Marseille beats Sochaux to set up French Cup final with PSG

AFP | Marseille midfielder Florian Thauvin (L) vies with Sochaux defender Jeando Fuchs during the French Cup semi-final match in Montbeliard on April 20, 2016
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Crisis-hit Marseille beat second-tier Sochaux 1-0 on Wednesday to set up a French Cup final date with arch rivals Paris Saint-Germain, just a day after dismissing coach Michel.


The top-flight strugglers were poor for much of the game, but Florian Thauvin scored the only goal shortly after half-time.

It was the first match back in charge for OM interim coach Franck Passi, after he also stood in earlier this season in the aftermath of Marcelo Bielsa’s shock resignation.

He gave just a second start of the season to injury-plagued midfielder Abou Diaby and partnered Steven Fletcher with Michy Batshuayi in attack, but Marseille were toothless in the opening 45 minutes.

Sochaux have used the confidence found in a cup run that has seen them beat Bastia, Nantes and Monaco, to embark on a five-match unbeaten streak and move away from danger of relegation to the third tier.

In a dire first half the hosts had the only chance of any note, but after Benjamin Mendy could only partially clear, Florian Martin blazed his effort well wide.

Marseille came out after the interval in improved form and took the lead when much-maligned winger Thauvin, on loan from Newcastle United, collected Fletcher’s pass, before racing past his marker and finishing coolly at the near post.

Albert Cartier’s Sochaux had plenty of possession in the last half an hour but barely threatened an equaliser.

The closest they came was through a Raphael Caceres free-kick which sailed harmlessly over.

PSG edged to victory at Lorient on Tuesday night, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic grabbed the winner 15 minutes from time with his 42nd goal of the season.

Laurent Blanc’s men are still targeting a domestic clean sweep of trophies ahead of the French League Cup final against Lille on Saturday.


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