Paris Saint-Germain rallied from a goal down for a labored 3-1 win at second-division AC Ajaccio on Wednesday as the holders reached the quarter-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue, while LOSC Lille Metropole and AS Monaco advanced on penalties.
Despite a run of two successive defeats, PSG coach Laurent Blanc fielded a B-team for the trip to Corsica, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Thiago Motta all being rested.
PSG’s unbeaten season ended at Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League and they slipped to a first Ligue 1 defeat at En Avant de Guingamp last weekend.
On Wednesday, the team struggled to create chances and exposed themselves to counterattacks in the first half, with the hosts taking the lead in the 27th minute when Johan Cavalli converted a penalty after Mouaad Madri was fouled by Serge Aurier.
Blanc’s side improved after the interval and Edinson Cavani leveled in the 55th minute from Lucas’ assist, before Aurier made amends for his mishap by giving PSG the lead with a header 10 minutes from time.
Jean-Christophe Bahebeck completed the win by steering the ball home four minutes later from Lucas’ cross.
Monaco goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg saved Jordan Ferri’s shot from the spot during the penalty shootout to send his team through against Olympique Lyonnais, after the teams were deadlocked at 1-1.
Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco, who missed a penalty in extra-time, put the Principality side ahead in the 97th minute, before Alexandre Lacazette leveled for Lyon from Yoann Gourcuff’s cutback.
Lille came out on top of their match against Griondins de Bordeaux with a 6-5 win on penalties following a 1-1 draw.
AS Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier put on a show-stopping performance, with several decisive saves and midfielder Romain Hamouma scored the winner in a 1-0 win for Les Verts.
Guingamp posted a fifth straight win in all competitions, advancing with a 2-0 win at AC Arles-Avignon courtesy of goals from Christophe Mandanne and Claudio Beauvue, while Sylvain Armand scored the winner as Stade Rennais defeated Union Sportive Creteil-Lusitanos 1-0.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two