Thomas Tuchel declared himself pleased after Paris Saint-Germain were drawn against Saint-Etienne in the quarter-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue.

PSG saw off second-tier opponents Le Mans 4-1 in Wednesday's last-16 tie at MMArena to remain on course for a record-extending ninth success in the competition.

The Ligue 1 champions thrashed Saint-Etienne 4-0 in last weekend's league clash and head coach Tuchel had no complaints about being paired with Claude Puel's men in the domestic cup.

"It's a good draw because the match will be played at home," he told Canal+. "It's good that we don't have to travel.

"The main thing is playing at home, which is easier to organise and easier for the players. We have a lot of travelling in January and February so it's good to play at home."

Pablo Sarabia, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Kylian Mbappe gave PSG a 3-0 half-time lead against Le Mans, who pulled one back through Harrison Manzala early in the second half.

Angel Di Maria ensured a safe passage through to the last eight with his strike from range, but Tuchel felt PSG could have added more goals to their tally.

"We played players who have lacked rhythm, so I did not expect too much from them," he said. "We could have scored five or six, but we lost pace in the second half.

"We are now into the quarter-finals and there were no injuries, which was essential."

Choupo-Moting was brought into the side as one of eight changes and was on the scoresheet with his close-range finish shortly before half-time.

"When you win 4-1, it's important to be positive," he said. "We played in a good stadium with a good atmosphere.

"We were effective in the first period with three goals that made the game easy, but we must be even more dangerous."

Le Mans were the final remaining team from outside of Ligue 1 after eliminating Nice in the previous round, and coach Richard Dezire took positives from the run to the last 16.

"It's a match that will serve us well for the future," he said. "We beat the stadium attendance record today. Three or four years ago, we played at La Pincenardiere. 

"Today, we sold out the stadium to face PSG and we could have filled it three times. We are progressing at all levels. We know we still have gaps but we are working to correct them. The fundamental objective is to stay up this season."

Kylian Mbappe scored for a sixth game running as Paris Saint-Germain eased into the quarter-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue with a 4-1 win over Ligue 2 side Le Mans at MMArena on Wednesday.

The Ligue 1 champions made eight changes from their 4-0 win over Saint-Etienne on Sunday but proved too strong for Le Mans, who were the last remaining team from outside the top flight in the competition.

Pablo Sarabia, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Mbappe were all on target in the first half for PSG, who added a fourth goal through Angel Di Maria in the 47th minute.

Substitute Harrison Manzala pulled one back for the hosts, but Thomas Tuchel's men - record eight-time winners of the competition - saw things through to make it five wins in a row in all competitions.

Sarabia timed his run well to get on the end of Di Maria's left-sided cross and fire PSG ahead, with Pierre Patron getting two hands to the ball but failing to keep it out.

Le Mans eliminated Nice in the last round but their hopes of causing another upset took a hit when Mbappe squared the ball to Choupo-Moting after being played in by Marco Verratti's quick free-kick.

Mbappe added a third for the visitors 87 seconds later by taking Verratti's pass in his stride, holding off Pierre Lemonnier and beating Patron to extend his scoring run.

Some slack defending and goalkeeping early in the second half gifted PSG a fourth goal, Di Maria's attempt from range squirming through Patron's grasp.

Manzala cut inside and guided a shot away from Sergio Rico to give Le Mans something to celebrate, but it was plain sailing for the Ligue 1 giants in a quiet end to the match.

 

What does it mean? Much-changed PSG cruise through

Marquinhos, Di Maria and Mbappe were the only three survivors from the win over Saint-Etienne at the weekend as PSG boss Tuchel heavily rotated his side.

Despite the mass changes, the visitors eased through and will now be looking to improve on last season's shock quarter-final exit at the hands of eventual runners-up Guingamp.

Verratti at the heart of everything

Verratti caught out Le Mans with his quick thinking for PSG's second goal, which Choupo-Moting rounded off following some unselfish play from Mbappe.

The Ligue 2 strugglers were still coming to terms with that strike when Verratti again showed his quality by picking out Mbappe with a ball over the top for his side's third goal.

Poor performance from Patron

Keeping the likes of Mbappe and Di Maria quiet is difficult on a normal day, never mind when your goalkeeper gifts the opposition a couple of goals. 

Patron was caught out by Sarabia and Di Maria on their goals, making his only two saves of the match in second-half stoppage time.

What's next?

PSG return to Ligue 1 action with a home match against Amiens on Saturday, the same day Le Mans travel to the French capital to face Paris FC in their next Ligue 2 outing.

Paris Saint-Germain's injury problems continue to mount after Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting limped out of their Ligue 1 match with Reims on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old forward, who had made little impact on the game, received a knock and was replaced by Angel Di Maria three minutes before half-time.

PSG head coach Thomas Tuchel's frustration on the touchline was clear with Choupo-Moting potentially joining a lengthy list on the sidelines.

Tuchel is already without a number of key players, including forwards Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappe and Mauro Icardi.

 

When it came to Paul Pogba during the transfer window, Real Madrid and Juventus were the teams on everyone's lips.

Manchester United star Pogba was reportedly keen to leave Old Trafford in search of a new challenge.

However, another team were apparently poised to lure Pogba from the Theatre of Dreams…

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR STOPPED PSG FROM SIGNING POGBA

Neymar prevented Manchester United midfielder Pogba from moving to Paris Saint-Germain, according to Calciomercato.it.

PSG and United reportedly had an agreement in place for the transfer of Pogba, however, the Ligue 1 champions and their inability to offload Barcelona target Neymar stopped the deal.

The report says PSG were ready to pay €150million (£134m) for Pogba, who joined United from Juventus in 2016 for a then-record fee of €105m (£89m).

 

ROUND-UP

Real Madrid have an agreement with Chelsea for midfielder N'Golo Kante. DefensaCentral claims Los Blancos have the first chance to buy the France star should he be made available at Stamford Bridge.

- In-demand Dinamo Zagreb star Dani Olmo wants to leave the Croatian club in January or at the end of the season, according to Fichajes.net. The 21-year-old was linked with Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and Valencia during the transfer window.

Juventus have not given up on signing Fiorentina and Italy forward Federico Chiesa, according to Calciomercato.it. The Serie A champions were keen to bring in Chiesa during the off-season but were unable to lure him from Florence.

- Sport says Paris Saint-Germain are beginning their remodelling job, with Thiago Silva and Edinson Cavani facing uncertain futures. Silva and Cavani – who has been linked to incoming MLS outfit Inter Miami – are out of contract at the end of the season and are no guarantees to renew their contracts. Eric Maxim Choupo-MotingThomas Meunier and Layvin Kurzawa are available at the right price in January.

- Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic has turned down a move to Qatari outfit Al-Gharafa, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. Mandzukic was linked to Manchester United prior to the transfer window closing.

Paris Saint-Germain made it three wins from four in Ligue 1 with a 2-0 victory over Metz at Stade Saint-Symphorien on Friday.

First-half goals from Angel Di Maria and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, his third in two appearances, sealed all three points for Thomas Tuchel's side in a match that was halted when perceived offensive banners were displayed in the crowd.

Neymar was again absent as his future remains unresolved, although the latest reports suggest he is likely to be a PSG player when they resume domestic duties in two weeks' time after the international break.

It was a particularly good result for PSG given they were also without the injured Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Ander Herrera, as Adil Aouchiche became the youngest player to start a Ligue 1 match for the capital club.

Di Maria made no mistake from the penalty spot 11 minutes in despite a ball being thrown from the crowd as he ran up for the kick.

The same section of the stadium then forced the referee to halt the match 22 minutes in while banners were removed.

Metz began to threaten after the restart around a minute later and Marcin Bulka was worried by a shot from Habib Diallo.

However, two minutes before the break, Choupo-Moting nodded in Marco Verratti's free-kick to double the visitors' lead and it was a supremely comfortable outing from then on for Tuchel's team - even though the coach earned a yellow card for making one too many comments from the dugout.

 

What does it mean? PSG displaying strength in depth

Tuchel will have been greatly encouraged by the application of some of his fringe players here, especially with his stellar front three unavailable amid a raft of injury problems.

Youngsters Aouchiche and Colin Dagba held their own and the experienced Choupo-Moting led the line well, showing PSG are unlikely to be unduly troubled on the domestic front when their squad is stretched thin.

Choupo-Moting proving his worth

He might not be the most glamorous option in attack for PSG, but Choupo-Moting was signed for just this kind of game, when the usual suspects are injured or rested. The forward responded by scoring in successive outings, which is precisely what Tuchel will have hoped for.

Delaine does not deliver

Metz left-back Thomas Delaine offered fairly poor distribution and conceded the free-kick from which PSG scored their second. It was not a brilliant outing.

What's next?

After the international break, PSG host Strasbourg on September 14, when Metz make the long trip south-west to visit Bordeaux.

Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani were injured as Paris Saint-Germain comfortably defeated Toulouse 4-0 at the Parc des Princes in Ligue 1 on Sunday

Neymar was absent from the PSG squad amid continued uncertainty over his future at the club and Thomas Tuchel lost striker Cavani 14 minutes into a goalless first half.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting came on for the Uruguayan and opened the scoring in the 50th minute with a superb solo strike, before defender Mathieu Goncalves turned in an own goal.

The result was completely overshadowed, though, as Mbappe appeared to pull his hamstring when chasing down a pass, with the France forward heading straight off the pitch before Choupo-Moting and Marquinhos added further goals.

PSG, beaten 2-1 at Rennes last week, quickly cranked into gear and Toulouse goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet made a pair of smart saves from Mbappe in the opening four minutes.

But their strong start faded fast and PSG were dealt a blow when Tuchel saw Cavani hobble off after an attempted volley, with Choupo-Moting introduced as his replacement.

Choupo-Moting was acrobatically denied by Reynet in the first minute after the restart but the keeper could do nothing about the Cameroon international's next effort.

After collecting the ball in a packed penalty box, Choupo-Moting superbly span into space and thumped a low drive in off the left post.

PSG's second goal came five minutes later, Pablo Sarabia's attempt deflecting in off Goncalves, who then gave away a 71st-minute penalty for handball after Mbappe pulled up on his 100th Ligue 1 appearance.

Reynet dived to his right to deny Angel Di Maria from the spot, but PSG added a third goal four minutes later as a sweeping move ended with Juan Bernat teeing up Choupo-Moting for a first-time finish.

Choupo-Moting was denied a hat-trick by Reynet before Marquinhos' header completed the scoring on his 250th appearance for the club, but PSG will be hoping for good news on Cavani and Mbappe.

 

What does it mean? Injury issues mount for PSG

The European transfer window closes on September 2 and it remains unclear whether Neymar will stay at PSG, but the issues for Cavani and Mbappe could force the club to keep him.

Losing one striker to injury would be unfortunate but two was a horrible stroke of bad luck that will likely leave PSG increasingly reliant on Choupo-Moting in the coming weeks.


Choupo-Moting makes his case

Eyebrows were raised when PSG signed Choupo-Moting on a free transfer last year, the forward having been released by Stoke City. He scored only three times in 22 Ligue 1 games last term.

But perhaps the 2019-20 season will be the making of the 30-year-old. Choupo-Moting took his goals very well indeed and if Mbappe and Cavani are out for an extended time he will get more chances to shine.


Nightmare debut for Goncalves

Toulouse coach Alain Casanova threw Goncalves to the wolves somewhat by asking the 18-year-old to make his debut against the Ligue 1 champions and the teenager crumbled under the pressure, scoring an own goal and giving away a penalty before being replaced by Wesley Said.


What's next?

PSG return to action on Friday, taking on Metz in their last game before the international break. Toulouse are at home to Amiens a day later.

Barcelona have a plan to land Neymar and the star forward's demands now appear to be known.

The Neymar saga is not yet over and it remains to be seen if the Brazil international will leave Paris Saint-Germain before the transfer window closes on September 2.

But Barcelona have a new plan to bring Neymar – who they sold to PSG for €222million two years ago – back to Camp Nou.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA HAVE NEYMAR PLAN AS STAR DEMANDS €35M PER SEASON

Barcelona have worked out a new formula to convince PSG to sell Neymar to them, according to Spanish newspaper Sport.

The LaLiga champions will offer cash and a player to the Ligue 1 giants this year and PSG can choose between either another player or more money in 2020, the report says.

Meanwhile, Neymar, 27, wants €35m net per season and a five-year deal, according to Spanish television show Jugones.

ROUND-UP

- Alexis Sanchez's possible move from Manchester United to Inter is developing slowly. The Serie A giants are confident of signing the attacker in the next few days amid talks about the division of Sanchez's wage, according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano.

- With Renato Sanches having left for Lille, Bayern Munich may be looking for a replacement. The Bundesliga champions remain interested in Espanyol midfielder Marc Roca, according to AS. However, Bayern want to pay €18m while the LaLiga side are hoping for Roca's release clause – €40m.

- Valencia are eyeing a move for Radamel Falcao after the Monaco striker ended talks with Galatasaray, reports AS. The Colombia international was heavily linked with a move to the Turkish giants, but Valencia may be looking for cover for Rodrigo, who could leave for Atletico Madrid.

- Also in Turkey, Rafinha is close to leaving Barcelona for Fenerbahce, according to O Jogo. Rafinha had been linked with a move to Valencia, but the 26-year-old could now be heading to Fenerbahce.

- Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has had few chances since joining PSG in 2018, but the forward has no plans to leave, according to L'Equipe. Lecce had been linked with a move for the Cameroon international.

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