Paris Saint-Germain lifted their first domestic cup of the QSI-era on Saturday night with a challenging 2-1 victory over Olympique Lyonnais at the Stade de France.
Edinson Cavani gave PSG the dream start after just three minutes, bursting in to provide the final touch after some excellent work between Maxwell and Ezequiel Lavezzi down the left-flank.
The favourites dominated the first half and took a 2-0 lead in somewhat controversial circumstances. Brazilian forward Lucas Moura won a header on the edge of the penalty box. Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes had raced out to challenge Lucas, he made minimum contact with the forward, both went to ground and referee Stephane Lannoy pointed to the penalty spot.
Lopes was given a yellow card. His next action was to pick the ball out of the back of the net after Cavani confidently converted the spot-kick. The Uruguayan forward could have had a hat-trick after Lucas’ great run found him free inside the box, but the former Napoli man spooned his effort over the bar.
Lyon came out brighter in the second half, making the final a spectacle with French forward Alexandre Lacazette finding the corner of Nicolas Douchez’s net with 34 minutes to go.
Unfortunately, Lyon couldn’t take advantage of this slim sliver of light: They took over control of the midfield but couldn’t find a way past the Parisian defence. Brazilian stalwart and PSG captain Thiago Silva looked a little uneasy ahead of second-choice ‘keeper Douchez, but they would ultimately hold on for the 2-1 victory.
Paris Saint-Germain’s victory means that the second Europa League spot in France will be taken by the team that finishes fifth in Ligue 1. That spot is currently being held by Lyon, but only three points separate them from Marseille.
Remi Garde will have to pick up his troops for Wednesday’s away trip in Toulouse. Marseille have the chance to close the gap on Sunday night as they host Lille. With two Europa League places up for grabs, it’s all to play for in Ligue 1.
Read on for a few more things learned from Saturday’s Coupe de la Ligue final.