Paris: Paris Saint-Germain have advanced to the Coupe de France quarter-finals after a 2-0 win over Olympique de Marseille in their round of 16 clash at the Parc de Princes on Wednesday.
The hosts were the better team throughout, and replicated their margin of victory from Sunday`s Le Classique meeting in Ligue 1, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as ever, making the difference with a goal in either half.
The Swede finished off Clement Chantome`s long pass to open the scoring 35 minutes in, before doubling his tally from the penalty spot shortly after the hour mark to seal his side`s progression into the last eight, with the draw set to take place later on Wednesday.
David Beckham started to make his full debut for the capital outfit, as one of eight changes made by Carlo Ancelotti from Sunday’s fixture. Marseille, meanwhile, remained unchanged, with Joey Barton lining up in midfield against his former England team-mate.
The match started brightly, but despite both teams playing at an energetic tempo, clear cut opportunities in front of goal were hard to come by as a number of half-chances were sent off target by both sides.
PSG generally looked the more likely to score, and with half an hour gone, Ibrahimovic forced the first real save of the game from Steve Mandanda, who spread himself well to push away the Swede’s attempt from outside the area.
It was a sign of things to come, and only minutes later, the home side were ahead. Chantome’s sublime searching pass was chased down by Ibrahimovic, who barged past the stumbling Lucas Mendes and slotted home despite a touch from Mandanda.
Marseille attempted to avert their fortunes shortly after the restart, when Andre Pierre Gignac turned Zoumana Camara on the edge of the area, and forced a fine save from Nicolas Douchez with a low drive. From the resulting corner, Lucas headed narrowly over.
But as the second half wore on, PSG began to re-assert their superiority. Mendes had to turn away a dangerous cross from the toes of Kevin Gameiro, and from the corner, Gignac nodded away Camara’s header off the line.
And with 64 minutes on the clock, the breakthrough would come again. Jeremy Morel, already left for dead by the power of Ibrahimovic, stuck out a late leg to trip him up inside the area.
The referee was left with little choice but to award the penalty, and Ibrahimovic stepped up to send Mandanda the wrong way from 12 yards out.
The tie seemed done and dusted, with Marseille showing little up to that point that suggested they could find a way back into the contest.
In fact, PSG spurned a golden chance for a third, when a three-on-one break saw Ibrahimovic badly under-hit a pass that would have put Mamadou Sakho, of all people, clean through on goal.
With the game nearing its end, tempers finally boiled over, as a late challenge from Jordan Ayew on Beckham sparked a confrontation between both sets of players, with the original instigators both seeing yellow for their part in the incident.