Paris: Paris Saint-Germain saw their 43-match winning run in domestic cup competitions come to an end as Thomas Tuchel’s men suffered a shock 2-1 home defeat by Ligue 1 bottom club Guingamp in the French League Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday.
The visitors were awarded three penalties at the Parc des Princes in a dramatic second half, as PSG failed in their bid for a sixth straight League Cup title. It was only a second defeat in all competitions this season for the capital club, after a 3-2 loss to Liverpool at Anfield in the Champions League last September.
Guingamp, who have won just two league games all season, join Monaco, Strasbourg and Bordeaux in the semi-finals. “We came here to win and we know it’s very difficult here,” said Marcus Thuram, the son of 1998 World Cup winner Lilian Thuram, who scored the winner.
“We know that in the Cup anything can happen… We knew how to hinder PSG.” Neymar broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute after Thuram missed from the spot, but Guingamp rallied, with Thuram’s successful injury-time penalty snatching victory with a shootout looming.
“We played with too much confidence, we were not hungry enough to finish the match,” admitted PSG coach Thomas Tuchel. “It’s very hard to lose with three penalties. I was angry with the second one, I can see the VAR 100 times, it’s not a penalty.”
Tuchel named a strong starting XI including Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Angel Di Maria, but a drab first half in the capital failed to produce a single shot on target from either side. The reigning French champions had extended their cup winning streak at the weekend against fifth-tier Pontivy, but Guingamp were awarded a penalty on the hour mark when Ludovic Blas was tripped by PSG full-back Thomas Meunier.
Forward Thuram blazed his effort from 12 yards well over the top of the crossbar, and it appeared as though the opportunity of an upset had passed Guingamp by when Neymar headed home a Meunier cross less than two minutes later.
But the away side managed to stay in the game and were handed another penalty nine minutes from time when Marcus Coco was bundled over by Juan Bernat, and Congolese international Yeni Ngbakoto made no mistake after a lengthy VAR delay.
With the game set for penalties after 90 minutes, Guingamp landed a decisive blow on the counter-attack, as Thilo Kehrer fouled Thuram, and this time the 21-year-old squeezed the ball under the diving Alphonse Areola in the PSG net.
Earlier on Wednesday, Monaco goalkeeper Loic Badiashile scored the winning penalty in a marathon shootout against Rennes. Monaco, runners-up in the past two seasons, salvaged a 1-1 draw after normal time thanks to Rony Lopes’ second-half equaliser, before Badiashile’s heroics as he also saved three spot-kicks.
Thierry Henry’s young team are floundering in Ligue 1, sitting second-bottom and five points from safety, but managed to keep their coach’s hopes of a first trophy alive at the Stade Louis II.
“That’s exactly how we want to play,” said the former Arsenal and France striker. “Sometimes we heard the crowd were unhappy, but we got the ball back on the ground and we played. “Finally we reacted after conceding a goal. Before we didn’t know how to do it. This time, we did.”
Monaco were the better side for the majority of an uneventful first half, with Moussa Sylla twice going close, but went into the break a goal down after Benjamin Bourigeaud swept Rennes ahead on the half-hour mark after a clever pass from Hatem Ben Arfa.
Henry was grateful to have Lopes back in the starting line-up for the first time since September 2 after a thigh injury, and the Portuguese forward tapped in Julien Serrano’s low cross to level in the 54th minute.
Kamil Glik and new signing Naldo both missed chances to win the tie for Monaco on penalties, but 20-year-old Badiashile slotted home the 22nd spot-kick to send them through after Rennes ‘keeper Tomas Koubek had blazed over. – AFP