Ibrahimovic scores winner as PSG advances in French Cup | Inquirer Sports

Ibrahimovic scores winner as PSG advances in French Cup

/ 01:45 PM January 04, 2016

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Paris Saint-Germain’s Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (R) vies with Wasquehal’s defender Pierre Planque during the French Cup football match Wasquehal vs PSG on January 03, 2016 at the Lille Metropole stadium in Villeneuve-d’Ascq, northern France. AFP

PARIS — Zlatan Ibrahimovic headed home the winner as Paris Saint-Germain started the defense of its French Cup title with a scrappy 1-0 win over fourth-tier side Wasquehal while Monaco scored 10 goals to advance on Sunday (Monday Manila time).

Playing its first game of 2016 in the northern city of Lille in rainy conditions, PSG was in control throughout and created plenty of scoring chances. But it lacked a cutting edge until the Sweden international connected with Marco Verratti’s long ball on the hour mark.


“We’d like to have played better today, to be safe earlier in the match and play with more serenity,” PSG coach Laurent Blanc said. “But this afternoon we were unable to achieve this.”


Having opened up a 19-point lead over second-place Monaco at the top of the French league standings in just 19 games, PSG is looking to reproduce the domestic treble Laurent Blanc’s side achieved last season when it won the league title, the League Cup and the Cup.

Facing amateur club Saint-Jean-Beaulieu, a team playing in the seventh tier of French football, Monaco took advantage of its opponents’ attacking style of play to catch them on the break and score goals galore in a 10-2 victory.

Both teams finished with 10 players following an altercation early in the second half between Monaco striker Lacina Traore — who scored four goals before being sent off — and Yann Mariotti.

Among the top-tier teams also advancing to the round of 32 were Marseille, Lille, Lorient, Saint-Etienne, Bordeaux, Lyon and Montpellier.

Ten-time winner Marseille beat Caen on penalties in the day’s only match between top-tier teams – despite playing for an hour with 10 men following Karim Rekik’s dismissal in the 61st minute for a reckless tackle.

Lyon’s new coach Bruno Genesio, who replaced Hubert Fournier during the winter break, celebrated his first game in charge with a 7-0 thrashing of fifth-division Limoges after Maxwell Cornet and Rachid Ghezzal each scored a brace.


Montpellier, which also changed coach during the festive period and appointed former player Pascal Baills following Rolland Courbis’ resignation, defeated fifth-tier Epernay 1-0.

Bordeaux came close of suffering a shock exit at the hands of third-tier Frejus-Saint-Raphael, coming twice from behind before Diego Rolan sealed a 3-2 win in added time with a fine volley.

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The other match pitting top-tier teams will see Nice hosting Rennes.

TAGS: Football, French Cup, Paris Saint-Germain, Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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