Football: Mbappe fires five past minnows in French Cup rout

Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring one of his five goals against sixth-tier US Pays de Cassel. PHOTO: AFP

LENS, France – Kylian Mbappe became the first Paris Saint-Germain player to score five times in one match as the Ligue 1 giants crushed sixth-tier amateur minnows Pays de Cassel 7-0 in the French Cup on Monday.

Mbappe, who scored a hat-trick in France’s shoot-out defeat by Argentina in the World Cup final in December, netted a hat-trick in the first half as PSG led 4-0 at the break against their regional league opponents.

He struck twice more after the restart, with Neymar and Carlos Soler scoring PSG’s other goals in the last-32 tie.

Said Mbappe: “We came to respect this team and we’re very happy that we’re through. It’s a great opportunity for them but also for us – we also came from amateur football and we were able to retain the values that brought us to the highest level.”

The Qatar-owned club, who have won the French Cup 14 times, more than any other team, will now play away to bitter rivals Marseille in the last 16.

That match is scheduled for the week beginning Feb 6, just a week before PSG host Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

“Once we scored the first goal it became harder for our opponents,” PSG boss Christophe Galtier said. “The opponents we’ll face over the next weeks are of a different quality.”

Mbappe was given the captain’s armband while Neymar also started, but Lionel Messi was rested for the tie before a full house at the 38,000-seat Stade Bollaert-Delelis in Lens.

Pays de Cassel are a tiny club representing a handful of villages from the port town of Dunkirk, but their remarkable run to this stage stoked the interest of the whole region.

They performed admirably early against the Ligue 1 leaders, but their resistance was broken just before the half-hour mark when Mbappe turned in a Nuno Mendes cut-back, the ball taking a crucial deflection on its way in.

Mbappe then set up Neymar for the Brazilian to score his first goal since the World Cup, before the France star lobbed in his team’s third and then completed a 12-minute hat-trick from a Vitinha pass.

Mbappe’s fourth, and PSG’s fifth, followed a goalkeeping mistake in the 56th minute.

Neymar set up Soler to backheel in for 6-0 before Mbappe completed the rout, his fifth of the game allowing him to equal the all-time record for most French Cup goals.

He has now scored 29 times in the competition, as many as former Marseille great Jean-Pierre Papin. AFP

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.