PSG keeps paces in Ligue 1 chase
Edinson Cavani scored the only goal as Paris Saint-Germain kept up the pressure at the top of Ligue 1 and heaped further misery on Valenciennes manager Daniel Sanchez with a 1-0 victory Wednesday night.
The champions are unbeaten in their title defense but have been held three times, with Cavani's strike in first-half injury-time getting them back to winning ways after Sunday's draw with fellow pace-setters Monaco.
Sanchez was given a vote of confidence by VA president Jean-Raymond Legrand on Wednesday afternoon but that will come as little consolation after he saw his side slip to a sixth consecutive defeat.
Valenciennes kept PSG at bay for almost the entire first half but Laurent Blanc's men took the lead in the dying stages.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the creator and he released Cavani into the right side of the area where the former Napoli striker did the rest, finishing confidently across Nicolas Penneteau.
The home side almost grabbed an equalizer straight after the restart as Lindsay Rose met a corner with a powerful header but Marco Verratti was on the line to clear. Ibrahimovic then went close twice in the space of a minute but failed to double the lead.
Lucas Digne burst down the left and delivered a cross which the Sweden international turned goalwards but Penneteau made a comfortable save. And just moments later the former Barcelona man was at it again as he found space after receiving a Javier Pastore pass but could only drag wide.
VA made a late push for an equalizer and Anthony Le Tallec's 84th-minute free-kick looked as if it was heading for the back of net but flew wide after dipping over the wall.
With just a minute remaining Valenciennes had another chance as Mathieu Dossevi beat Digne on the right and found Le Tallec totally unmarked in front of goal but the former Liverpool man could not get the ball out of his feet and PSG survived.