Montpellier 0 Paris Saint-Germain 3: PSG gain revenge on familiar foe
Reigning Ligue 1 champions PSG were held to a goalless draw by Montpellier before the mid-season break, missing the chance to return to the top of the table.
They were knocked out of the Coupe de France by the same opponents last term and a similar tale of frustration appeared to be unfolding during an ill-tempered encounter.
Making just his second start of the season, Clement Chantome played a full part in a combative midfield battle before breaking the deadlock in the 63rd minute.
Laurent Blanc's men earned breathing space 11 minutes from time with a goal from a more familiar source, Zlatan Ibrahimovic nodding home his 13th goal of an injury-affected campaign.
Lucas Moura blasted an emphatic third from a tight angle inside the box in injury time to secure a last 16 encounter with Bordeaux
The Brazilian had rifled over from the edge of the area in the 10th minute when a punted clearance from PSG goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez was shoddily dealt with.
Douchez was making his second appearance of the season having featured in last month's 3-1 win at Ajaccio in this competition. Despite some erratic early moments, the 34-year-old was largely comfortable as his defence repelled an uninspired Montpellier attack.
It was a similar story for a PSG forward line lacking Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi - the South American duo beginning a two-game exile as punishment for their late return to training in Paris following the mid-season break.
Frustrations boiled over for Ibrahimovic in the 25th minute as the Sweden forward was booked for his part in a spat with Montpellier defender Daniel Congre.
That set the tone for an increasingly fractious conclusion to the first half, where brawn largely held sway over brains.
Chantome collected an arguably overdue booking when he caught Hilton with a trailing arm early in the second half and his midfield colleague Yohan Cabaye might have received a second caution when he felled Jonas Martin in the 51st minute.
Inexplicably, Cabaye then infringed within 10 yards to block a free-kick but remained on the field.
Montpellier's clearest chance of the match arrived in the 53rd minute but Lucas Barrios connected tamely with Anthony Mounier’s cross and Douchez collected.
That scare appeared to wake up PSG and Montpellier goalkeeper Jonathan Ligali turned a rasping Lucas strike behind before Chantome diverted a close-range chance narrowly wide form the resulting corner.
Douchez fumbled from a bobbling Paul Lasne shot a minute before his team took the lead - Ibrahimovic and Marquinhos combining for the the former to bundle a low cross back towards Chantome, who rolled the ball into an unguarded net.
Signs of PSG's swagger returned in the wake of the goal, Ibrahimovic teeing up Lucas to send a dipping half volley just over.
Montpellier's challenge was extinguished when Ibrahimovic stooped to convert a fine delivery by substitute Javier Pastore and Lucas thumped home a third early in stoppage time to add gloss to the scoreline.