PSG beats Monaco 2-0 to reach French Cup semifinals
PARIS (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain remains on course for a domestic treble after beating Monaco 2-0 to reach the French Cup semifinals on Wednesday.
Former Chelsea player David Luiz gave PSG the lead in the third minute, and striker Edinson Cavani grabbed his 18th goal of the season to make it 2-0 after 52 minutes.
The teams had met in the French league on Sunday, when PSG missed a glut of chances in a 0-0 draw which only served to highlight the absence of top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic — who missed both games against Monaco through suspension.
PSG, which is second in the French league and through to the League Cup final, joins fellow first division side Saint-Etienne in the semis.
“What counts is winning them and we’ll do the sums at the end of the season,” Luiz said. “But we’re taking things step by step.”
PSG is also involved in the Champions League, and travels to London next week to take on Chelsea in the return leg of their last 16 match next week, with the score at 1-1 after the first leg.
“We need to win our games, to reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League,” Pastore said. “We showed a lot of conviction against Monaco and we created a lot of chances tonight.”
Saint-Etienne beat third-tier Boulogne-sur-Mer 4-3 on penalties in a shootout on Tuesday.
In Thursday’s quarters, Brest faces Auxerre in all-second division match, and rank outsider Concarneau — which plays in the amateur fourth tier — faces defending champion Guingamp.
After Luiz headed in Ezequiel Lavezzi’s free kick, PSG survived a scare in the 20th when Burkina Faso midfielder Alain Traore’s powerful strike came back off the crossbar.
Monaco also got a reprieve midway through the first half when Javier Pastore’s header glanced off the bar.
“It’s disappointing because we always play to win,” said Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim, who was without three of his best center halves. “We had several defenders missing and we paid the price for it. PSG’s win was logical. Seeing as it was our third game in a week I had to make decisions with regards to preventing further injuries.”
After Pastore again went close for PSG, Cavani latched onto a fine a pass from midfielder Marco Verratti, controlled the ball well and fired a low shot past Dutch goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
Then, within the space of a minute, Pastore — who missed good chances against Monaco on Sunday night — and Cavani both hit the post.
Pastore’s woeful finishing was evident again, when a minute after hitting the woodwork, he missed the target from six meters out and then saw another effort saved by Stekelenburg right before the end.
Also Wednesday, striker Clarck Nsikulu scored the only goal as Evian beat Lorient 1-0 at home in the French league to move three points clear of the relegation zone.
Lorient, which dropped to 17th place and is one point and one place behind Evian, had a penalty claim waved away when fullback Youssouf Sabaly appeared to foul striker Jordan Ayew.