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Friday, 16 April 2021

Mbappe injured as PSG beat Saint-Etienne to win French Cup

AP , Friday 24 Jul 2020
Kylian Mbappe
PSG's Kylian Mbappe shouts in pain after being tackled during the French Cup soccer final match between Paris Saint Germain and Saint Etienne (AP)
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A tearful Kylian Mbappe limped off with an apparent ankle injury as Paris Saint-Germain beat 10-man Saint-Etienne 1-0 to win the French Cup on Friday.

The injury to Mbappe, who returned to the sideline on crutches, took the gloss off a record-extending 13th cup success and will raise concerns ahead of PSG's Champions League quarterfinal against Atalanta next month.

Saint-Etienne center half Loic Perrin was sent off in the 30th minute for clumsily hacking down Mbappe as he sprinted past, and Mbappe's right ankle appeared to buckle under him.

Perrin was making his last appearance for Saint-Etienne _ 17 years after his debut _ and his foul sparked a brief bout of angry shoving between the sides.

Neymar struck PSG's opening goal from close range in the 14th after goalkeeper Jessy Moulin saved Mbappe's shot.

It was hard on Saint-Etienne, which hit the post through striker Denis Bouanga early on. Bouanga had a shot well saved by goalie Keylor Navas later in the first half.

But Moulin also had to make a superb one-handed save to keep out Angel Di Maria's curling strike.

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke at length with the players before kickoff. A maximum of 5,000 fans were allowed at Stade de France because of coronavirus restrictions, but only 2,805 actually attended.

PSG, which lost last season's final on penalty kicks, had not played a competitive game since March 11 when it faced Borussia Dortmund in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16.

Saint-Etienne's previous match was three days earlier in the French league, before it was canceled with 10 rounds remaining on April 30.

Despite having an extra player, PSG hardly threatened in the second half other than a couple of speculative shots well saved by Moulin.

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