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Mbappe treble fires PSG into French Cup final

first_img “It was a solid, serious display full of concentration,” said PSG coach Thomas Tuchel.”After the Dortmund match (lost 2-1 in Germany), Mbappe has responded brilliantly. He uses his speed so intelligently … he is in good form.”Mbappe equalised for the away side with a simple tap-in just three minutes after Martin Terrier had given the raucous home fans hope with a neat 11th-minute opener.The 21-year-old was also key to PSG taking the lead in the 64th minute from the penalty spot. Kylian Mbappe hit a hat-trick as Paris Saint-Germain cruised into the final of the French Cup with a thumping 5-1 win at Lyon on Wednesday.The World Cup winner took his goal tally in all competitions to 30 during a win that was eased by Fernando Marcal being sent off just before Neymar put the French champions ahead in the 64th minute from the penalty spot.The defeat Lyon ends a five-match unbeaten run that included an impressive 1-0 win over Juventus in the Champions League and the weekend’s triumph over local rivals Saint-Etienne. Collecting the ball out on the left wing, he casually saw off two Lyon defenders before floating over a cross to fellow forward Edinson Cavani, who controlled the ball only for Marcal to then handle before the Uruguay striker could let his shot go.Neymar slotted home the subsequent spot-kick after confirmation of the handball by VAR, while Marcal had to leave the field after being handed his second red card.”I prefer to say nothing about the penalty,” said Lyon boss Rudi Garcia, who side face PSG in the League Cup final next month. “When you are 10 against 11 playing such a strong team it’s no longer a contest.”Mbappe made sure of the Parisian’s visit to the Stade de France next month with a superb solo effort with 20 minutes left, embarrassing Bruno Guimaraes and Marcelo before calmly slotting past Anthony Lopes.Pablo Sarabia added a fourth with a stinging low strike 11 minutes later, and Mbappe completed his hat-trick in stoppage time, tapping home Neymar’s cross after good work on the left from the world’s most expensive footballer.Saint-Etienne and Rennes meet in the second semi-final on Thursday.Topics :last_img read more

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Bravo – Test series vital for redemption

first_imgDUBAI, United Arab Emirates CMC – Stylish left-hander Darren Bravo says West Indies will use the upcoming three-Test series against Pakistan to redeem themselves, following weak performances in the Twenty20 and One-Day International series recently.West Indies crashed to 3-0 series losses in both the T20s and the ODIs, to enter the Test phase of the tour without a single win in their six previous matches.“By all means, we didn’t really perform well in the shorter formats of the game (during this tour) and we’re disappointed about that,” Bravo said on the eve of the historic day/night first Test here.“Going into the Test match we will try our very best to put on a much better performance in the Test match series. The guys are working hard and we are really excited about going into this first Test match with the pink ball and the last two with the normal red ball.”As they did during the limited overs series against the likes of left-arm spinners Imad Wasim and Mohammed Nawaz, West Indies are expected to face a trial by spin during the Test series.And while Imad has been left out of the Pakistan squad, Nawaz, fellow left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar and leg-spinner Yasir Shah have been included, and are expected to pose a significant threat on the slow pitches in the UAE.Bravo said confidence would be a key factor in the batting approach by the Windies.“They are quality spinners … but I think it is very important to back your defence,” he explained.“If you like going over the top or if you like sweeping, if you like chipping to a particular spin bowler, you just have to go out there and back yourself.“I don’t think you have to go out there and play names. If you play names you’re going to be on the back foot from ball one. It’s just a matter of going out there and just being positive.”Bravo got a half-century during the second ODI in Sharjah and stroked 91 at the same venue last week in a three-day game against the Pakistan Cricket Board Patron’s XI, to find form ahead of the longer format.The last game was a day/night affair featuring the revolutionary pink ball and the 27-year-old said his knock had allowed him time to get comfortable with the unfamiliar pink ball.“It was a very good experience spending some time out in the middle and getting acclimatised to the pink ball,” Bravo said.“I believe early up it was a bit difficult to actually see the ball but at the end of the day, once I spent more time out in the middle it was much easier.”He added: “I think it is all about acclimatising and just believing in yourself at the end of the day. It’s cricket, the colour of the ball has changed. If from the inception (of cricket) we used to use a pink ball, if we were going to try a red ball at this point in time it would have been difficult as well so it doesn’t matter.“It’s about going out and acclimatising as quickly as possible and just accepting the challenge for what it is.”last_img read more

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