PSG overrun Saint-Etienne to reach League Cup semi-finals

PARIS (AFP) – Mauro Icardi scored a hat-trick as Paris Saint-Germain demolished a depleted Saint-Etienne 6-1 on Wednesday to power into the semi-finals of the French League Cup.

Icardi struck the opening goal inside two minutes at the Parc des Princes before teenage Saint-Etienne defender Wesley Fofana was dismissed for a second booking on the half-hour.

PSG ruthlessly capitalised on their man advantage as coach Thomas Tuchel elected to field all four members of his fearsome attacking quartet – Icardi, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria – against a side decimated by injury and illness.

“I am convinced that Icardi and Mbappe love to play together,” said Tuchel.

“We talk about the four attackers but we are a team with 11 players. Neymar, for example, helps Juan Bernat.

“That’s the sort of spirit which we need to be dangerous. We have the best players but we also have the best team.”

Neymar doubled the lead with a nonchalant chipped finish over goalkeeper Jessy Moulin, who scored a comical own goal on the stroke of half-time.

Di Maria’s low cross was hacked by Timothee Kolodziejczak into the legs of team-mate Loic Perrin, the ball rolling back off the post before hitting Moulin and trickling over the line.

The hosts bagged a fourth when Mbappe rounded Moulin and cut back for Icardi to add to his tally, and he completed his hat-trick when the former raced clear before selflessly presenting the Argentine with a tap-in.