• PSG routs Monaco to reach French Cup finals

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    PARIS: Edinson Cavani celebrated his new contract with his 45th goal of the season as holders Paris Saint-Germain demolished an inexperienced Monaco 5-0 to reach next month’s French Cup final against Angers.

    Julian Draxler prodded PSG ahead on 26 minutes at the Parc des Princes and Cavani, who on Tuesday signed an extension through to 2020, swiftly doubled the lead as Unai Emery’s side dominated their struggling opponents.

    Safwan Mbae bundled into his own net just after half-time and Blaise Matuidi tapped in a fourth before Marquinhos rounded out a resounding victory in the final minute.

    PSG thrashed Monaco 4-1 at the start of the month to lift their fourth straight League Cup title and are chasing a third successive sweep of the domestic trophies in France.

    However, Monaco lead the reigning champions on goal difference with a game in hand in Ligue 1 — Leonardo Jardim’s team also face Juventus next week in the first leg of their Champions League semifinals.

    With the Portuguese prioritising Europe and Saturday’s league clash against Toulouse, Andrea Raggi and Valere Germain were the only regulars to start for Monaco in the French capital.

    Abdou Diallo forced Alphonse Areola into an excellent save to his right with a header on 20 minutes, but the floodgates opened for PSG once Morgan De Sanctis gifted Draxler the opening goal.

    Monaco’s 40-year-old reserve goalkeeper spilled a straightforward effort from Angel Di Maria, allowing Cavani to nip in and divert the ball across goal for Draxler to slot home.

    The Uruguayan continues to edge closer towards Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s 50-goal haul from last season. He moved to within five of the Swede’s total with a lovely flick to steer a pass from Di Maria into the far corner.

    The Argentine winger, whose poor form had seen him linked with a move to China in January, has been a revelation since the turn of the year and nearly added a third as his teasing low cross bounced back off the post.

    Mbae compouded Monaco’s problems when he turned another Di Maria delivery into his own net on 51 minutes, while Matuidi was the beneficiary of the former Real Madrid and Manchester United star’s unselfishness as he turned in a fourth two minutes later.

    Marquinhos swept in a fifth after Maxwell’s drive hit Matuidi and dropped invitingly into the Brazilian’s path and PSG will now fancy their chances of landing a record 11th French Cup title.

    On Tuesday, Angers reached the final for the first time in 60 years — and just the second in club history — after a 2-0 home win over Guingamp.

    Thomas Mangani struck in the first half at a packed Stade Raymond Kopa and goalkeeper Alexandre Letellier saved Jimmy Briand’s 88th-minute penalty, before Karl Toko Ekambi struck in stoppage time.

    AFP

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