Paris Saint-Germain completed the domestic treble by beating Auxerre 1-0 in the final of the 2015 French Cup on Saturday, with Edinson Cavani scoring the only goal of the match.
Les Parisiens dominated from start to finish but found it difficult to break down the Auxerre defence until Cavani unleashed a devastating header midway through the first half. The win means PSG completed a clean sweep of all pieces of major silverware in France this year.
Auxerre were massive underdogs in this match, but the minnows started off with plenty of intensity and shocked the PSG players with some early pressure. David Luiz lost the ball trying to dribble his way out of trouble, but Auxerre couldn't take advantage.
ESPN FC's Jonathan Johnson was impressed:
PSG enjoyed possession, but Auxerre's defence stood like a rock and did a good job feeding the ball to Amara Baby and Cheick Diarra, who looked dangerous on the counter-attack.
Goalkeeper Donovan Leon wasn't tested much during the early stages, and he reacted well to any dangerous move that came his way.
Despite this, GFFNPressConf noted PSG started to become more dominant as time passed:
Auxerre were forced to rely more on long shots, while Les Parisiens used long balls into the box to get past the defence, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cavani bringing the balls down.
Set pieces didn't yield much danger for either side, but PSG had the advantage in that category as well. And just before the half-hour mark, Les Parisiens could have been awarded a penalty after Lucas went down on the edge of a crowded penalty area.
Goal's Robin Bairner thought Auxerre got lucky with the decision:
Ibrahimovic drew a great save from Leon with a cheeky header before Thiago Motta hit the post with a long-range shot out of nowhere that even shocked French Football Weekly:
But despite the late pressure, PSG would not find a way through on goal during the first half. Leon's unorthodox style in goal worked, and Auxerre held tight during the final minutes of the half.
Johnson liked what he saw from the Auxerre stopper:
PSG started the second half with far more intensity, getting some of the midfield players involved. Blaise Matuidi was fairly anonymous during the first half, but his presence inside the box was felt far more early in the second.
Marco Verratti also ran into his obligatory yellow card, per French Football Weekly:
Cavani should have broken the deadlock in the 56th minute, as he was left unmarked on a fantastic cross from Maxwell. The Uruguay international directed his header within reach of Leon, however, allowing the latter to produce a fantastic stop.
Gregory van der Wiel gave the striker a similar opportunity just minutes later, and this time, Cavani didn't miss. His powerful header gave Leon no chance and PSG the lead with less than half an hour left on the clock.
Johnson felt bad for Leon, as the bullet header truly was unstoppable:
Auxerre were now forced to come out of their shell and attack the giants from Paris, and it quickly became clear the squad simply didn't have the energy to hurt PSG after defending their goal for more than an hour.
Instead, Cavani's physical play caused even more issues in the Auxerre defence, as the striker was keen to add to his tally. Auxerre had one final chance to threaten on a corner, but PSG cleared the ball in time and celebrated winning the Coupe de France soon after.
Les Parisiens won the Ligue 1 title and Coupe de la Ligue earlier this year and grabbed the Trophee des Champions at the start of the season, a clear indication of just how much better this club is than their domestic rivals.
Olympique Lyon and Olympique Marseille showed signs of catching up during the season, but the French league will once again be PSG"s to lose in 2015-16. European glory will be next on the club's to-do list; expect plenty of transfer activity during the summer to achieve that goal.
Cavani was the big match winner for PSG, and as shared by Get French Football, general manager Jean Claude Blanc wanted to make it very clear the striker won't be leaving the club during the summer:
Ibrahimovic was more cryptic regarding his future: