PARIS (Reuters) - Paris St Germain were made to sweat before beating brave third-tier side Les Herbiers 2-0 to win the French Cup and claim a domestic treble thanks to goals from Giovani Lo Celso and Edinson Cavani in the final on Tuesday.
Lo Celso scored in the 26th minute but they had to wait until Cavani slotted home a penalty after 74 minutes to seal victory for their record-extending 12th French Cup title.
PSG, now unbeaten in their last 42 domestic cup games, also hit the woodwork three times in the opening 20 minutes.
Les Herbiers, who are fighting relegation in the third division, defended solidly throughout but failed to make the chances to dream of a major upset at the Stade de France.
The result, which gives PSG their fourth consecutive French Cup and the treble after they won the League Cup and Ligue 1, means Spanish coach Unai Emery will leave on a high note.
The Basque’s contract is not being renewed at the end of the season and he now has just two league games left in charge.
PSG’s Brazil fullback Dani Alves appeared to hurt his knee in the second half but stayed on the pitch before being replaced in the closing stages.
Les Herbiers, whose coach Stephane Masala is a fan of Italian tactics, started boldly and put some good moves together resulting in a couple of attempts in the first few minutes.
But PSG had the first clear chance in the fifth when Lo Celso’s shot from just outside the area bounced off the post as the recovering Neymar, who has returned from Brazil after undergoing foot surgery, watched his side from the stands.
Three minutes later, Les Herbiers were saved by the post again after Kylian Mbappe stretched for a Thiago Motta cross.
In the 20th, PSG hit Matthieu Pichot’s right post for the third time, Lo Celso once more denied a goal after curling a delightful shot from inside the area.
It was third time lucky for the Argentine, however, as he beat Pichot with a shot from 18 metres.
PSG had other chances before the break but Les Herbiers held firm, although they failed to once test PSG keeper Kevin Trapp.
Mbappe netted from point-blank range five minutes into the second half but referee Mikael Lesage ruled the effort out after consulting the VAR (Video Assistant Referee), which showed a Marquinhos handball.
PSG finally doubled their tally late on when Cavani converted a penalty after being brought down by Pichot.
Trapp was forced to make his first save in the 89th to deny Diaranke Fofana but it was too little, too late for plucky Les Herbiers.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris