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Paris Saint-Germain crushed Monaco 4-1 to win the French League Cup on Saturday for a record fourth straight year and seventh time overall.

By Associated Press
April 01, 2017

LYON, France (AP) Paris Saint-Germain crushed Monaco 4-1 to win the French League Cup on Saturday for a record fourth straight year and seventh time overall.

Monaco has been one of Europe's best attacking teams, scoring a whopping 130 goals in all competitions, but this time poor defending allowed PSG to dictate a one-sided final.

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PSG remained on course to defend its domestic treble from last season.

Both sides are in the French Cup quarterfinals next week, and Monaco leads the French league, three points ahead of PSG, with eight games left.

Striker Edinson Cavani scored twice to set a new personal season best with 40 goals.

Cavani volleyed in PSG's third goal after an exquisite pass from midfielder Marco Verratti to beat his previous best of 38 with Napoli in the 2012-13 season - just before he joined PSG for a French transfer record of 64 million euros ($68 million). He hit a clinical half-volley in the last minute from Angel Di Maria's superb cross from the left.

Cavani also missed an open goal and had a first-half chance brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Danijel Subasic, but the striker has largely carried PSG with his goals this season and he has excelled since Zlatan Ibrahimovic left for Manchester United.

Winger Julian Draxler opened the scoring for PSG in the fourth minute, collecting an unselfish pass from Di Maria for an easy tap in.

He returned the favor when he set up Di Maria to make it 2-1 just before halftime.

Attacking midfielder Thomas Lemar gave Monaco hope when he scored the goal of the game in the 27th, a brilliant curling shot from the edge of the area that wrong-footed goalkeeper Kevin Trapp.

Monaco was missing top scorer Radamel Falcao through injury and key midfielder Fabinho through suspension.

Fabinho's absence was more keenly felt.

Monaco's midfield backed off too much and Marco Verratti was given too much space to advance. He threaded a pass through to Di Maria, who unselfishly squared the ball to give Draxler a tap in, although television replays showed Draxler was marginally offside.

Monaco got back into the game after 18-year-old forward Kylian Mbappe forced a corner with a surging run. Strike partner Valere Germain's glancing header from the corner went just wide.

Lemar's equalizer came shortly after, after good work from playmaker Bernardo Silva and fullback Djibril Sidibe.

Di Maria twice went close to scoring again late, but found his range as provider for Cavani.


France playmaker Dimitri Payet scored with a superb curling free kick as Marseille salvaged a home draw.

After midfielder Gregory Certic's own goal gave Dijon the lead in first-half injury time, Payet replied three minutes after the break.

Some 30 meters from goal, Payet whipped a shot into the left corner with hardly any run up, beating goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet with pace and precision.

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Marseille is chasing a spot in the Europa League and is in fifth place ahead.

It was Payet's fourth goal since joining Marseille from English Premier League club West Ham in late January, and his second from a free kick. He scored from several free kicks for West Ham last season and earned a recall into the France team.

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Bastia moved closer to the second division while Lille moved further away from the relegation zone.

Striker Nicolas De Preville's eighth goal of the season sealed the win for Lille, which climbed up to 13th place.

Corsican side Bastia was in 19th place and four points away from safety.

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