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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Keylor Navas stars again as PSG reaches French Cup quarterfinals

One week after making multiple saves against Barcelona in the Champions League, including a penalty from Lionel Messi, Navas was key to a win that wasn’t nearly as straightforward as the scoreline suggested.

By: AP |
Updated: March 18, 2021 9:44:10 am
PSG vs LillePSG's goalkeeper Keylor Navas saves a penalty shot during the French Cup match between PSG and Lille at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, Wednesday, March 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Keylor Navas saved another penalty to help Paris Saint-Germain reach the French Cup quarterfinals with a 3-0 win over Lille 3-0 on Wednesday, with Kylian Mbappe scoring twice.

One week after making multiple saves against Barcelona in the Champions League, including a penalty from Lionel Messi, Navas was key to a win that wasn’t nearly as straightforward as the scoreline suggested.

He made a close-range save to deny Lille striker Burak Yilmaz in the fifth minute when the game was still scoreless and stopped Yusuf Yazici’s penalty in the 78th with PSG leading 2-0.

PSG stayed on course to defend its trophy, but it was another unconvincing performance following Sunday’s 2-1 home loss to Nantes and the 1-1 draw with Barcelona last Wednesday.

Lille paid a heavy price for resting captain Jose Fonte — arguably the league’s best defender this season — because all of PSG’s goals stemmed from defensive errors.

Mauro Icardi gave PSG the lead in the ninth minute. Angel Di Maria, whose house was burgled while he was playing Sunday, hit a right-wing cross that caused a mix-up between inexperienced defender Tiago Djalo and goalkeeper Mike Maignan.

The ball cannoned off Djalo’s leg, with Maignan sprawled on the ground trying to cut out the cross, and it rolled to Icardi right in front of goal.

Yilmaz nearly equalized in the 30th but hit the crossbar after turning and shooting.

Icardi limped off with an unspecified injury close to the interval and was replaced by Mbappe.

His penalty made it 2-0 in the 41st after he was fouled by Zeki Celik, who made the rash intervention seconds after failing to clear a simple ball.

After forwards Jonathan David and Jonathan Bamba forced Navas into smart low saves, Navas dived to his left to bat away Yazici’s penalty.

Djalo made another blunder in the third minute of injury time, failing to cut out simple a long pass near the halfway line and allowing Mbappe to sprint clear and loft the ball neatly over Maignan.

The match supposed to be played in April but was moved forward because of the Champions League quarterfinals.

The sides meet again soon in the French league, with leader Lille visiting defending champion PSG on April 3.

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