PSG retain League Cup, next up Barcelona

Nicholas Mc Anally
AFP

Paris (AFP) - Zlatan Ibrahimovic inspired holders Paris Saint-Germain to the first of a potential four trophies this season with a 4-0 win over 10-men Bastia in the League Cup final on Saturday.

In a repeat of the 1995 final, a first half brace by the Swedish star, completed by Edinson Cavani's second half double, kept Ligue 1 leaders PSG in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple.

The win teed up Laurent Blanc's side nicely for Wednesday's visit to Barcelona in the Champions League quarter final first leg with Auxerre awaiting them in next month's French Cup final.

"It's our first title, it was our aim. We are very happy," club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi told France 2 television.

"We are also happy because we didn't have any new injuries. We are ready for Barca."

Paris Saint-Germain, however, must tackle Barcelona without Ibrahimovic. The tempestuous striker is suspended for the Nou Camp trip after his sending off against Chelsea in the last 16. He is also now starting a four match domestic ban following his infamous anti-France rant.

It took Blanc's men just 21 minutes to find the back of the net after Bastia defender Sebastien Squillaci was harshly sent off for taking Ezequiel Lavezzi down inside the box, with Ibrahimovic converting from the spot.

The Swedish forward scored his tenth goal in just five games a few minutes before half-time, controlling Mathieu Peybernes' poor headed clearance before lashing a shot inside the bottom corner.

Cavani added a third with a superb header, finding himself at the end of Serge Aurier's cross.

The Uruguay striker grabbed his 20th goal of the season and put the final nail in the Corsican side's coffin in injury time thanks to a brilliantly-timed pass by Ibrahimovic that sent him through on goal.

"They are a big team with big players. The referee took a major decision after just 20 minutes with the red card and the penalty," Bastia defender Francois Modesto said.

"It really is a pity. The sanction is harsh but Paris deserve their win. We had a good run and presented a good image of Corsica."

Against a team currently sitting in 14th, five points above the relegation zone, PSG secured their fifth win in the competition after lifting the trophy in 1995, 1998, 2008 and 2014.

With no time for celebrations, PSG will now turn to Barcelona, whom they host at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday.

They can then focus on national duties as they top Ligue 1 with seven matches to play and face Auxerre in the final of the French Cup on May 30.

The victory was marred when 15 policemen suffered minor injuries in skirmishes in Paris between police and Bastia fans before kick-off.

"One of them (the police) got hit on the head by a can, two other by stones on their legs and the others are suffering from noise trauma," a source told AFP.

No arrests were made, the same source added.

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