Mbappe, Cavani come off the bench to help spare PSG's blushes in the Coupe de France
Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain needed extra time to beat struggling semi-professional, third-tier minnows Villefranche-Beaujolais in Lyon to reach the Coupe de France quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Back at Groupama Stadium after last Sunday's 2-1 loss to Lyon in Le Championnat, it was another difficult encounter for PSG, as goals from Julian Draxler, Moussa Diaby and Edinson Cavani in extra time prevented an almighty upset.
Thomas Tuchel's second- half dismissal reflected the stressful nature of the outing, which was a great advert for the level nature of the competition.
There were few, but a win is a win and PSG got there in the end. It might have taken the introductions of the likes of Cavani and Kylian Mbappe, but Tuchel's men eventually found a way past Villefranche's stubborn backline.
Although the struggle exposed the limited nature of some fringe players, the ultimate victory was a testament to the character shown by those who featured.
Multiple, although the most obvious one is the fact that it took 120 minutes to see Villefranche off instead of 90.
On top of that, certain individual performances were worrying and Tuchel seeing red after another refereeing farce can hardly be considered a plus.
Thankfully, for PSG, they did not pay the ultimate price and suffer a Coupe de France giant killing, which had looked on the cards.
Manager rating out of 10
4 --Tuchel's starting XI laboured and was unable to get the better of Villefranche, before Mbappe and Cavani were introduced to help break the deadlock -- all after the German had been sent off.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alphonse Areola, 5 -- Although it was 0-0 until the 102nd minute, he did not have to do too much to keep PSG in the game -- the problems were at the other end.
DF Marquinhos (c), 6 -- A rock at the heart of Les Parisiens' defence, albeit one that did not have to do too much to preserve his side's clean sheet.
DF Thilo Kehrer, 5 -- On the receiving end of aggression yet again, as this time he suffered an elbow to add injury to the insult of a very bog-standard outing.
DF Juan Bernat, 4 -- Seemingly irreplaceable for Tuchel right now, his more than regular utilisation has coincided with a dip in form after he reached a good level of consistency towards the end of 2018 following a rusty start.
MF Leandro Paredes, 6 -- Few people relished extra time, but the new boy was in the minority -- he got bonus competitive action, while Tuchel and his staff got a long look at their newest recruit. What they saw will have pleased them as he was technically sound and looked useful from set pieces.
MF Julian Draxler, 5 -- He scored the crucial goal to break the deadlock after excellent work from Cavani, but he picked up a booking in an otherwise mostly laboured display.
MF Moussa Diaby, 5 -- His goal to make it 2-0 bumped his rating up after a disappointing showing over 90 minutes, which was hindered by silly decision-making, and strengthens the idea that he is best utilised as an impact substitute.
FW Christopher Nkunku, 3 -- Paired in attack with Choupo-Moting because of his versatility, he did himself no favours with an error-ridden performance in an unfamiliar role.
FW Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, 3 -- A battering ram up top, but incorrectly used -- his limits were exposed up against a resolute home defence.
FW Kylian Mbappe, 7 -- Came off the bench and changed the course of the match with two assists -- it is just a shame that he was unable to save PSG from being taken to extra time.
FW Edinson Cavani, N/R -- Sent into the fray when it became obvious that the big guns were required, he chipped in with the assist for the opening goal and then completed the scoring himself after he was teed up by Mbappe.
DF Colin Dagba, N/R -- Introduced for extra time in place of the struggling Nkunku, it made PSG more solid at the back and pointed in attack.