AS Monaco remained on course for four trophies with a 2-0 defeat of fellow top-flight side Evian Thonon Gaillard on Wednesday, while goals from Edinson Cavani and Javier Pastore gave Paris Saint-Germain a 2-1 win over Girondins de Bordeaux in the French Cup.
There was no upset for the big clubs as AS Saint-Etienne wasted a two-goal lead, but still advanced to the last 16 after overcoming second-tier Tours FC 5-3 in extra time.
Lucas Ocampos and substitute Anthony Martial scored second-half goals as Monaco extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches in all competitions. Fifth in the league, nine points behind leader Lyon, Leonardo Jardim’s side also remains in contention in the Champions League and the League Cup.
Monaco dominated from the start and Ocampos put the hosts ahead in the 63rd before Martial made the most of a quick counterattack two minutes from time.
Playing with pace, PSG rediscovered the form that swept the club to the French title last season in an entertaining first half.
Cavani opened the scoring with a header from Lucas Digne’s cross and Pastore coolly doubled the lead from the rebound after Ezequiel Lavezzi’s effort was parried by goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso.
Bordeaux’s Diego Rolan made the most of a lapse of concentration by the Parisians just after the interval to pull one back, but the hosts held on, despite finishing with 10 men following Zoumana Camara’s sending-off seven minutes from time.
At Tours, Saint-Etienne withstood a late rally from the hosts before coming through in extra-time with goals from Mevlut Erding and Kevin Monnet-Paquet after the home side had been reduced to 10 men.
Saint-Etienne went behind early after Moustapha Bayal Sall’s own goal in the 10th minute, before Monnet-Paquet leveled in the 64th minute.
Ricky Van Wolfswinkel struck with a left-foot shot seven minutes later and Les Verts looked set for an easy win when he netted his second goal from Yohan Mollo’s assist to give his team a 3-1 lead in the 73rd minute.
However, Youssef Adnane, with a shot into the top corner, and Bryan Bergougnoux — who netted a penalty in the 80th minute — brought Tours back in the game.
Tempers frayed during extra-time and Tours striker Christian Kouakou was sent off for a second yellow card for dangerous play just two minutes before Erding headed home.
Monnet-Paquet completed the win with two minutes left to play.
Japanese couple Rikiya and Ayumi Kataoka had their honeymoon wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, but their resourcefulness in enforced exile in Cape Verde has won them appointments as ambassadors for its Olympic team. The Kataokas had completed a third of their round-the-world trip when a suspension in long-haul flights stranded them for five months in the archipelago of 10 tiny islands off the coast of West Africa. Unable to resume their journey to Europe and then home to Japan, and unwilling to head to the African mainland, where virus cases are spiking, they had to trade their skills with domestic businesses to
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