MONTPELLIER, France (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain made light work of Ligue 1 rivals Montpellier to stroll into the last 32 of the French Cup following Monday’s 3-0 away win.
Second-half goals from Clement Chantome, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a sublime third from Brazilian Lucas Moura settled the last 64 tie at Montpellier’s Altrad stadium.
It was a welcome relief for the champions, who were held to a draw at home to Montpellier in the league two weeks ago.
They will face Bordeaux in the next round.
PSG coach Laurent Blanc was critical of the pitch, which hosted a Top 14 rugby match just two days earlier.
“Given the conditions we didn’t expect a great football match,” said Blanc.
“Despite that, in general in the Cup it’s the team that shows the most combativity, determination and aggression that wins and goes through to the next round. “Tonight I think that was the case with our progression.”
With South American forwards Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi left back in Paris as punishment for coming back late form their holidays, PSG took time to click their attack into gear. The visitors took the lead on 63 minutes as Chantome finished a pass from Ibrahimovic following the big Swede’s one-two with Brazilian defender Marquinhos.
Ibrahimovic headed home a cross from Javier Pastore with 11 minutes left but Lucas saved the best until last, controlling a looping high ball expertly on his chest before spinning, holding off the close attentions of his marker and rifling past Jonathan Ligali in the Montpellier goal in stoppage time.