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Di Maria fuels PSG as Marseille hit nine in French Cup

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Paris Saint-Germain’s Argentinian forward Angel Di Maria looks on during the French Cup football match between Sochaux (FCSM) and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) on February 6, 2018 at the Auguste Bonal Stadium in Montbeliard, eastern France. / AFP PHOTO / SEBASTIEN BOZON

Angel Di Maria scored a hat-trick as holders Paris Saint-Germain defeated second-tier Sochaux 4-1 on Tuesday to reach the French Cup quarter-finals, while Marseille demolished Ligue 2 outfit Bourg-en-Bresse 9-0.

The Argentine winger headed PSG, who were playing without the rested Neymar, ahead inside the first minute at the Stade Bonal in eastern France, but twice former winners Sochaux levelled through Florian Martin before the quarter hour.

Edinson Cavani restored the lead for Unai Emery’s team on 27 minutes when he turned in a Layvin Kurzawa cross at the far post, and Thiago Silva then rattled the crossbar with a header from a corner.

Di Maria added a third just prior to the hour with a composed finish after he was released in behind the home defence by a pass from Italian midfielder Marco Verratti.

He completed his hat-trick just three minutes later by forcing home a rebound from close range after Sochaux goalkeeper Lawrence Ati Zigi parried a fierce shot from Cavani.

Dani Alves finished the game in goal for PSG after Kevin Trapp was sent off in the closing stages for a foul outside his area on Sochaux striker Thomas Robinet.

“The goal today was to advance beyond this round of the French Cup without injuries,” said Emery, whose side travel to Real Madrid next week for the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.

“We’re very happy with (Di Maria),” added the Spaniard, who has seen the revitalised Argentine score nine goals in 10 matches since the turn of the year.

“He deserves to be in the squad, in the starting XI, like all the other players. My opinion of him hasn’t changed today, he’s an important player for us.”

– Mitroglou, Ocampos shine –
Earlier, both Kostas Mitroglou and Lucas Ocampos scored hat-tricks as in-form Marseille crushed a hapless Bourg-en-Bresse in a heavily lopsided last 16 tie.

Rudi Garcia’s side, who are second in Ligue 1 after thrashing Metz 6-3 last week, romped into a 4-0 lead inside 20 minutes at the struggling Ligue 2 side and showed no mercy against hapless opponents.

“We had an actual nightmare, the two sides were a world apart,” admitted Bourg-en-Bresse coach Herve Della Maggiore. “We watched them play.”

Despite making six changes to the starting XI, Marseille ended the tie as a contest with early goals from Luiz Gustavo, Dimitri Payet, Ocampos and Mitroglou.

Greek international striker Mitroglou has struggled to nail down a place in the team since joining from Benfica last year, but he strolled through the vacant home defence to score the fifth before half-time.

Argentinian Ocampos grabbed his second early in the second half, although he was made to wait to complete his treble as Marseille went a game-high 23 minutes without scoring before he headed home.

Mitroglou quickly got back in on the act as some more awful defending allowed him to nod in his seventh goal for the club, before Clinton N’Jie wrapped up the scoring with number nine from the penalty spot.

Marseille have now won eight and drawn one of their last nine matches in all competitions, scoring 30 goals in the process.

But they fell well short of their record win — a 19-0 French Cup victory over Stade Raphaelois in 1933.


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