PARIS (AFP) – Uruguayan international striker Edinson Cavani scored his second goal in as many games since being restored to the Paris Saint-Germain line-up as PSG reached the last 16 of the French Cup on Wednesday with a 2-1 win over Bordeaux.
Cavani — who along with Argentinian international Ezequiel Lavezzi were left out for three games by coach Laurent Blanc for returning late from the Christmas holidays — gave the hosts a 14th minute lead which was doubled by Javier Pastore, also registering his second goal in as many matches.
Bordeaux reduced the deficit two minutes into the second-half but PSG held on, despite having defender Zoumana Camara sent off seven minutes from time, in a far more assured performance than they have produced over the past few weeks.
Their victory was achieved despite Blanc not starting first team regulars such as Thiago Motta, David Luiz and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, preferring to give them some rest ahead of the champions pivotal Ligue 1 clash with highflying St Etienne this weekend.
Blanc was pleased to have secured their place in the last 16 in a competition which has been set as one of their targets by club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, although he regretted that they had not played at the same tempo in both halves.
The former France national coach also denied that Ibrahimovic had been left out because of a loss of form — he has still scored eight league goals despite having been laid low by injury earlier in the season.
“I wanted to rotate the squad,” said the 49-year-old.
“What is more he has accrued two yellow cards and a third one would have seen him suspended.
“Also he needs some rest so he is on top form for the weeks ahead and I am optimistic he will be.
“We have a loaded schedule in February including the Champions League last 16 clash (with Barcelona).”
Blanc will have taken some pleasure at seeing St Etienne having to go to extra-time in their match on Wednesday with second tier Tours before prevailing 5-3.
St Etienne’s Dutch striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel — who endured a miserable time in the English Premier League last season after a big money move to Norwich — scored a double.
Indeed Tours came closest to pulling off a shock as all the other Ligue 1 clubs progressed including holders Guingamp, who beat second division Chateauroux 2-0.
There was no fairytale for the conquerors of Marseille in the previous round as an injury-depleted Grenoble side, from the fourth tier, lost to third division Boulogne.