St Etienne edge PSG in League Cup
PARIS (AFP) –
St Etienne beat Paris Saint Germain 5-3 on penalties in the French League Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang firing home the winning spot-kick after the game had ended 0-0 after extra-time.
Paris Saint Germain captain Thiago Silva missed the crucial third spot-kick for the visitors, who never got to take their fifth shot after Aubameyang’s strike put the shoot-out beyond them.
St Etienne are proving to be something of a bete noire for the Parisians, having also ended their unbeaten league run at the Parc des Princes recently.
In a classic cup tie atmosphere at a pulsating Geoffrey Guichard stadium, the first half of the game between these two French giants was full of action and purpose.
At the other end Aubameyang’s close-range header in the 17th minute was cleared off the line by Clement Chantome.
The Paris defence were disciplined and assured, while the giant Ibrahimovic cut a fearsome figure as he roved at will across the full breadth of the forward line.
St Etienne defended in numbers and their goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier held his nerve in the face of an onrushing Ibrahimovic, refusing to be drawn out and saving well with his feet.
In the second half the hosts fell back onto defence.
PSG, who could have been mistaken for the home side so willing were they to come forward, looked to be running out of ideas, despite Ibrahimovic’s flicks and shimmies.
As St Etienne strangled the life out of the game, the visitors were fortunate to survive an injury time free-kick with the crowd baying for a goal.
An extra-time mix up between Lavezzi and Ibrahimovic after an ill-judged back pass cost the visitors the lead when a disbelieving Rufier pounced at the feet of the hesitating Swede when a goal seemed certain.
PSG laid siege to the St Etienne goal in the final period of extra-time, and Ruffier had to beat out a Sylvain Armand shot which was heading for the top corner of the net.