Three-time defending champions Paris Saint-Germain marched into the Coupe de France quarterfinals thanks to an Angel Di Maria hat trick and an Edinson Cavani goal away at Ligue 2 side Sochaux on Tuesday.
Goalkeeper Kevin Trapp saw red late on and Unai Emery's men were temporarily pegged back when Florian Martin equalised in the first half but otherwise, it was plain sailing for the French capital outfit at Stade Auguste Bonal.
With a return to Santiago Bernabeu in the Champions League now just a week away, Di Maria is playing like a man possessed after scoring three times against Sochaux. Les Lionceaux were unable to handle the Argentina international, who is now a serious alternative to Kylian Mbappe to start in Madrid.
Considering that many of PSG's regular starters partied until late with teammate Neymar last Sunday to celebrate the Brazilian superstar's 26th birthday, it was not that sluggish a display. Admittedly, Sochaux were not great, but Emery's players still had to get the job done and they did, with minimal fuss nor hangover.
Di Maria scoring three times was a big plus but taking into account the timing of the match, the opponents and the cold weather in France, coming away from the Doubs with a result inside of 90 minutes with no injuries was the aim and that was realised.
The only major negative on the night was Trapp's red card. The Germany international has been unhappy with his lack of regular playing time this season but can have no complaints that he was dismissed here and has now lost ground in his bid to dislodge Alphonse Areola from the starting XI before the end of the campaign.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Emery's starting XI did what was required with minimum fuss and the Spaniard was even able to give the returning Thiago Motta some time as a substitute.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating.)
GK Kevin Trapp, 4 -- The German could do little about Martin's equaliser for Sochaux after Layvin Kurzawa's sloppy error, but he compounded a bad night with an avoidable late sending off.
DF Thomas Meunier, 5 -- The Belgium international put in a solid but unspectacular shift at right-back and probably knows that barring an injury to Dani Alves, he will be a substitute in Madrid next week.
DF Thiago Silva (c), 6 -- The captain was one of the busiest PSG players on the night, particularly in the first half as Sochaux threatened a few times. Overall, the Brazilian was calm and collected alongside Presnel Kimpembe.
DF Presnel Kimpembe, 6 -- The youth academy graduate recovered from a knock to play and kept up his momentum with a composed 90-minute outing.
DF Layvin Kurzawa, 5 -- The France international was at fault for Sochaux's leveller but atoned by assisting Cavani to make it 2-1. Otherwise, it was nothing spectacular and Yuri Berchiche may well still be Emery's pick to start next week at Real.
MF Lassana Diarra, 7 -- The Frenchman was handed his full PSG debut and he did not disappoint with a metronomic 73-minute showing before making way for Motta.
MF Marco Verratti, 6 -- The Italy international teed up Di Maria for his second goal but picked up a first-half booking in a decent 68-minute performance.
MF Julian Draxler, 5 -- The German returned after injury but was not at his best and looked visibly frustrated at times -- particularly in the first half when he felt Cavani was selfish.
FW Kylian Mbappe, 6 -- Assisted Di Maria's opener inside the first minute but was otherwise quiet as he continues to slowly recover his confidence after colliding with Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes last month.
FW Edinson Cavani, 6 -- The Uruguayan was not outstanding but did not have to be as he made it 2-1. Eventually made way for Alves 22 minutes from time.
FW Angel Di Maria, 8 -- A hat trick for El Fideo, who continues to push hard for a starting role against Real next week.
MF Javier Pastore, 5 -- The Argentina international replaced Verratti after 68 minutes but was largely ineffective.
DF Dani Alves, 5 -- The Brazilian was sent on for the final 22 minutes at Cavani's expense and finished the night in goal after Trapp was given his marching orders.
MF Thiago Motta, NR -- After more than a month out in an injury-hit season, the veteran Italian was given the final 17 minutes to prove that he is ready to start away at Toulouse in Ligue 1 on Saturday -- his last chance to impress ahead of the all-important trip to Madrid.