Goals from Julian Draxler, Angel Di Maria and a double from Edinson Cavani helped Paris Saint-Germain lift the Coupe de la Ligue for a record fourth year in succession as they thumped Monaco 4-1 in Saturday’s final at the Parc OL.
Draxler had opened the scoring early on from what seemed like an offside position, but Thomas Lemar righted any sense of injustice on Monaco’s part to level in the 27th minute.
The holders were not to be denied, though, and Di Maria restored his side’s lead late in the first half, before Cavani’s brace took his season’s tally to 40 in as many matches and put the game to bed as PSG became the first side to lift the trophy four years running.
Monaco will have fancied their chances heading into the game following the results of their previous two encounters this campaign, recording a 3-1 win at home, before drawing 1-1 at the Parc des Princes – both in Ligue 1.
PSG, however, had their own reasons for optimism courtesy of their outstanding record in the Coupe de la Ligue, their last defeat in the competition coming against Saint-Etienne in November 2012.
And it was Unai Emery’s men who were in charge for large parts, eventually cruising to a deserved win to deal their Ligue 1 title rivals’ confidence a blow ahead of the decisive stages of the 2016-17 campaign, with Monaco defending a three-point lead in the French top flight with eight games to go.
Champions once again!!!! pic.twitter.com/INVZhSDO3i
— PSG English (@PSG_English) 1 April 2017
PSG made a fine start to the game and needed just four minutes to open the scoring in somewhat controversial fashion. Marco Verratti reached Di Maria with a clever throughball and the former Real Madrid star did well to set up the unmarked Draxler, who had no trouble placing the ball into the empty net from what seemed like an offside position.
Monaco slowly grew into the game after a difficult start and they levelled via Lemar, the winger placing a shot into the top-right corner from the edge of the area after some good work from Bernardo Silva and Djibril Sidibe down the right.
Cavani came close to restoring his side’s lead 10 minutes before half-time when he directed a Thiago Silva header goalwards with an acrobatic backheel, but goalkeeper Danijel Subasic pulled off a fine save to deny the Uruguay international.
But the Parisians were not to be denied for long as Di Maria beat Subasic following a rapid counter-attack, poking a shot into the bottom corner after being played in by Draxler.
— PSG English (@PSG_English) April 1, 2017
And there was more to come from PSG in the second half as Cavani doubled his side’s lead in the 54th minute in spectacular fashion, blasting a volley past the helpless Subasic after Verratti’s delightful cross with the outside of his right boot.
Cavani should have added a fourth soon afterwards following a quick attack down the left, but the striker inexplicably aimed wide from less than six yards out to keep Monaco’s fading chances alive.
The striker made amends for his shocking miss in the 90th minute, though, firing into the top corner from Di Maria’s cross from the left as PSG celebrated their second silverware of the season having lifted the Trophee des Champions in August.
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