Bordeaux's Brazilian midfielder Wendel struck his second double in as many games as defending French League Cup holders Bordeaux beat ten-man Lorient 4-1 in their semi-final clash on Wednesday.
Much of the pre-match hype had centred on the father and son match-up between Bordeaux playmaker Yohann Gourcuff and Lorient coach Christian, who is still chasing the first piece of silverware of his managerial career. However, the fate of the match was effectively decided in the 24th minute when Lorient were leading 1-0 but their goalscorer Laurent Koscielny was adjudged to have fouled Marouane Chamakh and was also sent-off while Wendel converted the ensuing penalty.
Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc conceded that despite the win there was still work to be done within the squad after several poor results of late. "This victory will not cover-up our weaknesses," said the 44-year-old. "But it (the win) can help with our confidence, and it puts us through to play in the final against Marseille."
While Gourcuff junior provided much of the creative spark in this replay of the 2002 League Cup final, it was Wendel's deadly set piece play that powered his side through to face Marseille. The 27-year-old Brazilian scored either side of a Marouane Chamakh goal, opening the scoring from the penalty spot on 23 minutes and curling in a free-kick nine minutes from the end.
Chamakh, reportedly a target for Premier League club Arsenal, rose majestically above Lorient's defence on 29 minutes to place a powerful header past keeper Fabien Audard and take his tally for the season to 11 goals in all competitions. The 26-year-old Moroccan international turned in another eye-catching performance spearheading the Girondins' attack, demonstrating why he has been linked with a string of top European clubs over the past year.
Koscielny had scored his side's only goal ten minutes before he was sent off when he took advantage of slack marking by Bordeaux to pounce and stab the ball home. But his dismissal left Lorient facing an uphill struggle and their woes were compounded right at the death when Yoan Gouffran calmly finished in a one-on-one with Audard.
Bordeaux will play Marseille in the final at the Stade de France on 27 March.