David Beckham, PSG beat Marseille in French Cup
David Beckham lasted nearly the whole match and Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice as the two stars helped Paris Saint-Germain beat bitter rival Marseille 2-0 to reach the French Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Beckham had played a 15-minute cameo from the bench in last Sunday's 2-0 win against Marseille in the league, helping to set up the second goal for Ibrahimovic. The 37-year-old former England captain showed his ageing legs could still handle the frenzied pace of a fiercely-contested Cup game, which saw him yellow-carded late on shortly before going off in the 86th minute.
Positioned just in front of the back four, Beckham kept PSG's midfield ticking over with some neat passing.
Ibrahimovic, meanwhile, appeared in little mood to share the spotlight, as he took his season's tally to 26 goals in all competitions, grabbing his first in the 34th minute before earning and converting a penalty in the 64th.
His goals came hours after UEFA announced a two-match ban for the Swedish forward in the Champions League - a sanction which the club said it would appeal.
Beckham almost set up a second goal with a corner from the left in the 62nd but center half Zoumana Camara's header was cleared off the line. He was then involved in a tense standoff with Marseille forward Jordan Ayew as Ayew squared up to him twice, with both players leaning into each other. After the first incident, Ayew was keen to continue the argument and they briefly leant their heads into each other before the referee intervened to calm the situation down.
Beckham was booked and was taken off by coach Carlo Ancelotti to chants of "Dav-eed Beckham, Dav-eed Beckham,'' at Parc des Princes.
Beckham sat very deep, just in front of the defense with Blaise Matuidi and Clement Chantome either side of him, playing neat passes left and right and occasionally pushing up.
His clever pass released Gregory van der Wiel down the right in the 12th minute and his low cross reached Jeremy Menez, who shot straight at goalkeeper Steve Mandanda.
PSG had almost all of the early possession and Menez wasted a good chance when he sprinted clear down the right and was muscled off the ball by center half Nicolas Nkoulou as he prepared to shoot.
Beckham drew an `Ole' from the Parc des Princes crowd and chants of "Beckham, Beckham'' rang out after he showed superb skill to loft the ball over a Marseille player's head and then pass the ball neatly.
Marseille struggled to get into the game and launched its first serious attack in the 28th when striker Andre-Pierre Gignac was sent scampering free down the right and his cross was intercepted by `keeper Nicolas Douchez.
PSG broke up the other end and Ibrahimovic forced Mandanda into a low save with a powerful strike from 25 meters out. But the imposing Swede did not have long to wait to score.
Although Beckham is famed for his long passes, it was Chantome who picked out Ibrahimovic with a superb 40 meter pass and he shrugged off a challenge before planting the ball under Mandanda. Ibrahimovic has scored five goals in three games against Marseille this season - including three in the league.
Moments after the goal, players from both sides started pushing and shoving after midfielder Alaixys Romao had clattered into Beckham, although the former England captain did not react to the challenge and even stepped in as a peacemaker as firecrackers were let off in an electric atmosphere.
Beckham was late trying to make a couple of tackles, his legs struggling to keep up with sprightly winger Mathieu Valbuena as he twice turned past him. By the 70th, he started to tire and, for the first time in the match, placed his hands on his hips as he took a breather.
There was still time for a clash with Ayew, and even hothead midfielder Joey Barton briefly got involved as he appeared to reproach Beckham's involvement in the tussle, which led to staff members from both teams rushing off the bench to briefly join in as tempers frayed.
Earlier, UEFA said its disciplinary panel extended an automatic one-match sanction for Ibrahimovic's challenge on Valencia midfielder Andres Guardado in stoppage-time of a last-16, first-leg match earlier this month. The ban would rule the influential forward out of the quarterfinals, first leg if PSG advances.
Speaking after his team's win, PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti said: "I am surprised, I was already surprised when he got the red card, and to get a two-match ban is incredible and I hope UEFA go back on their decision. I really hope they will reverse it because to get two games is incredible. Yes, we will appeal.''
In other matches, former Arsenal striker Jeremie Aliadiere continued his fine run of form with two goals in Lorient's 3-0 home win against Brest, while Bordeaux and Nancy were pushed all the way as they scraped into the last eight.
Defenders Jean-Philippe Dje and Amara Keita scored as non-league Raon-l'Etape - which plays in the equivalent of division four - went 2-1 up in extra time against first-division Bordeaux. But Cheick Diabate equalized from the penalty spot in the 113th and Bordeaux squeezed through 5-3 on penalties after the match went to a shootout.
Fifth division Minguettes Venissieux - which plays its home games in a rough suburb of Lyon - battled bravely against first-division struggler Nancy before losing 2-0 to extra-time goals from striker Benjamin Moukandjo and midfielder Thomas Ayasse.