Icardi, Neymar fire PSG into French Cup semis | Inquirer Sports
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Icardi, Neymar fire PSG into French Cup semis

/ 06:35 PM April 22, 2021
Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar (L) celebrates with Paris Saint-Germain's Argentinian forward Mauro Icardi (C) and Paris Saint-Germain's German midfielder Julian Draxler

Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian forward Neymar (L) celebrates with Mauro Icardi (C) and Julian Draxler (R) after scoring his team’s third goal during the French Cup quarterfinal football match between PSG and SCO Angers at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on April 21, 2021. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

Mauro Icardi netted a hat-trick and Neymar scored his first goal since January as holders Paris Saint-Germain thrashed Angers 5-0 on Wednesday to reach the French Cup semifinals, while Lyon coach Rudi Garcia criticized referee Stephanie Frappart after being sent off in his side’s loss to Monaco.

Record 13-time winners PSG, which is bidding to win a sixth French Cup in seven seasons, made short work of the visitors at the Parc des Princes.

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“We are very happy with the performance of the team, professional,” said PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino, whose side host Manchester City in their Champions League semifinal first leg in a week’s time.

“I’m happy for Mauro’s (Icardi’s) three goals. I haven’t decided whether he will start soon or not, I haven’t thought about that.

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“It’s not always easy when a player has injuries, series of problems, has a difficult season.”

The capital giants join Montpellier, amateurs Rumilly Vallieres and Monaco, who beat fellow Ligue 1 title hopefuls Lyon 2-0, in the last four.

Icardi fired Pochettino’s hosts ahead in the ninth minute, before Angers right-back Vincent Manceau put through his own net midway through the first half.

Neymar, captaining PSG in the absence of the injured Marquinhos, nodded home in the 65th minute.

It was the Brazilian’s first goal since a double against Lorient on January 31, having gone six games without a goal and spending time on the sidelines through injury and suspension.

Angel Di Maria teed up Icardi to tap in three minutes later, before the striker wrapped up his hat-trick in the 90th minute.

The Argentinian has scored 11 times in all competitions this season for PSG, despite only starting 15 matches.

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The reigning champions visit Metz in a crucial Ligue 1 game on Saturday, sitting one point behind league leaders Lille with five matches remaining in the season.

Monaco downs Lyon

monaco french cup

Monaco’s Gerrman forward Kevin Volland is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal during the French Cup quarter-final football match between Olympique Lyonnais (OL) and AS Monaco (ASM) at the Groupama Stadium in Decines-Charpieu, near Lyon, central-eastern France, on April 21, 2021. (Photo by PHILIPPE DESMAZES / AFP)

Monaco, which is only two points off the pace in Ligue 1, saw off 10-man Lyon thanks to second-half goals from Wissam Ben Yedder and Kevin Volland.

Referee Frappart, who was named Wednesday on UEFA’s list of officials for Euro 2020, was at the center of attention at Groupama Stadium.

She sent Lyon coach Rudi Garcia to the stands midway through the first half, before ruling out a Maxwel Cornet goal five minutes into the second period after consulting the pitchside monitor for offside.

Seconds later, Sinaly Diomande conceded a spot-kick and was shown a second yellow card by Frappart.

Ben Yedder duly put Monaco ahead, before setting up Volland to double the advantage in the 61st minute, after visiting coach Niko Kovac had also been booked.

“The refereeing was not at the level of the two teams,” said Garcia.

“It happens. Unfortunately with this referee, this is not the first time that we have not had results in line with those we should have had.

“There were decisions that were not favorable to us.”

Frappart has achieved several football firsts, becoming the first woman to referee a major men’s European game, a Ligue 1 match, a Champions League game and a men’s World Cup qualifier.

Monaco, who have not won the trophy since 1991, is into the last four for the first time since a 5-0 loss to PSG in 2017.

“I’m happy with the way we played, but also because we showed a very good team spirit and a very interesting fighting spirit,” said Kovac.

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TAGS: French Cup, Mauro Icardi, Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain
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