Angel Di Maria nets late winner as Paris St Germain clinch cup glory
Last Updated: 23/04/16 11:05pm
Paris St Germain completed the second leg in their quest for a domestic treble as Angel Di Maria's late strike handed them a hard fought 2-1 win over Lille to clinch the Coupe de la Ligue.
With the score locked at 1-1 with 20 minutes left - after Javier Pastore's opener was cancelled out by Djibril Sidibe - it looked like Laurent Blanc's side might go away from the Stade de France empty handed as they were reduced to 10 men, Adrien Rabiot having received his marching orders for a second yellow card.
However, Di Maria's 75th-minute winner means the Ligue 1 champions can make it a clean sweep in France with victory over Marseille in the Coupe de France final on May 21.
PSG dominated the early exchanges of the match and could have led with 22 seconds on the clock when Zlatan Ibrahimovic played in Di Maria but his shot from eight yards out was tame allowing Lille goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama to easily collect.
Enyeama also twice saved from Lucas Moura inside the first six minutes as Lille's defence struggled to cope with PSG's pacey attacks.
It was only a matter of time before PSG's main man Ibrahimovic had an opportunity and this came on 31 minutes when he expertly pulled down a Serge Aurier long pass but could only lob over the crossbar with Enyeama advancing.
Ibrahimovic should have had an even better chance a minute later when Di Maria broke down the right hand side but the Argentine chose to go for goal himself instead of passing to the Sweden striker, who was free at the far post.
Lille finally carved out a clear goal-scoring opportunity themselves after 38 minutes. Sofiane Boufal worked himself free on the right side and crossed to an unmarked Eder in the box but his control let him down and goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu was able to gather.
Two minutes later, PSG deservedly took the lead. A right-side corner taken by Di Maria was punched clear by Enyeama but only as far as Pastore, who fired in a right-footed volley into the bottom corner.
Given the form of Les Parisiens this season some sides may have crumbled however, to their credit Lille started the second half brightly and on 49 minutes were rewarded with the equaliser.
Rabiot received his first yellow card for a foul on Boufal just outside the area and Sidibe stepped up to strike his free-kick through the wall and into the corner of the net leaving Sirigu with no chance.
The goal seemed to sting PSG back into top gear with Ibrahimovic immediately having two chances to restore their lead. First, he headed over when well placed in the box, then he looked certain to score when shooting from close range but his effort was blocked at the last second.
However, the French champions were not having it all their own way and Sirigu had to be alert to tip a Boufal effort round the post. Boufal was becoming increasingly influential for Lille and he was involved as PSG were reduced to 10 men on 70 minutes, Rabiot receiving his second yellow card for another foul on the Moroccan international.
Blanc's men scored what proved to be the winner with 15 minutes left, with help from the Lille backline. A long clearance from Sirigu was misjudged by Adama Soumaoro who could only nod the ball into the path of Di Maria.
With Enyeama recklessly rushing out from his goal, the former Manchester United man kept his cool to slot into the net.