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France - Coupe de la Ligue
Coupe de la Ligue
December 18, 2013
• Parc des Princes, Paris
Referee: L. Duhamel
• Attendance: 45608
E. Cavani 25', 117'
M. Erdinç 78'
So, Laurent Blanc's hopes of the treble are still alive after Cavani's late, late winner. The Parisians return to Ligue 1 action this weekend when they host third-placed Lille whilst Saint-Etienne will hope to bounce back against Nantes. Thanks for joining me, Max Bentley, on this live commentary. Until next time, goodbye!
What a finish in Paris! You have to feel for Saint-Etienne but you just cannot afford to allow Cavani chances like that in the closing stages. That's what €64 million gets you!
PSG ARE THROUGH TO THE QUARTER-FINALS! The referee blows the final whistle and Cavani raises his arms in jubilation as his goal sends PSG through to the final eight in the competition.
Goal Edinson Cavani
CAVANI HAS SURELY WON IT FOR PSG! The Uruguayan had a great chance to win the match in normal time but he atones for that miss here as he steals in at the back post to tap in Menez's accurate low cross. The Parc des Princes erupts. Christophe Galtier looks distraught on the touchline.
105' + 14'
That really is heartbreaking for Saint-Etienne. They have performed brilliantly since going behind and have limited the hosts to very few opportunities. However, it seems that their hopes of retaining the Coupe de la Ligue are coming to an end.
105' + 12'
CHANCE FOR SAINT-ETIENNE! Mollo looks to use his fresher legs to stretch the PSG defence and he escapes down the left to deliver a cross towards the back post which Erding heads straight into the gloves of Douchez.
105' + 11'
CRAMP WATCH: Clerc is the latest player to go down suffering. Both sides are looking ragged here and it seems that this game is destined to be decided by penalties.
105' + 10'
PSG threaten when Veratti slips an incise pass beyond the opposition defence for Menez. However, it is just too heavy for the Frenchman who cannot pick out a teammate with his low cutback.
105' + 9'
Saint-Etienne are working tirelessly all over the pitch and they are refusing to give PSG any space. Six minutes until penalties.
105' + 7'
Saint-Etienne make another venture forward, this time with Clerc down the right. However, the full-back's cross is too high for Gradel and the move breaks down.
105' + 6'
Saint-Etienne win a free kick out on the left but Mollo's delivery is poor and van der Wiel heads the ball to safety. In truth, there were few green shirts to aim for in the box.
105' + 4'
Saint-Etienne are slowly starting to get further forward but they are yet to seriously test Douchez in extra time. Will we see a late winner in the French capital?
105' + 2'
Incidentally, if PSG are eliminated here, it will mean that the top three in Ligue 1 are all out of the Coupe de la Ligue.
105' + 1'
PSG get the second half of extra time underway and Sall, not for the first time in the match, produces a crucial last-ditch challenge to deny Cavani.
The referee blows his whistle to signal the end of the first half of extra time. In truth, it was a rather flat 15 minutes of football with Saint-Etienne happy to sit back and soak up the pressure. Are we heading towards penalties?
The PSG players are clearly tiring here and Rabiot is the next to drop to the turf, also suffering from cramp. Can Saint-Etienne take advantage?
PSG are struggling to penetrate the opposition defence and Veratti attempts to bulldoze his way through before being halted by Cohade's strong challenge. Ruffier then shows his sportsmanship to assist the Italian who is suffering with cramp.
CHANCE FOR PSG! Marquinhos bursts forward to join the attack and he picks out Pastore on the left corner of the box. The Argentine shifts the ball onto his right foot but his shot lacks conviction and is comfortably gathered by Ruffier.
There is no real urgency when Saint-Etienne are in possession and they pass the ball around the back leisurely. PSG are going to have to show their class to win this one.
After Saint-Etienne's strong finish to normal time, it is the hosts who take their turn to look the more threatening. Considering their penalty record in this competition last season, I imagine Christophe Galtier's side will be determined to sit back and hold on for another 23 minutes.
Sall becomes the second Saint-Etienne player to be cautioned after he bodychecks Pastore to the turf. The Senegalese defender can have no complaints with that one.
Remember that the Coupe de la Ligue tie between these sides went to penalties last season, with Saint-Etienne triumphing 5-3 in the shootout. Thiago Silva was the only player to miss from the spot that day.
PASTORE GOES CLOSE! Van der Wiel gets clear down the right before picking out Pastore on the edge of the box. The Argentine looks to bend a first-time effort into the bottom corner but it flashes narrowly wide of the post.
Saint-Etienne get the first half of extra time underway. Remember that both sides have used up all their substitutions. I'm sure there will be some tired legs out there.
90' + 5'
Yellow Card M. Bayal
90' + 4'
FT: PSG 1-1 SAINT ETIENNE. Mevlut Erding's late equaliser means that we are heading into extra time!
90' + 4'
PSG almost find the winner in the final minute of stoppage time when van der Wiel's low cross is deflected towards the back post. However, Clerc is alert to the danger to prevent Menez from tapping in.
90' + 3'
This game seems destined for extra time although it is the visitors who are doing all the pressing. Erding attempts to close down Douchez but the goalkeeper produces a fantastic turn to escape the attacker. I think a few home fans had their hearts in their mouths there.
90' + 1'
Saint-Etienne win a corner in first minute of stoppage time but Hamouma's delivery is overhit and wastefully runs out of play on the far side. Ruffier vents his frustration down the other end of the pitch and there are three minutes remaining until extra time.
GOOD CHANCE FOR PSG! Pastore has made a brilliant impact off the bench and he again sends Cavani through on goal. The Uruguayan cuts inside the chalenge of Sall onto his left foot but his tame shot is comfortably held by Ruffier.
SALL TO THE RESCUE! PSG come within inches of taking a late lead when van der Wiel slides an inviting low cross towards the back post but Sall does magnificently to turn it behind and deny the lurking Matuidi.
A third and final change for Saint-Etienne as Yohan Mollo replaces Franck Tabanou. Both sides have now used up all their substitutions.
That goal has given Saint-Etienne a newfound confidence and van der Wiel produces a crucial header to deny Tabanou nodding in Clerc's cross at the back post. Can Christophe Galtier's side snatch a winner with six minutes remaining?
The atmosphere is getting a little tense inside the Parc des Princes as Sall sends a header narrowly over the crossbar from a corner. Les Verts really do seem to be a bogey side for the French champions.
Incidentally, if the scores are level after 90 minutes, this game will go to extra time and penalties. That may well benefit the visitors who triumphed in three penalty shootouts, including one against PSG, en route to the Coupe de la Ligue final last year.
PSG GO CLOSE! The Parisians go close to restoring the lead when Rabiot rises highest to meet Motta's corner but his header flashes narrowly wide of the top left-hand corner.
Goal Mevlüt Erdinç
ERDING LEVELS FOR SAINT-ETIENNE! That Cavani miss looks crucial now as Lemoine's inch-perfect ball picks out Erding in the box and the former PSG striker sweeps the ball beyond Douchez. Game on!
Will that Cavani miss prove costly? Saint-Etienne have under fifteen minutes of normal time remaining to find that equaliser and maintain their hopes of defending the trophy.
WHAT A CHANCE FOR CAVANI! Pastore opens up the Saint-Etienne defence with another glorious dinked pass and Cavani controls the ball expertly with his first touch but scuffs his shot wide of the post with his second. Considering his recent form, that's a bad miss from the PSG talisman.
Pastore makes an instant impact as he sets Cavani clear down the right with a glorious pass. The Uruguayan jinks inside the challenge of two green shirts before Lemoine turns the ball behind for a corner. From the resulting set-piece, the visitors scramble the ball to safety.
Laurent Blanc opts to make a double change and both wide men make way as Jeremy Menez and Javier Pastore replace Lucas and Ezequiel Lavezzi. Can they help to put this game beyond Saint-Etienne's reach and knock the holders out?
Perrin becomes the first Saint-Etienne player to be cautioned after a tactical foul on Lavezzi. The Argentine was just about to set Lucas clear on the right before that cynical challenge from the Les Verts skipper.
Yellow Card Loïc Perrin
Lemoine's excellent pass behind van der Wiel sets Tabanou away down the left but he cannot find the pass to pick out Hamouma at the back post and Silva just manages to get the ball clear. That was a good opening for the visitors.
There is a second change for Saint-Etienne here as Ivory Coast international Max Gradel replaces Benjamin Corgnet. Galtier will be hopeful that his pace can stretch the PSG defence.
This is a decent spell for Saint-Etienne and they go close when Corgnet's flicked header goes all the way across the goalmouth before Tabanou's shot from the edge of the box is well blocked.
Digne gives the ball away in a dangerous position for the hosts but fortunately for the youngster, Erding's clipped pass lacks accuracy and a good opportunity breaks down.
This game has fallen a bit flat over the last ten minutes or so but Saint-Etienne look to threaten when Clerc comes forward from right-back. He crosses towards Hamouma at the front post but Marquinhos stands firm to hack the ball away.
PSG make their first substitution but it is not Cavani who makes way. Instead, Motta is the player whose number is held up and he is replaced by former Saint-Etienne man Blaise Matuidi, who scored that 94th minute equaliser in the game between these two sides earlier in the season.
Saint-Etienne are enjoying a good spell of possession here without really threatening. Time is running out however in their bid to retain the Coupe de la Ligue title.
There are concerns among the PSG staff as Cavani is grimacing after an innocuous-looking challenge with Hamouma. With no Ibrahimovic, that could be a huge blow to the Parisians.
Christophe Galtier decides to make his first substitution of the game as Mevlut Erding comes on to replace the ineffective Brandao. The Turkish striker has scored in his last three games.
After that frantic start to the second half, it has calmed down a little at the Parc des Princes. The next goal will prove so crucial in deciding this tie.
BRILLIANT FROM LUCAS! The Brazilian shows his quality when he produces a fine piece of trickery to deceive Ghoulam. He bursts beyond the left-back towards the right corner of the box before his stinging shot is fingertipped around the post expertly by Ruffier. The fans sound their appreciation for that move.
GOOD EFFORT FROM SAINT-ETIENNE! Les Verts attack down the other end immediately and Tabanou picks out Cohade whose fierce half-volley from outside the box is well held by Douchez.
CHANCE FOR PSG! The hosts win a free kick on the edge of the area and Lucas steps up to curl a right-footed effort inches past the post. Ruffier looked extremely relieved to see that one go wide, it would have been a nightmare start to the second half for the visitors.
The referee blows his whistle and Saint-Etienne get the second half underway. Christophe Galtier's side have just 45 minutes to salvage their hopes of retaining the Coupe de la Ligue.
HT: PSG 1-0 SAINT-ETIENNE. Edinson Cavani's goal is the difference at the break. The Uruguayan has looked dangerous up front for the French champions and took his goal excellently to continue his good recent form. Laurent Blanc's side are deservedly ahead but the visitors have posed a threat in patches and will be hopeful of snatching an equaliser in the second half.
GREAT CHANCE FOR PSG! Cavani is at the heart of it again as his cross is headed towards goal by Lavezzi. The Argentine's first effort is blocked by Perrin and Ruffier then produces a fine save with his legs to deny him from the rebound. The ball falls to Veratti but instead of shooting, he passes to Rabiot, who returns the favour, and the move eventually breaks down.
Rabiot is the youngest player on the field for PSG and he has certainly not looked out of place so far. It is funny to think that only two years ago, he was competing in an U-17 event in Qatar.
GOOD SAVE FROM DOUCHEZ! The PSG goalkeeper is called into serious action for the first time as he produces a fine save down low to his left to deny Tabanou's jinking dribble and low drive. That's much better from Saint-Etienne.
Lucas is making more of an impact as the game goes on and he attempts to play a precise one-two with Cavani, only to see Perrin step in to make a crucial interception.
Saint-Etienne need to start making more out of these set-piece opportunities because PSG are finding it all too easy to defend at the moment. Ghoulam lofts a free kick into the box but Cavani is there to head clear.
CHANCE FOR SAINT-ETIENNE! Les Verts are hopeful of finding an equaliser and they threaten when Tabanou plays a smart one-two with Hamouma before dragging a shot narrowly wide.
Cavani has now scored 17 goals in all competitions this season and his partnership with Ibrahimovic is the highest-scoring in Europe's top five leagues. The Uruguayan is most certainly starting to pay back that €64 million fee.
Yellow Card Edinson Cavani
Cavani was perhaps fortunate not to pick up a booking for that foul a moment ago but he goes into the referee's notebook on this occasion for dissent.
Cavani commits a foul in a dangerous area outside the box but Hamouma's effort is disappointing and hits the PSG wall. You need to do better with those opportunities against the French champions.
GREAT SAVE FROM RUFFIER! Lucas has sprung into life in the past few minutes and he shows fantastic footwork and pace to burst beyond Ghoulam before his shot across goal is palmed away by the former Monaco goalkeeper.
CAVANI NEARLY MAKES IT 2-0! Lavezzi's fantastic run from deep allows him to pick out Lucas on the right. The Brazilian looks up and sends a pinpoint cross into the box where Cavani's attempted scissor kick is well blocked by Clerc. That would have been a special goal.
Saint-Etienne look to respond immediately and Lavezzi does well to prevent Cohade striking from the edge of the box before Corgnet's tame header is comfortably saved by Douchez.
Goal Edinson Cavani
PSG TAKE THE LEAD! Cavani does not miss those ones! The Uruguayan's fantastic goalscoring form continues as he collects Veratti's cross at the back post, jinking past the advancing Ruffier and slotting the ball into the bottom corner. Poor marking from the visitors.
CAVANI GOES CLOSE! Veratti's chipped pass picks out the Uruguayan on the right corner of the box and he shifts past Perrin onto his left foot excellently before bending a shot wide of the far post. That has livened up the crowd a little.
It's been a fairly slow start to the game with neither set of wingers looking particularly dangerous early on. Both sides are looking to play balls over the top but it is not working for either at the moment.
Saint-Etienne have looked dangerous when crossing the ball into the box and Brandao uses his physicality to beat Digne in the air before Hamouma's shot from the edge of the box strikes the back of his own teammate, Sall.
CHANCE FOR PSG! Motta floats a free kick into the opposition penalty area and Silva rises highest to meet it, but his header is straight at Ruffier.
Saint-Etienne coach Christophe Galtier has insisted that his team have not come to the capital to do their Christmas shopping and they have certainly matched the Ligue 1 leaders so far. Who can break the deadlock?
GOOD CHANCE FOR SAINT-ETIENNE! This is a good spell for the visitors and they go close when Brandao flicks Ghoulam's cross towards Hamouma whose header deflects off Silva and into the grateful gloves of Douchez.
Saint-Etienne win a succession of corners from the left and on the last one, Silva rises highest to deny his fellow Brazilian, Brandao, his customary goal in this competition.
PSG are in the ascendency now and Cavani capitalises upon a mistake by Sall but he cannot pick out a teammate with his low cross into the box. Neither goalkeeper has been seriously tested in the opening nine minutes.
Lavezzi has been linked with a move away from the Parc des Princes in the upcoming transfer window and he attempts to slip a ball down the left for Digne but it is overhit and runs out for a goal kick. Can he impress potential suitors today?
It's been an even start to the game and van der Wiel gallops down the right but his cross into the box is headed clear by Clerc. Lucas then attempts a shot from the edge of the area which is well blocked.
Saint-Etienne win the first corner of the game but Cavani is back to defend and heads Hamouma's delivery away. The Uruguayan has been in superb scoring form recently.
The referee blows his whistle and PSG get this Coupe de la Ligue round of 16 tie underway. Can they earn their first win in five games against Saint-Etienne? Let's find out.
These two sides have already met once this season, when PSG came back from two goals down to claim a 2-2 draw against a 10-man Saint-Etienne at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard. Blaise Matuidi was the hero that day as he scored a 94th minute equaliser.
As for Saint-Etienne, they make just one change to the side which defeated Montpellier 1-0 as Ivory Coast international Max Gradel makes way for Romain Hamouma. Brandao, who has scored nine goals in 13 Coupe de la Ligue matches, starts as the lone striker.
Laurent Blanc makes four changes to the side which defeated Rennes 3-1 at the weekend. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is suspended, meaning that Edinson Cavani moves to a more central position with Lucas Moura starting on the wing. Veteran goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez is handed a rare start in goal while youngsters Marquinhos and Adrien Rabiot come in for the suspended Alex and Blaise Matuidi.
SAINT-ETIENNE (4-2-3-1): Ruffier; Ghoulam, Perrin, Sall, Clerc; Lemoine, Cohade; Hamouma, Corgnet, Tabanou; Brandao.
PSG (4-3-3): Douchez; van der Wiel, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Digne; Verratti, T. Motta, Rabiot; Lucas, Cavani, Lavezzi.
Without further ado, here are tonight's lineups...
Yet, Saint-Etienne have a good recent record against PSG and are unbeaten in their previous four encounters, drawing the last three. Christophe Galtier's men are, in fact, only one of two Ligue 1 clubs to have taken three points away from the French capital in the last two years when they claimed a 2-1 victory at the Parc des Princes last November.
However, it will prove a tough task for Saint-Etienne as Laurent Blanc's side are unbeaten in 29 home games in all competitions and they sit at the Ligue 1 summit, losing only one of their 18 matches this term.
Paris Saint-Germain will be seeking revenge when they face Coupe de la Ligue holders Saint-Etienne this evening. Les Verts knocked PSG out of last year's competition after a penalty shootout win in the quarter-finals before going on to defeat Rennes 1-0 in the final to lift the trophy for the first time in their history. Can Christophe Galtier's side cause another cup upset today? Bringing you all the action from the Parc des Princes, my name is Max Bentley.
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