PSG beats valiant minnow Les Herbiers 2-0 to win French Cup

Moments before lifting the French Cup again, Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva beckoned the valiant skipper from beaten third division side Les Herbiers to join him.

After a moment's hesitation, unheralded Sebastien Flochon shuffled across to the Brazil defender and they held the trophy aloft together.

It was a fitting tribute to the resilience of the tiny club from western France following its 2-0 defeat against vastly superior opposition.

The performance by the players of Les Herbiers — whose average annual salary of about 30,000 euros ($36,000) dwarfs the massive pay packets at PSG — was full of courage and spirited defending.

It earned a guard of honor from PSG and a rousing ovation from the traveling, red-and-white clad fans of Les Herbiers.

The club's coffers will also be significantly boosted, with the third division team earning 1.5 million euros ($1.8 million) — 75 percent of its annual budget.

That's a drop in the ocean for PSG, which has an annual budget of more than 500 million euros.

A fourth straight French Cup and League Cup double seemed assured. But while PSG secured a domestic treble, the team made hard work of seeing off Les Herbiers — whose population of 16,000 is five times less than the capacity of the Stade de France.

PSG fielded its strongest side and went close several times before midfielder Giovani Lo Celso opened the scoring after 26 minutes.

PSG then missed a succession of chances, and had a goal from Kylian Mbappe disallowed by the Video Assistant Referee system, before Edinson Cavani slotted in a penalty in the 74th minute.

Roared on by its fans, Les Herbiers went close when substitute Clement Couturier raced through in injury time.

Mbappe, twice, and Cavani miscued again before the Uruguay striker drilled his spot-kick into the bottom corner after being upended by Pichot.


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