PSG Clinch Treble with 2018 Coupe de France Final Win vs. Les Herbiers

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IMay 8, 2018

Paris Saint-Germain's Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani celebrates after scoring a goal during the French Cup final football match between Les Herbiers and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), on May 8, 2018 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, outside Paris. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain won the Coupe de France on Tuesday after a 2-0 victory over Third Division side Les Herbiers at the Stade de France.

The game was billed as one of the biggest mismatches in football history, and goals from Giovani Lo Celso and an Edinson Cavani penalty were enough to give PSG victory.

The win also seals a domestic treble for PSG who have already claimed the Ligue 1 and Coupe de la Ligue titles this season.


Neymar Returns for Now

Neymar has finally made it back to Paris and was in attendance at the Stade de France for the final:

B/R Football @brfootball

Look who’s back 🇫🇷 https://t.co/4ZVUfE7rgs

Much was made of the fact that the Brazilian did not return to see his team clinch the Ligue 1 title with a 7-1 victory over Monaco in April.

Former France international Christophe Dugarry said he was "spitting on the club," per RMC Sport (h/t Coral Barry for Metro).

However, Neymar was back to see his side lift their third trophy of the season as they added the Coupe de France to their Ligue 1 and Coupe de la Ligue titles.

How long he stays remains to be seen with speculation over his future continuing. Neymar wants to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, and Real Madrid are studying the possibility of bringing him in, per Marca's Jose Felix Diaz.


Les Herbiers Get Lucky

Les Herbiers surprised everyone by reaching the final, and many expected the Third Division strugglers to get blown away by PSG's star-studded squad.

They almost did, but a combination of great goalkeeping, poor finishing, VAR and the woodwork saw Les Herbiers manage to keep the score down to just two.

Lo Celso hit the woodwork twice before he eventually opened the scoring, Cavani was also denied by the frame of the goal, and Kylian Mbappe had a goal ruled out by VAR due to a handball in the buildup.

Cavani finally got his name on the scoresheet after 74 minutes from the penalty spot, but it was not the goalfest many predicted.


Cavani is the Man for the Big Occasion

Cavani wrapped up the win for PSG with their second goal and proved once again he is the man for the big occasion.

The Uruguayan's goal was his 11th in just nine cup finals, as shown by Opta:

OptaJean @OptaJean

11 - 🇺🇾 Edinson Cavani has scored 11 goals in 9 domestic cups finals (8 in 5 Coupe de la Ligue finals, 3 in 4 Coupe de France finals). Specialist. https://t.co/Q7k2nU5k69

Cavani still has his detractors on account of the fact he can be wasteful in front of goal. However, he has 39 for the season for PSG, which is a brilliant return.

The 31-year-old has said he did have problems with Neymar earlier in the season but that they have "come to an understanding," per RMC Sport (h/t Sky Sports). 

Cavani's future remains the subject of speculation with Atletico Madrid keen to bring him in as a replacement for Antoine Griezmann, according to Mundo Deportivo (h/t Anthony Chapman at The Sun).

The striker may not get the plaudits Neymar and Mbappe do, but he has proven to be every bit as valuable as his team-mates to PSG. 


PSG Needs Change Despite Domestic Dominance 

PSG's victory on Tuesday saw them lift the Coupe de France for the fourth time in a row. It's yet another season where they have swept all before them, as noted by football writer Mohammed Ali:

Mohammed Ali @mohammedali_93

PSG have won their 12th French Cup, beating Les Herbiers 2-0, a grand slam domestically, they've won all but 1 trophy in France over the last 4 seasons

Yet, for all the silverware, their ultimate ambition remains in the UEFA Champions League where they once again underwhelmed as they were beaten by Real Madrid in the last 16.

That defeat cost manager Unai Emery his job, and his departure has already been announced, meaning there will definitely be changes at the club this summer.

Former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel is a serious contender to replace Emery, per Fabrizio Romano at the Guardian.

Further changes in the squad will also be needed in the summer if PSG are to challenge in Europe next season. The club may have swept all before them domestically but still need improvements if they are to compete in the Champions League.


Impressive Result for Les Herbiers

Les Herbiers will depart Paris beaten finalists, but losing 2-0 to PSG can be considered an excellent result given the vast difference in resources between the two sides.

Fox Soccer highlighted the difference between the clubs:

FOX Soccer @FOXSoccer

Is today's Coupe de France final the biggest final mismatch ever? Les Herbiers' annual budget of €2M would pay the wages of PSG star Neymar for ... 16 days. https://t.co/hgdIpg3RFz

The Third Division side may have ridden their luck at times during the game but can depart with their heads held high after avoiding a mauling.

Football writer Tom Williams said it was an amazing result:

Tom Williams @tomwfootball

Final score at Stade de France: Les Herbiers 0-2 PSG. Les Herbiers didn’t have a sniff, but given the gulf in resources, that’s an amazing result. PSG’s fourth successive clean sweep of France’s domestic cups.

Les Herbiers will now turn their attentions back to their relegation battle, where they are two points above the relegation zone with just one game left to play. They face third-placed Beziers on Friday.


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