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Marseille enjoy Caen cruise
Published : 10 Jan 2012 23:16:36
Marseille's quest for a third consecutive French League Cup title was kept firmly afloat on Tuesday as Didier Deschamps' side booked their semi-final ticket with a 3-0 win at Caen.
Mathieu Valbuena put the south coast visitors into a seventh minute lead, Caen keeper Thomas Bosmel only managing to get a touch to the immaculately taken freekick.
One time Tottenham target Loic Remy doubled the lead on 21 minutes, the France striker deftly controlling Morgan Amalfitano's half volley in the box to tap in to an open goal.
That was the 13th goal of the season for Marseille's leading scorer who bagged a double in Marseille's 4-0 rout of Lens to make it to into this quarter-final.
Marseille remained in almost total control, with Caen, who had disposed of Auxerre in the round of 16, posing little threat to their supremacy up to the break.
Seven minutes after the restart impressive Marseille drew further clear with Valbuena getting a double after being left clear following a neat nutmeg by Argentina midfielder Lucho.
Valbuena, who has made great progress since being a bit part player in France's disastrous 2010 World Cup finals campaign, said he had wanted to maintain the form he had shown late last year.
"We are really keen to go all the way in this competition, as in the French Cup, even if our daily fare is the championship," he said.
"It is not every day that one can go to the Stade de France and play there in finals.
"We are cup holders in this competition and we want to retain it."
Hope for Caen came in the shape of substitute Lenny Nangis, with only quick thinking by Marseille's Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta denying him when he was left with an open goal on the hour mark.
Emboldened, the hosts then had Marseille in a rare position, on the back foot, with Romain Hamouma's shot narrowly going the wrong side of Gennaro Bracigliano's crossbar.
Caen refused to go down without a fight, with Fajcal Fajr hitting the crossbar late on but Marseille were never going to relinquish such a handsome lead.
The win came on the eve of Brazilian forward Brandao's return after his loan spell with Brazilian side Gremio.
Brandao, 31, faces rape charges in France over an alleged incident that occurred in March last year.
Deschamps said this week it was "vital" to bring in a player because Marseille are losing four members of their squad -- Souleymane Diawara (Senegal), Charles Kabore (Burkina Faso) and Andre and Jordan Ayew (Ghana) -- to the Africa Cup of Nations.
The other French League Cup quarter-finals between Le Mans v Lorient, Nice v Dijon and Lyon v Lille are staged on Wednesday.