Wed, Jan 07, 2015 - Page 19 News List

PSG stroll past Montpellier in Coupe

AFP, MONTPELLIER, France

Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian midfielder Lucas Moura, right, tries to control the ball in the air as Montpellier Herault’s French-Morrocan defender Abdelhamid El Kaoutari looks on in their Coupe de France match on Monday at the Altrad Stadium in Montpellier, France.

Photo : AFP

Paris Saint-Germain made light work of Ligue 1 rivals Montpellier Herault on Monday to stroll into the last 32 of the Coupe de France with a 3-0 away win.

Second-half goals from Clement Chantome, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a sublime third from Brazilian Lucas Moura settled the last-64 tie at the Altrad Stadium, home to Montpellier’s rugby team.

It was a welcome relief for the league champions, who were held to a draw at home by la Paillade in Ligue 1 two weeks ago. They are to face Girondins de Bordeaux in the next round.

PSG coach Laurent Blanc was critical of the pitch, which hosted a Top 14 rugby match just two days earlier.

“Given the conditions we didn’t expect a great football match,” Blanc said.

“Despite that, in general in the Coupe, it’s the team that shows the most combativity, determination and aggression that wins and goes through to the next round. Tonight I think that was the case with our progression,” the Frenchman added.

With South American forwards Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi left back in Paris as punishment for coming back late from their holidays, the capital club took time to click their attack into gear.

The visitors took the lead on 63 minutes as Chantome finished a pass from Ibrahimovic following the big Swede’s one-two with Brazilian defender Marquinhos.

Ibrahimovic headed home a cross from Javier Pastore with 11 minutes left, but Lucas saved the best for last, controlling a looping high ball expertly on his chest before spinning, holding off the close attentions of his marker and rifling past Jonathan Ligali in the Montpellier goal in stoppage-time.

Montpellier coach Rolland Courbis had no complaints.

“We’ve already seen and heard that the first goal is very important on a pitch like this,” he said. “I don’t want to waste time questioning PSG’s qualification. The score seems severe to me but their progression is logical.”

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