French Cup: Saint-Etienne loses to amateur side, Monaco wins

Bergerac' French Romain Escarpit (R) celebrates after scoring a goal during the round of 16 French Cup football match between Bergerac and Saint-Etienne (ASSE) at the Francis-Rongieras stadium in Perigueux, southwestern France, on January 30, 2022.

Struggling Saint-Etienne's season took an even worse turn Sunday as the top-tier team was knocked out of the French Cup 1-0 by amateur side Bergerac. 

Fourth-tier Bergerac reached the quarterfinals of the competition for the first time while six-time Cup winner Saint-Etienne returns to its relegation fight. 

Les Verts have won a record 10 French league titles but are in last place and this humiliating exit will do nothing to boost morale. 

Bergerac striker Romain Escarpit scored in the 76th minute after Saint-Etienne had fluffed chances, allowing Bergerac to join fellow fourth-tier side Versailles in the last eight. Five-time winner Monaco, last season’s runner-up, progressed by winning 4-2 at Lens with prolific striker Wissam Ben Yedder scoring twice. 

Monaco was 3-0 up after 30 minutes with goals from Ben Yedder, Brazilian midfielder Jean Lucas and then wide player Sofiane Diop, after a slick counterattack where Ben Yedder and Lucas combined superbly to set him up. 

Wissam Ben Yedder of AS Monaco celebrate scoring his side's fourth goal during the Coupe de France match between RC Lens and AS Monaco at Stade Bollaert-Delelis on January 30, 2022 in Lens, France.

Northern side Lens showed its usual combative spirit by pulling two goals back through Wesley Said, just before the break, and fellow striker Arnaud Kalimuendo in the 53rd. 

Ben Yedder casually wasted a chance in the 73rd but Kalimuendo then also missed one as he shot past former Arsenal, Sunderland and Reading goalkeeper Vito Mannone. Ben Yedder took his next opportunity, drilling home his club-leading 20th goal of the season in the 88th after latching onto France teammate Aurélien Tchouameni’s pass. 

Holder Paris Saint-Germain is at home to Nice for the last spot in the quarterfinals. PSG has won the trophy a record 14 times and is aiming to reach its eighth straight final. 

But Nice coach Christophe Galtier will be confident of an upset. Last season he guided Lille to the French title and that win against the odds included a victory at PSG.

PSG’s Kylian Mbappe and Nice’s Amine Gouiri have been in fine form up front this season. Mbappe has 19 goals and 13 assists in all competitions and Gouri has also done well in a smaller team with 10-7 overall.

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