French title-chasers Paris Saint-Germain moved smoothly into the last 16 of the French Cup on Friday with a comfortable 4-0 win over fifth-tier amateurs Sable-sur-Sarthe at Le Mans’ MMArena.
Seven-time winners PSG did not underestimate their rivals as Carlo Ancelotti’s men had had to fight to edge out fifth-division Locmine 2-1 with an injury-time winner in the previous round.
There was no Diego Lugano — scorer of the winner in that match — on Friday, but a first-half penalty from Brazilian Nene, after he was bundled over in the box, and a second from Kevin Gameiro just after the hour mark all but ended the contest before Gameiro, fed by Nene, made it three with 17 minutes remaining.
A fourth from Nene in the final minute with a meaty drive added the gloss for the capital club, who last won the trophy in 2010 and went down to Lille in last year’s final.
Former Lorient star and France international striker Gameiro has much to prove to the newly-arrived Ancelotti — who is targeting Manchester City’s wantaway Argentinian Carlos Tevez.
However, on this evidence at least Gameiro showed he will fight to keep his place if Tevez does ultimately arrive at a Parc des Princes floating on a sea of Qatari cash.
Gameiro said he will fight to win Ancelotti over.
“I am continuing to beaver away — when I get the chance to play I try to score,” he told Eurosport. “The coach is counting on me and even if other strikers are set to arrive I still have some aces up my sleeve.”
Holders and reigning French champions Lille — seven points adrift of PSG in the league title race after last week’s loss at Marseille — traveled to fourth-tier outfit Compiegne yesterday.
Marseille, with their 10 Cup wins a record, take on second tier side Le Havre today.
In other weekend action, Lyon visit fourth division Vendee Lucon at Nantes today, while Montpellier — currently second and pushing PSG hard in the title race — visit second tier Tours tomorrow.
The only all-Ligue 1 tie of the round was a meeting between Rennes and Nice yesterday.