Paris into the final!
We're heading back to the Stade de France! Every Spring since 2015, Paris Saint-Germain take the ring road north to Saint-Denis. The four-time defending champions have equaled the competition record of qualifying for five finals in a row (like Lille, between 1945 and 1949).
Paris Saint-Germain had history on their side having won their last 16 in a row against the Canaries. A 17th win would open the doors to a 17th final! With 80% possession, Paris laid siege to the Nantes penalty box, but the visitors were defending deep and there was little room to manoeuvre. Nantes were dangerous on the counterattack through Evangelista (13')... before Paris revealed a secret attacking weapon: Marco Verratti - with a stunning shot from 20m out (1-0, 29')! That's right! Verratti scored!
Former Paris youth academy graduate Coulibaly headed just wide (45') as the capital club led 1-0 at the break. In driving rain at the start of the second half, Kylian Mbappé thought he had given his side a two-goal lead, only for the referee to order a retake for encroachment and this time, the penalty was saved (66'). Yes, Kylian really is human... well... almost! In the last 15 minutes, Paris Saint-Germain (a man to the good following the sending-off of Coulibaly) looked to make the game safe and did so thanks to... an Mbappé penalty (2-0, 85')! In 2019, the France international has scored 17 goals in 18 matches… Dani Alves, netted his first of the year, but it too was very special - a fantastic lob over Tatarusanu (3-0, 90+2')! And now, Paris must complete the job in 24 days just north of the capital at the Stade de France...
A man in the match: Marco Verratti
Normally he's the one providing the ammunition, not shooting! What's more, that's now two goals in as many starts after he scored for the Italian national team a week ago (2 goals in 3 appearances, having not scored in his previous 58 matches). Set up by Mbappé, Verratti arrowed a shot inside the far post from outside the box, before setting up Dani Alves for the final goal of the match. Bravo Marco!
The word: Touch
Introduced in the 77th minute to try and kill the game off, Dani Alves certainly ended the contest! A wonderful goal, that left the entire Nantes defence, including the 1.97m goalie Tatarusanu rooted to the spot. A first goal of the season for the Brazilian that was all spontaneity and class and touch and the perfect way to stamp the ticket through to the final (90+2')…
To win a fifth Coupe de France in a row, Paris must overcome Rennes on 27 April. Between now and then, Paris could even secure the Ligue 1 title this weekend, when they entertain Strasbourg to the Parc this Sunday at 21:00 in the final match of Week 31 of the campaign...