PSG want French Cup sea­son swan­song

New Straits Times - - Sport -

PARIS: Paris Saint-Ger­main will seek to draw their bit­ter-sweet sea­son to a win­ning close when they take on un­her­alded Angers in to­day’s French Cup fi­nal.

PSG missed out on the Ligue 1 ti­tle to ri­vals Monaco, who fin­ished eight points clear at the top of the ta­ble to break the Parisians’ hopes of a fifth con­sec­u­tive tro­phy.

De­spite that sec­ond place, guar­an­tee­ing Cham­pi­ons League foot­ball next sea­son, and vic­tory over an un­der-strength Monaco in the League Cup fi­nal, PSG coach Unai Emery has found him­self in the spot­light of the everde­mand­ing Qatari own­ers.

Emery’s first sea­son since join­ing from Sevilla saw PSG notch up a mem­o­rable 4-0 home win over Barcelona in the Cham­pi­ons League be­fore the Cata­lans stun­ningly over­turned that deficit at home in the round of 16, mean­ing the Paris side missed out on the quar­ter-fi­nals of Europe’s lu­cra­tive club com­pe­ti­tion for the first time in five years.

“There were some changes last sum­mer and af­ter that we had some prob­lems in the first half of the sea­son,” PSG goal­keeper Kevin Trapp ac­knowl­edged, no­tably with the de­par­ture of stars Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic and David Luiz to the English Pre­mier League.

“Our sea­son wasn’t as bad as all that, we fin­ished with 87 points in the league de­spite the sea­son Monaco had.

Trapp added that the team were now fo­cused on land­ing a record 11th — and third con­sec­u­tive — French Cup ti­tle.

“We have to win the Cup fi­nal. If we’d won the league, there wouldn’t have been less pres­sure,” he said.

“There’s the same pres­sure when you’re in a club like PSG — like that you al­ways want to win ev­ery­thing.”

PSG’s op­po­nents in the 100th stag­ing of the Cup fi­nal will be Angers, the west­ern club who fin­ished 12th in the league.

De­spite a lim­ited bud­get that pales into in­signif­i­cance com­pared to PSG’s, Angers coach Stephane Moulin has moulded a team ethic based around tight on-field dis­ci­pline which has paid div­i­dends.

Angers’ ap­pear­ance in the Cup fi­nal will be their first in 60 years, when they lost 6-3 to Toulouse, and just the sec­ond in club his­tory. A vic­tory would also guar­an­tee a spot in the Europa League.

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