Third time’s the charm for Paris Saint-Germain as they defeated AS Monaco 4-1 on Saturday at Parc Olympique Lyonnais to win their fourth consecutive Coupe de la Ligue trophy and their seventh overall. It was the third meeting between the top two teams in Ligue 1 this season and the first win for PSG. Angel Di Maria put in one of his best performances of the season by recording two assist and one goal. Edinson Cavani chipped in with a brace and Julian Draxler continued his impressive scoring streak since arriving during the January transfer window and added an assist as well.
Unai Emery had plenty of reasons to be nervous heading into the match. A loss would have meant one less domestic trophy in the cabinet, more disappoint following the FC Barcelona defeat in the UEFA Champions League, and would have given Monaco a boost of confidence to maintain their three-point lead at the top of Ligue 1. Simply put, a loss would have likely cost Emery his job.
Di Maria made sure that didn’t happen though. The Argentine was absolutely brilliant on the night and it’s amazing to see the change in the team when he’s firing on all cylinders. His cross to Cavani for the fourth goal of the game was especially impressive. Di Maria drove down the wing with Nabil Dirar drapped all over him. Fighting off the defender, Di Maria broke away with speed and determination to play a perfect cross to Cavani who blasted a shot off the crossbar and into the net. It was a statement goal from PSG to Leonardo Jardim’s men. Whether they were tired or had more important competitions to worry about, Monaco were thoroughly defeated and Thomas Meunier believes the win could have a lasting impact.
I hope we have been able to give a small blow to the morale of Monaco with this victory. They still have a lot of matches to play, in April especially with the Champions League. We must stay on the lookout. We have our destiny in our hands.–Thomas Meunier, OneFootball.com
Cavani, who was seen tracking back and helping on defense throughout the match, put in a world class shift as well. His two goals on the night increased his total to 40 across all competitions, the first time he’s reached that plateau in his career. When Zlatan Ibrahimovic departed for Manchester United last summer, some speculated whether or not Cavani could carry the load. A lot has gone wrong this season for PSG but very little can be blamed on the Uruguayan.
Another standout player for PSG on the night was Thiago Silva for his work on keeping Kylian Mbappé off the score sheet. O Monstro had the young phenom in his back pocket all night and didn’t allow the Frenchman any room to operate. In fact, other than Thomas Lemar’s wonder strike in the 27th minute, Monaco’s high-flying offense was kept silent and most of that can be credited to Silva.
Paris Saint-Germain won the battle but it remains to be seen if they will win the war (surpass Monaco for their fifth consecutive Ligue 1 title). For now, enjoy some of our favorite photos from a championship performance and check back for our coverage of PSG’s Coupe de France quarter-final match against US Avranches on Wednesday, April 5.