Paris (AFP) – Pablo Sarabia put Paris Saint-Germain into the last 16 of the French Cup on Sunday with the late winner in a tight 1-0 win over spirited Lorient.
Spaniard Sarabia headed home the only goal with 10 minutes remaining to put Thomas Tuchel’s much-changed side into the next round after struggling to break Ligue 2 leaders Lorient down in an underwhelming contest.
PSG came into the match missing a host of injured stars including Edinson Cavani, Marco Verratti, Juan Bernat and Marquinhos, and with both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe on the bench the away side lacked creative spark despite the presence of in-form striker Mauro Icardi.
The French champions were lucky to go into the break level after Yoane Wissa somehow managed to head Jimmy Cabot’s pinpoint cross wide from just a couple of yards out.
The second half continued to lack clear chances for either side, with Paul Nardi doing well to charge down Icardi’s close range header in the 68th minute before pushing Pablo Sarabia’s shot wide 11 minutes later.
However the 25-year-old could do nothing about Sarabia’s header seconds later, the Spaniard beautifully guiding home Thiago Silva’s cross to squeeze the top flight outfit home.
Earlier English forward Stephy Mavididi struck twice as Dijon fired four goals in the last 15 minutes of their all-Ligue 1 clash with Nimes to cruise to a 5-0 win.
Hosts Dijon were leading a tight tie by a single goal thanks to Jhonder Cadiz’s first half penalty when Mavididi begun a goal frenzy in the 75th minute.
The 21-year-old, who has represented England at Under-20 level and is on loan from Italian giants Juventus, added another in the final minute after further goals from Mounir Chouiar and Bruno Ecuele Manga.
In April last year Derby-born Mavididi, who has scored twice in Ligue 1 this season, became the first player to play for Juve since David Platt.
PSG and Dijon will be joined in Sunday’s last 16 draw by top division teams Montpellier — 5-0 winners over Caen — Angers and Rennes, whose 2-0 win at fifth-tier Athletico Marseille was interrupted for around 10 minutes after home fans threw flares onto the pitch.
On Saturday, starlet Rayan Cherki caught the eye after contributing to all four of Lyon’s goals in a 4-3 win over fellow Ligue 1 outfit Nantes.
The 16-year-old, who has drawn comparisons with fellow Lyon academy graduates Karim Benzema and Hatem Ben Arfa, scored twice, provided two assists and won a penalty that was missed by Moussa Dembele.
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