A new win streak begins for Paris Saint-Germain as they beat AS Saint-Etienne 3-1 to advance to the semifinals of the Coupe de France. PSG got off to their customary lukewarm start but eventually broke through the Saint-Etienne defense in the 12th minute when Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani linked up brilliantly for the opening goal. Paris would go on to score two more and it was an overall solid performance from the reigning French champions. Here is my “Good & Bad” from the match:
El Matador has rediscovered his shooting form after scoring in three of his last four games. Cavani has missed his fair share of goals this season but not even he could ruin what was a sublime pass from Ibrahimovic as he tucked in his shot just past Stéphane Ruffier. After an uninspiring performance in the loss against Lyon, it’s good to see the Uruguayan finish his chances with regularity once again.
It’s really hard for a footballer to play out of position but Marquinhos has once against showed his value as the Swiss Army Knife of this squad. His overall play was marvelous, except for his crossing, which needs work, but his talent can’t be denied. WhoScored rates the Brazilian a 7.17 as a center back and 7.87 when playing in the right back position, which goes to show he is more than capable of taking over at either. He’s prone to letting wingers overlap his marking (as Chelsea F.C.’s Baba Rahman showed in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League tie) but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed. Rumors about his exit from the club due to lack of playing time is also a concern. Having a versatile defender is a luxury and not one PSG should give up so easily.
The young Frenchman had performed well recently and proved to be one of the most attack-minded fullbacks in Ligue 1, along the likes of Raphaël Guerreiro, Benoît Assou-Ekott, Rafael, and Sebastien Corchia. Backing up Maxwell, Kurzawa leads PSG’s fullbacks in terms of attacking play with three goals and one assist this season. His ability to join the attack leads to his weakness, which showed against Saint-Etienne. While his speed is world class, Kurzawa struggles to get back on defense and is often caught high up the pitch when opponents launch a counter. This causes him to lunge into tackles, which you can see an example of in the clip below. If Kurzawa can sort out his defensive positioning, he most likely would be preferred over Lucas Digne at the left back position next season as Maxwell is expected to depart the club this summer.