LONDON: Kylian Mbappe fired Paris Saint-Germain into the final of the Coupe de France despite missing a penalty as Rennes proved stubborn opponents.

The 25-year-old struck five minutes before the break and two minutes after seeing his spot-kick saved by goalkeeper Steve Mandanda at the Parc des Princes to take his tally for the season to 32, said PA Media.

His contribution secured a hard-fought 1-0 semi-final victory which set up a showdown with Lyon at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in May and a chance to lift the cup for the first time since 2021.

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Mbappe, who was substituted – much to his displeasure – with 25 minutes of Sunday’s 2-0 Ligue 1 win at Marseille remaining, was named in a strong PSG starting line-up which also included skipper Marquinhos on his return from injury.

The striker, who went into the game bidding to match Pablo Sarabia’s club record of scoring in five successive games into the competition, went close to doing just that with 12 minutes gone.

However, Mandanda managed to turn Mbappe’s effort on to his crossbar before the visitors broke swiftly for striker Arnaud Kalimuendo to go for goal at the other end.

Mandanda came to Rennes’ rescue once again eight minutes before the break after the France superstar had won his side a penalty.

Mbappe dusted himself down to take the spot-kick himself but saw the keeper get a strong hand to the ball before Baptiste Santamaria cleared the danger.

However, the respite proved fleeting as PSG’s talisman made amends within two minutes to finally give his side the lead.

Rennes frontman Amine Gouiri went close four minutes after the restart to remind the home side that the game was far from over, although the ever resilient Mandanda denied Mbappe a second three minutes later as they responded.

The game remained in the melting pot until the final whistle but there was nothing the visitors could do to prevent league leaders PSG from extending their run without defeat in all competitions to 26 games. - Bernama, PA Media/dpa

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