taken off at half-time owing to a groin problem, though, Blanc said it was more a precaution ahead of PSG's Champions League last 16 first leg clash with Chelsea next week in Paris.

PSG's reward for Wednesday's win is a tough looking home quarter-final against Monaco, who beat Rennes 3-1.

Holders Guingamp came within seconds of an embarrassing defeat to fourth-tier Yzeure.

However, Christophe Mandanne saved their honour with an equaliser in the fourth minute of stoppage time to take it into extra time.

Mandanne then popped up to add a second in the 97th minute and Jeremy Pied, who had been instrumental in the build-up to the second goal, added a third three minutes later.

For Yzeure it was the second time in as many seasons they had let a 1-0 lead slip against Ligue 1 opponents, having led Lyon 1-0 in the round of 32 last term only to lose by the same 3-1 scoreline.

Guingamp play another fourth division club next time up fellow Brittany side Concarneau.

Monaco bounced back from two defeats, bowing out in the League Cup semi-finals to Bastia last week and then a 1-0 defeat by Guingamp in the league last weekend, with a comfortable win over Ligue 1 rivals Rennes.

Despite being affected by injuries to several key players, Monaco never looked in trouble from the moment young debutant Almamy Toure put them ahead with a header in the 10th minute -- Brazilian Wallace added a second a minute later to leave the visitors reeling.

Pedro Henrique reduced the deficit with just over 10 minutes to go to half-time but the hosts restored their two goal advantage through a penalty by another of their youngsters, 19-year-old Anthony Martial, and held on with ease.

Monaco's Portuguese coach Leonardo Jardim shrugged off the part played by the youngsters.

"It is normal the young players score because that is what our team is, young," said Jardim.

However, Jardim said that Toure's performance could well have gained the 18-year-old Malian defender a place in the side to play Arsenal in their Champions League last 16 clash next month, which pits the Ligue 1 side against one of their former managers, Arsene Wenger.

"It was his first start as a professional and he had a difficult task in trying to stop Paul-Georges Ntep from playing.

"He is an answer for both Ligue 1 and the Champions League."

Read more on:    paris st germain  |  ligue 1  |  edinson cavani  |  soccer

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