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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.

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.

The pair reversed roles for the sixth goal, Icardi controlling superbly and sliding across goal for a lunging Mbappe to turn home from close range. 

Former PSG midfielder Yohan Cabaye hit a consolation goal for Saint-Etienne when he headed in the rebound after his second-half penalty was saved by Sergio Rico. 

PSG have now scored at least four goals in their past six matches. The record eight-time champions will discover their semi-final opponents when the draw is made on Thursday.

Lyon battled into the last four with a 3-1 victory at home to Brest.

Moussa Dembele broke the deadlock on 19 minutes and Houssem Aouar added a second shortly after half-time for Rudi Garcia’s side.

Samuel Grandsir gave Brest hope with a tidy finish five minutes from time but Jean Lucas made sure of the win with a firm 20-yard drive in stoppage time.

Luiz Araujo and Victor Osimhen were on target as Lille overcame Amiens 2-0.

Reims eliminated holders Strasbourg on Tuesday after winning 4-2 on penalties following a goalless draw.

The competition, which includes all the clubs from France’s top two divisions and a handful of teams from the third tier, will be suspended indefinitely at the end of this season.

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