Paris claim their 13th Coupe de France!
After more than four months without competitive football followed by three warm-up games, the Paris Saint-Germain players finally got that long-awaited rush of adrenaline as they stepped out to face Saint-Etienne in the Coupe de France final.
With the same starting XI that had beaten Celtic three days earlier, Thomas Tuchel set up his side in a 4-4-2 at the Stade de France.
Right from the off, the Parisians were made aware that it was not going to be an easy night with Saint-Etienne keeping them at arm's length. The duo of Kylian Mbappé and Neymar Jr created the first scare, but the Brazilian was offside from a pass from his French teammate (1'). Les Verts then struck the woodwork through Denis Bouanga with Keylor Navas relieved not to see the ball find the net (5').
Neymar Jr made the breakthrough, but Mbappé was heavily involved. It was a powerful shot from the Paris number 7 that was parried by Jessy Moulin, and Neymar Jr sent his shot home via the crossbar (1-0, 14').
Injury meant Thilo Kehrer was replaced by Colin Dagba (19'), and Saint-Etienne kept Navas busy with another Bouanga effort (20'). At the opposite end, Angel Di Maria, sent clear by Leandro Paredes, fired a powerful half-volley goalwards that Moulin did well to turn aside (24').
The game exploded on the half-hour when a strong challenge on Mbappé by Loïc Perrin led to the Saint-Etienne captain being dismissed and the Parisian forward limping out of the fray (30').
With a man extra, Tuchel's men came out looking to press home their advantage. Icardi did find the net, but his effort was ruled out for offside (51'), Neymar Jr dummied the ball to give Di Maria an opportunity, but the Argentine forward's effort fizzed past a post (56'). Paredes was equally unlucky with a long-range effort (58').
Saint-Etienne did not let up the pressure either though, and the ever lively Bouanga sent an acrobatic effort just wide (60').
Sarabia (73', 78') and Idrissa Gueye (85') were not able to beat Moulin either as the Saint-Etienne goalkeeper had a big night, making eight saves. But the Parisians managed to keep their opponents at bay until the final whistle.
With heavy legs, the Rouge-et-Bleu lifted their third trophy of the season and the 13th Coupe de France of the club's history, strengthening their position as the most successful side ever in the competition.
It's a trophy that marks the start of a busy period, which will eventually lead the club to Lisbon, but before that, there is another final to play: the Coupe de la Ligue at the Stade de France again, though this time against Lyon next Friday.