Lille defeats Paris St. Germain in the Coupe de France final.

Lille has had the pressure on them all season long. And with the possibility of doing the double, which is a hard accomplishment in French football, the pressure was even harder. On top of that, Lille had to play against Paris St. Germain, who has been the best team as far as French Cup appearances, especially since 1993, where they have won six Cups and appeared in two additional finals. But this was to be Lille’s day as Ludovic Obraniak scores the game winning goal in the closing minutes of the game, giving Lille the 1-0 win over the Cup giants.

Like a typical Ligue 1 match, both teams took a while to get warmed up. In the first fifteen minutes, both sides had a few opportunities to create something, but were rarely able to convert any of their chances. The best chance in the opening minutes was in the 10th minute when Gervinho broke free on the left hand side. But instead of passing the ball to an open Eden Hazard in the box earlier, Gervinho waited, and the play was broken up by the PSG defense.

In the 19th minute, PSG midfielder Nene also had a quality chance off a free kick, which he took directly on goal. But Lille goalkeeper Mickael Landreau was able to get a leg save on it and clear it out of danger.

The rest of the first half remained as quiet as the opening minutes. Neither team had any real chance on goal. The only bit of action was Nene picking up a yellow card for throwing an elbow on at Idrissa Gana Gueye. Even so, most of the ball control was courtesy of Lille, with PSG having a few chances here and there.

The second half of the match started with PSG showing a little more life than they did in the first half. Both Nene and Ludovic Giuly (who had a decent first half has well) pressured the Lille half of the pitch. But even with PSG’s pressure, the Lille defenders were able to clear the ball, giving the PSG offense only a few quality tries on goal.

In the 62nd minute, Lille manager Rudi Garcia decided to add a little bit more firepower and substituted Gueye with Tulio De Mil. In the minutes after the substitution, Lille showed visible signs of life, shifting the play over to the PSG side of the pitch.

Just eight minutes later, PSG decided to add some extra firepower to their team as well, as Mathieu Bodmer was substituted for Turkish international striker Mevlut Erding. This move started to pay dividend almost immediately. Erding was able to break along the right side of the field and move in toward the Lille goal, but his pass to Guillaume Hoarau was misplaced and went behind the open striker.

Just minutes later, after the Edring attempt, PSG put together a number of good free kick opportunities toward the PSG goal. The best chance for the so-called “home” side was Jeremy Chantome’s kick from fifteen yards out, which just brushed wide of the goal.

In the 79th minute, Moussa Sow, Ligue 1’s leading scorer, was substituted by midfielder Ludovic Obraniak. The substitute did give Lille a little bit more confidence, as they were pushing the ball in more toward the PSG goal.

In the end, Lille were able to find their winning ways. In the 87th minute, after a harsh challenge by Siaka Tiéné on Mathieu Debuchy, Obraniak’s free kick found the back of the net untouched and gave Lille the 1-0 lead in the 89th minute. Just one minute later, Gervinho, who was breaking in on the PSG goal alone, was taken down in the box by Coupet and awarded the penalty. Luckily for PSG, Coupet made an amazing save on Mathieu Debuchy. But even with the save the damage was done.

This was Lille’s first Coupe de France since 1955. This win could also put Lille in the driver’s seat for “doing the double”, which is a rarity in France. Both of these teams will face off before the end of the season at Parc des Princes in seven day’s time. Lille’s win also means that the 6th place team in the Ligue 1 standings will play in the Europa League.

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