PSG win French Cup to complete treble

PSG win French Cup to complete treble
Source: BBC
Date: 09-05-2018 Time: 08:05:25:am
Les Herbiers captain Sebastien Flochon (in red) and PSG counterpart Thiago Silva held up the trophy together

Paris St-Germain sealed another domestic treble, but were made to work hard by third division Les Herbiers for victory in the French Cup final.

The underdogs started - and ended - strongly, but the French champions were ultimately too good for them.

Paris St-Germain had hit the post three times before Giovani lo Celso curled home from 25 yards.

PSG had a goal ruled out by the video assistant referee but Edinson Cavani scored a penalty to seal the win.

Underdogs do themselves proud in defeat

PSG were the first Ligue 1 side Les Herbiers had faced on their run after wins over Coulaines, Chateaubriant, Balma, Romorantin, Angouleme, Saint-Lo Manche, Auxerre, Lens and Chambly

Les Herbiers had gained worldwide attention following their 10-game French Cup run, which started in front of 217 fans in October and ended in front of 73,772 at the Stade de France.

They sold roughly 15,000 tickets for the final - which is approximately the population of Les Herbiers - and those supporters almost had a dream start.

The Championnat National strugglers had two shots in the opening two minutes, as Sebastien Flocon's 20-yard shot was blocked by Thiago Silva, and Joachim Eickmayer shot wide from outside the box.

But they had to defend for most of the game, with goalkeeper Matthieu Pichot in inspired form.

After going 2-0 down, they gamely pushed for a way back into the game, with Diaranke Fofana having their first shot on target in the 89th minute.

Clement Couturier almost scored right at the end after going around keeper Kevin Trapp, but just stumbled before he was able to shoot.

They will not have too much time to dwell on becoming the fifth team from below the top two divisions to play in and lose a French Cup final.

On Friday, they visit Beziers on the final day of the league season - needing a win to guarantee their safety.

They only climbed out of the relegation zone last week and sit two points above the bottom three. If they were to go down, they would be in the same tier as Paris St-Germain's reserve team next year.

French Cup kings PSG go 42 unbeaten

Another cup shock for Les Herbiers would have felt a genuine possibility - against anyone other than Paris St-Germain.

They have now won the French Cup and League Cup for four consecutive seasons, winning the domestic treble on three of those occasions.

The capital side are now unbeaten in 42 domestic cup games in a run dating back to 22 January 2014.

Despite spoiling the neutrals' hopes of one of football's great shocks, Unai Emery's side were deserved winners.

Kylian Mbappe and Lo Celso - twice - hit the same post in the opening 21 minutes before the midfielder opened the scoring.

They thought they had doubled their lead when Mbappe turned home from close range after Marquinhos' shot was cleared - but after a video assistant referee consultation, and viewing the incident on a monitor, referee Mikael Lesage correctly decided the defender had handled the ball in the build-up.

There was no doubt about the penalty, as keeper Pichot brought down Cavani, who slammed the penalty home to seal the victory.

With the Ligue 1 title wrapped up, and their Champions League campaign long finished, there is little to play for in the final two games before Emery leaves this summer.