Pablo Sarabia struck late to give a reshuffled Paris Saint-Germain a 1-0 win at Ligue 2 side Lorient in the last 32 of the French Cup on Sunday.
Midfielder Sarabia found the back of the net to send the Ligue 1 leaders through along with Angers, Dijon, Montpellier and holders Stade Rennais, who were 2-0 winners at Athletico Marseille.
PSG, who have won the Cup a record 12 times, started at the Moustoir stadium, where they have often struggled, without Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and first-choice keeper Keylor Navas.
Sarabia, however, headed home from Thiago Silva‘s cross 10 minutes from fulltime after the visitors had been on the back foot in a poor first half.
“We are happy to be in the next round and that is the most important thing in any cup. We won, picked up no injuries, and tough matches are not bad. If you just score loads of goals all the time and everyone tells you that you are superior, it is easy to start believing that,” PSG manager Thomas Tuchel said. “When you win, it lifts the mood and we are capable of that.
“Yes, it was a s—– match, in winter, on a bad pitch, and against a good team.”
Tuchel praised Silva’s performance for his role in the match’s only goal.
“Honestly, Thiago Silva was excellent — a true captain from start to finish. Absolutely world-class,” Tuchel said.
Earlier, holders Stade Rennais wrapped up victory in the first half at Marseille’s other club, Athletico, who play in the fifth division, with goals by Hamari Traore and Raphinha.
Fellow Ligue 1 teams Olympique Lyonnais, Saint-Etienne, Lille and Olympique de Marseille also qualified for the next round over the weekend.
Girondins de Bordeaux were the round’s major casualties, losing 3-2 after extra time at Pau on Thursday. The reward for the third-division side will be to play PSG.
The last 16 will be played on Jan. 28-29.