St Étienne gave PSG a run for their money in a tight Coupe de France final but big changes are still required at the club
After a four-month wait for French football to return, it did not take long for service to resume as normal. It was a promising start at the Stade de France witnessed by 4,100 mask-wearing, Covid-19 regulation-compliant supporters, as a buoyant St Étienne took charge in the Coupe de France final, hitting the post after five minutes and uncharacteristically taking the game to PSG. But St Étienne have not beaten PSG in their last 21 attempts and they were soon behind. Neymar’s simple finish, rounding off PSG’s first meaningful attacking foray, made it 1-0 against the run of play.
Having fallen behind after 15 minutes, Sainté were a man down after half an hour – as they had been in their other two fixtures against PSG this season. In what may be the last game of his career, club legend, captain and all-round nice guy (usually) Loïc Perrin was dismissed for a lunging tackle on Kylian Mbappé. The PSG forward was forced off with an ankle injury and the ensuing brawl produced five bookings (including Marco Verratti’s customary yellow, despite being on the substitutes’ bench at the time). It was a nightmare scenario for quintessential one-club-man Perrin.
Read more: theguardian.com