CdF: PSG beats Nice and goes to the semi-final


By: Manu Tournoux

Continuation and end of the quarter-finals of the Coupe de France. Two weeks after the qualifications of Olympique Lyonnais, Stade Rennais and Valenciennes, there was still one ticket to distribute to find out the last guest of the last four. A semi-final which promises to be tough since the winner of this clash knew that he would host Rennes. At a time when the money time of the PSG season has arrived, Luis Enrique has logically aligned the big armada to get rid of the Aiglons. Substitutes against Reims, Kylian Mbappé and Ousmane Dembélé returned to the Ile-de-France eleven, while Warren Zaire-Emery played at right back. On the Nice side, Francesco Farioli found a competition dear to the OGCN. Unable to win a match for five games, the Riviera club must go back to the round of 16 of the Coupe de France against Montpellier to find the trace of a victory.

And his start to the match didn’t really suggest a favorable scenario. From the outset the Parisians had control of the ball. The leather was circulating in all directions, Nice had no say and the first Ile-de-France opportunities arrived, like this header from Gonçalo Ramos on a shot from Fabian Ruiz that went past Marcin Bulka’s left post (5th). Vitinha’s partners occupied all the spaces and their all-terrain pressing hurt the Aiglons. It was also following a ball recovered near the Nice area that Kylian Mbappé opened the scoring, after a very nice exchange with Ruiz (1-0, 15th). Three minutes later, Ramos should have made the break, but the Portuguese completely missed alone in front of the opposing goal despite a caviar from Mendes (18th). The scenario was repeated shortly after, but this time, with Zaire-Emery in the role of the almost decisive passer (24th). The Gym was stifled, cornered and above all powerless against the Parisians who were dominant, but not effective. In the 25th minute, a new exchange between Ruiz and Mbappé ended on the post and seven minutes later, Dembélé’s three-cross attempt grazed Bulka’s right post (32nd).

Nice made PSG doubt

The scenario of the match then seemed to take a definitive turn when the Polish goalkeeper made a mistake against Dembélé’s pressing. An error which Ruiz took advantage of to score the 2-0 goal (33rd). At this point in the match, no one saw Nice coming back. But after an exploit from Boga on the left side, Laborde took advantage of a deflected clearance from Hernandez to reduce the score with a nice volley (2-1, 37th). A reduction in the score completely against the course of play, but which had the merit of breathing life back into Farioli’s formation. Because it was she who finished the first period strong by creating several opportunities to equalize (45th +2, 45th +3). When they returned from the locker room, Nice did not let up and if they had not got confused, Boga could have tied the teams (47th). And what about Lotomba’s double opportunity, offside, but put back into play by a back pass from Ramos, against Donnarumma (55th). Manhandled, PSG nevertheless managed to make the break again on the hour mark after a cross from Vitinha victoriously headed by Beraldo (3-1, 59th). The defender’s first goal in the colors red and blue.

A relief for Mbappé’s partners. In the process, Lee could even have increased the score in a nice way with a free kick, but Bulka pulled out all the stops before having his nose involuntarily smashed by his teammate Rosario. Not enough to get the Pole out. The end of the match was a little more choppy. The Niçois pushed, but above all made a lot of mistakes because of too physical a game. Farioli then tried his last moves by bringing in four players (Perraud, Mendy, Claude-Maurice, Cho) between the 79th and 87th minutes. In vain. Even the ten minutes of additional time granted following Bulka’s nose injury changed nothing, notably because of two exceptional saves on each side by Donnarumma and Bulka against Claude-Maurice (90th + 5) and WZE (90th +6). After being knocked out in the round of 16 by OM last year, the French champions advance to the semi-finals and will face the Bretons of SRFC on Wednesday April 3 at 9:10 p.m. As a reminder, OL will host Valenciennes the day before.

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