PSG beat 10-man Marseille to reach last eight
PARIS (AFP) –
Paris Saint Germain reached the French League Cup quarter-finals with a 2-0 victory over arch-rivals and two-time defending titleholders Marseille though the losers played for most of the match with 10 men.
PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti rested Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahomovic as well as a number of other first-team regulars but the match was arguably decided with the harsh dismissal of Marseille defender Rod Fanni in the 28th minute.
Fanni was sent-off for bringing down Guillaume Hoarau – though replays showed he was off balance when did so – which led to a penalty that Brazilian Thiago Silva smashed past Steve Mandanda.
The incident was the turning point with Elie Baup’s side forced to change tactics and left to play the remaining 62 minutes with ten men and a goal down.
Marseille were caught on the break five minutes into the second-half.
In-form Jeremy Menez was set up by Argentine Javier Pastore and the French international half-volleyed a clean strike past the despairing Mandanda to put the result beyond doubt and propel the capital side into the last-eight draw.
Earlier Claude Puel enjoyed a slice of revenge against his former club Lyon as Nice scored three early goals to run out deserved 3-1 victors.
The match exploded into life with four goals in the first 16 minutes as coach Puel who left Lyon in acrimonious circumstances in 2011 watched his team seize the initiative against his former employers.
“I am really happy with the performance and for all the players and it is a pleasure to coach this group,” beamed Puel.
Lyon’s unfortunate Gueida Fofana handled in the box on six minutes and Valentin Eysseric made no mistake from the spot, sending second-string ‘keeper Anthony Lopes the wrong way for his second goal of the season.
French international Bafetimbi Gomis swiftly equalised for Lyon just seconds later when former Ligue 1 player of the year Yoann Gorcuff chested the ball down for the striker to blast home his tenth goal of the campaign.
As the rain cascaded down at the Stade Municipal de Ray, Nice went back in front with two quickfire goals from Mali midfielder Mahamane Traore and Argentine Renato Civelli to put Nice 3-1 up after a quarter of an hour.
Nice, who reached the 2006 League Cup final and last won a trophy in 1997 when they won the French Cup, held out after the break despite Lyon dominating possession and the goal which would have set up a tense finish never materialised.
To make matters worse Serbian defender Milan Bisevac was shown a straight red card with two minutes left after pulling down Neal Maupay to make Lyon’s task all but impossible.