PSG beats Toulouse again, reaches French League Cup final
PARIS (AP) — Angel di Maria continued his fine form with another goal as Paris Saint-Germain beat Toulouse 2-0 to reach the French League Cup final on Wednesday.
The Argentina winger, who scored two brilliant goals in PSG's 5-1 win against Angers last weekend, produced another spectacular strike in the 72nd minute, shortly after countryman Ezequiel Lavezzi opened the scoring midway through the second half.
Although PSG remains unbeaten in domestic play, this was a sluggish performance against a side languishing in 19th place in the first division, and coach Laurent Blanc's team did not manage a shot on target until Lavezzi's 65th-minute goal.
Toulouse forward Martin Braithwaite came off the bench and earned a penalty in the 88th after being fouled by defender Presnel Kimpembe.
But PSG's reserve goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez guessed correctly and got a firm hand to Braithwaite's somewhat telegraphed shot.
PSG faces Lille in the final on April 23 and remains on course to repeat its domestic treble from last season.
Blanc selected striker Edinson Cavani, having dropped him for the past two league games, meaning that top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic got a breather as he started on the bench.
PSG forced three corners inside the first 10 minutes against a Toulouse side rocked by a 4-0 defeat away to Monaco on Sunday, but the hosts then faded for the rest of a frustrating first half at Parc des Princes.
Midfielder Adrien Rabiot, one of the rare players to have come through the club's junior ranks, picked out Lavezzi's run and fed him with a delightful pass over the top.
Lavezzi's first shot was well-saved by Toulouse goalkeeper Mauro Goicoechea, but Lavezzi reacted quickly to the rebound.
Collecting the ball some 40 yards out, Di Maria dribbled effortlessly past three players and then arrowed a powerful shot into the top right corner from just outside the penalty area.
Ibrahimovic came on just after that goal and went close to making it 3-0, but Goicoechea did well to parry his low shot.