Ligue 1 champions, Paris Saint-Germain crushed six-tier side ESA Linas-Montlhery 6-0 in the Round of 64 of the French Cup on Sunday. But what’s peculiar in that, right? Well, for the starters, their opposition were entirely made of diehard PSG fans.
Hermann Colin Kouassi, a left-back for Linas-Montlhery, studies electrics and it was a once-in-lifetime opportunity for him to square off against a team he has been supporting. "We can't injure them, we have the Champions League to win," said the left-back ahead of the fixture.
Linas-Montlhery’s coach Stephane Cabrelli, in fact, is a PSG season-ticket holder. "I am 52 years old; I have been going to the Parc des Princes since I was six," Cabrelli said.
"The players I support all year round, playing against them, it's obviously a little bizarre."
Most of the players from the amateur team aren’t really full-time footballers. Like Kouassi, right-back Elhadji Tchabo works as a Territorial Technical Agent. Their vice-captain, Gratien Tsota is an electrician while captain Johan Roca and his midfielder partner Emmanuel Gbobouo work at a company named Enedis. Their leading man, Pascal Leno is a delivery man.
President Nasser Al-Khelaïfi has invited the entire squad of Linas-Montlhéry, the 6th division side that PSG beat in the Coupe de France tonight 6-0, to the Parc des Princes to attend the Ligue 1 match vs Dijon at the end of next month.— Get French Football News (@GFFN) January 5, 2020
Roca spent four years of his junior career with PSG’s youth system from 2000 to 2004.
"It is very emotional, there's a lot of memories, but only good memories," said Roca before the game. "And I'm a supporter too!"
Roca’s team took its name from Linas and Montlhery, two neighbouring towns in the outskirts of Paris that have a combined population of just 7,000.
Despite the lack of exposure though, Linas-Montlhery maintained their discipline and didn’t concede until the half-hour mark. 17-year-old midfielder Adil Aouchiche broke the deadlock and there was no way up since. Edinson Cavani added two in 20 minutes before Pablo Sarabia made it five with almost half-an-hour still to play. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting did the rest as PSG hammered six past their fans.
The French champions enjoyed 74% possession and had 28 shots (16 on target) on the night.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @PSG_English