- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Kylian Mbappé’s hat trick and Neymar’s assured penalty helped Paris Saint-Germain win 5-1 at Lyon on Wednesday to reach a sixth straight French Cup final.

Winger Pablo Sarabia added the other goal for PSG, which lost last year’s final to Rennes on penalty kicks. Rennes is at struggling Saint-Étienne in Thursday’s second semifinal.

Mbappé’s second goal, with 20 minutes remaining, came in the form of a stunning run from deep inside his half followed by a sharp move inside a bamboozled defender and a firm strike past goalie goalkeeper Anthony Lopes. His first and third goals were tap-ins.

Neymar sent Lopes the wrong way from the spot with a staggered run-up after Lyon defender Marcal needlessly conceded the penalty. He handled Mbappé’s cross from the left, which was destined for Edinson Cavani, and was sent off for a second yellow card.

As Neymar prepared to take the kick in the 64th, he complained to the referee that a laser from the crowds was being shone in his eyes. He then casually placed a low shot past Lopes.



Objects were thrown from the home crowd at Neymar, who picked them up and juggled with them. Neymar was partially to blame for Lyon’s opening goal in the 11th, pulling out of a tackle in midfield.

Lyon moved the ball to forward Karl Toko-Ekambi, whose low cross from the right was turned in by the alert Martin Terrier. But the lead lasted only three minutes as PSG left back Layvin Kurzawa headed on a corner and Mbappé poked it in at the back post.

Poor Lyon defending in injury time enabled PSG to break from near its own defense, with Neymar helping set up Mbappé to beat Lopes at the second attempt.

VIRUS PROTOCOL

Players and officials did not shake hands before the game, following new precautionary measures against the virus spreading around the world.

Pre-match protocol has been modified in France to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which by Wednesday had claimed the lives of four people among more than 250 nationwide cases.

Players and the match referee held young mascots by the shoulder instead of by the hand when they entered the field.

Most players observed the protocol, yet Mbappé and Neymar held hands with the young mascots as they walked out.

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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