PSG safely into last four

2015-03-05 11:11
Edinson Cavani (AFP)

Paris - A finely taken goal by Edinson Cavani sealed a 2-0 win for Paris Saint Germain over Monaco on Wednesday in their French Cup quarter-final and kept alive their hopes of a domestic treble this season.

Cavani's second-half effort -- his 18th goal in all competitions this term -- added to David Luiz's scrappy header - leaves PSG still involved in the Cup, they are in the League Cup final and battling to retain their league title.

They are also tied at 1-1 with Chelsea heading into their Champions League last 16 second leg clash next week.

However, coach Laurent Blanc said that talk of the triple, which would be historic in the French game, was premature.

"Stories about the treble I will leave to others," said the 49-year-old former France and Bordeaux handler.

"For the moment the only certainty is that we are in the League Cup final.

"We are not in the French Cup final, we are a long way from being crowned champions (they are a point adrift of leaders Lyon) and we are not yet qualified for the Champions League.

"As regards the Chelsea match next week we have a tough game against Lens to come this weekend and one we must win."

Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim had rested some of his players or left some on the bench and he said that was partly to blame for their loss.

"We always try to win but today was very tough for us," said the Portuguese handler, whose side lost on penalties to Bastia in the League Cup semi-finals.

"We didn't have a specialist central defender and that makes life complicated.

"PSG therefore were logical winners."

PSG were without several first choice players including hardman Italian international midfielder Thiago Motta and the stylish French international Yohan Cabaye while talismanic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was serving the second match of his two game suspension.

Jardim opted to leave some on the bench players such as Joao Moutinho and Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco while as is the norm with French Cup games Dutch international Maarten Stekelenburg started in goal instead of Danijel Subasic.

PSG took an early lead as the mop haired Luiz managed to head home at the second opportunity after his weak downward header had bounced into the ground, but he reacted quickest to head it past Stekelenburg.

Cavani went close to doubling the lead soon afterwards but his shot had some of the power taken off it by a Monaco defender and Stekelenburg gathered the ball safely.

Monaco had seen little of the ball in the early stages but Alain Traore was denied only by the stanchion of the bar and the post with a curling freekick.

However, Cavani put the game beyond their reach seven minutes into the second-half as he ran onto a nicely sleighted pass from Marco Verratti and unleashed a shot which went in off the post.

PSG should have been 3-0 up minutes later in an incredible passage of play and one that Javier Pastore will prefer to erase from his memory.

Twice he hit the post and then when presented with a far easier opportunity and the net beckoning he fired wildly over the bar, earning a look of disbelief from Cavani.

The hosts were swarming all over their hard-pressed opponents and it was Pastore's Argentinian international team-mate Ezequiel Lavezzi who was hanging his head soon afterwards as he nipped in ahead of his marker but his effort went the wrong side of the post.

PSG joined fellow Ligue 1 outfit St Etienne, who have not won the trophy since 1977, who had to come from behind to force a 1-1 drew before eventually prevailing 4-3 on penalties over third tier Boulogne on Tuesday.

The semi-finals line-up will be completed on Thursday when the last two matches take place, including holders Guingamp playing fourth division Concarneau with the Ligue 1 side in a bit of a slump having lost three times last week.

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


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