Edinson Cavani proved his worth to Paris Saint-Germain with a double in a 2-1 victory over Olympique Lyonnais in the Coupe de la Ligue final.
Following PSG's Champions League exit to Chelsea and defeat to Lyon in Ligue 1, much of the build-up to Saturday's showpiece had centered around coach Laurent Blanc and reported uncertainty over his future at the Parc des Princes.
Cavani's role has also come under scrutiny in recent weeks as well, after his apparent unhappiness at being played out of position, and his failure to live up to his big-money price tag for much of the campaign.
However, both were left smiling after a solid performance at the Stade de France, as Cavani struck twice in the first half to help PSG add the Coupe de la Ligue to its Trophee des Champions title - with the defense of its Ligue 1 crown all but certain to follow.
In the absence of injured talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cavani gave the Ligue 1 champions-elect an ideal start when he nudged home the opener from close range after great play down the left flank from Ezequiel Lavezzi and Maxwell.
The Argentine forward back-heeled the ball into Maxwell's path and, after the Brazilian had dinked an attempt over Lopes, Cavani prodded home.
It was harsh on Lyon, which had started brightly despite the absence of injured duo Clement Grenier and Yoann Gourcuff.
After a frantic opening 20 minutes, the game settled down until Cavani doubled his tally from the spot.
Following a long ball from Thiago Silva, Anthony Lopes looked to clear but instead missed the ball and brought Lucas down, although Lyon will likely question whether the incident took place inside or outside the area.
Cavani stepped up to score, and the Uruguayan almost had his hat trick before the break but lost his composure when played through on goal by Lucas - blazing his effort high over the crossbar.
However, Lyon was determined not to let PSG saunter to the title and Alexandre Lacazette produced a stunning virtuoso goal after 56 minutes to make life uncomfortable for Blanc's men.
The forward ran much of the length of the PSG half and, when Alex continued to back off, he fired past Nicolas Douchez into the far left-hand corner.
It proved to be a consolation, though, as Lyon could not find a second.
The result meant that Remi Garde's third major final in as many seasons at the helm ended in defeat, with Lyon finishing runner-up, as it did to Olympique de Marseille in the final two years ago.
- Sports & Recreation
- Edinson Cavani
- Laurent Blanc
- Coupe de la Ligue