Neymar and Mbappé star as PSG power past Rennes

French Cup
07/01/2018

Three-time defending champions Paris Saint-Germain kicked off their Coupe de France defence with a huge 6-1 win at Rennes. Earlier in the day Bordeaux fell at fourth-tier Granville.

PSG were without Edinson Cavani yet still had far too much firepower for a Rennes side they'd beaten 4-1 in Brittany in the league last month. Kylian Mbappé (9') opened the scoring as he got in behind the Rennes defence and came up with an accomplished left-footed finish.

Neymar doubled the lead eight minutes later, set up by Marco Verratti, and Angel Di Maria (23') soon got in on the act as the Ligue 1 Conforama leaders were rampant. Di Maria was unmarked as he greeted a Yuri Berchiche cross. Neymar scored his second two minutes before half-time, applying the final touch to a fluent move, Mbappé with the assist.

Rennes pulled one back in the 66th minute when Thiago Motta handballed in the penalty area and Benjamin Bourigeaud stroked the kick home. It only served to spur PSG on to greater heights as Di Maria (74') and Mbappé (75') scored second goals.

Eight-man Bordeaux fall to Granville

The pressure mounted on Bordeaux coach Jocelyn Gourvennec as his side fell 2-1 after extra-time at fourth-tier Granville, quarter-finalists in this competition in 2016. Gourvennec won the Coupe de France in 2014 with Guingamp, yet here his side went down at the first hurdle.

Younousse Sankharé was part of the Guingamp Cup-winning side and he gave Bordeaux a first-half lead (37'). Sulivan Martinet forced extra-time with a 94th-minute equaliser, a few minutes after Youssouf Sabaly had been sent off for a second yellow card. Ex-Guingamp player Ladislas Douniama won a penalty which he converted himself (103') to help Granville score the biggest shock of the round. Thomas Carrique and Jaroslav Plasil were sent off in extra-time as hapless Bordeaux finished with eight men.

Amiens paid the price for resting players ahead of taking on PSG on Wednesday in the quarter-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue on Wednesday as they were crushed 6-0 by Ligue 2 club Sochaux.  2016 finalists Angers stumbled at home to  Ligue 2 Lorient, falling 2-0 to goals from Pierre-Yves Hamel and Denis Bouanga.

Strasbourg beat Dijon in an all-Ligue 1 Conforama clash, prevailing 3-2 after extra-time. Anthony Goncalves (59') had his opener for Strasbourg cancelled out by Naim Sliti (65'). Strasbourg attacker Jérémy Blayac (92') put Thierry Laurey's team back in front and Nuno Da Costa immediately extended the advantage (93'). Dijon had hope again when Julio Tavares scored (103') and the big forward hit the post in the 120th minute.

Amavi winner, Beric helps ASSE advance

Olympique de Marseille needed extra-time to beat second-tier Valenciennes at the Orange Vélodrome. Jordan Amavi (103') scored the only goal.  Saint-Etienne beat Nîmes 2-0 with one of the goals scored by substitute Robert Beric on the striker's first appearance since returning from a loan spell at Anderlecht.

Troyes laboured before beating eighth-tier Still, the lowest ranked side left in the competition. It took and 80th-minute header from 41-year-old Benjamin Nivert to decide it. Metz found life easier, scoring a 4-2 win at third-tier Dunkerque, while Nantes were also comfortable winners as they beat Senlis 4-0.

Ligue 1 clubs in Coupe de France Round of 64 action

Saturday, 6 January, 2018

Tolouse FC 1-0 OGC Nice
Le Mans 2-4 LOSC
C.A. de Pontarlier 1-1 (2-4 pens.) Montpellier Hérault SC
S.C. Hazebrouckois 0-2 SM Caen
EA Guingamp 1-0 Chamois Niortais
AS Yzeure 2-5 AS Monaco
AS Nancy Lorraine 2-3 Olympique Lyonnais

Sunday 7 January, 2018

RC Strasbourg Alsace 3-2 Dijon FCO
AS Saint-Etienne 2-0 Nîmes Olympique
Olympique de Marseille 1-0 Valenciennes FC
Angers SCO 0-2 FC Lorient
US Granville 2-1 Girondins de Bordeaux
FC Sochaux-Montbéliard 6-0 Amiens SC
Still 1930 0-1 ESTAC Troyes
U.S. Municipale Senlis 0-4 FC Nantes
US Dunkerque 2-4 FC Metz
Stade Rennais FC 1-6 Paris Saint-Germain

>> ROUND-UP OF SATURDAY'S ACTION








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