Toulouse continues impressive form
High-flying Toulouse continued their strong Ligue 1 form with a comfortable 2-0 home win against Valenciennes.
Les Violets had conceded just 12 goals in 14 league games heading into the game, a record matched only by leaders Paris St Germain.
And Alain Casanova’s side were typically frugal at the back against their struggling visitors, with Paulo Machado and Antoine Devaux scoring the decisive goals in each half.
Toulouse were fastest out of the blocks and had a chance in the third minute when Machado’s corner was met by Etienne Didot from outside the box and his effort from distance was deflected away.
A fallow period followed until Toulouse took the lead with 24 minutes on the clock.
Machado was again central to the action. Devaux spearheaded a slick counter-attack and played in Machado, with the forward cutting inside, taking on two defenders and beating Nicolas Penneteau with the shot.
Valenciennes were woken by the goal and had their only chance of the half two minutes later, Gael Danic’s free-kick forcing a save from Ali Ahamada.
With the half drawing to a close Cheikh M’Bengue was denied by Penneteau’s smart save.
The second half followed a similar theme and the lead could have been extended three minutes after the restart as Didot found himself with time and space in the box, but sent his left-footed shot just wide.
But shortly after the hour-mark the home side made it 2-0.
Devaux was the man to provide the clincher, taking the ball from Renaud Cohade, carrying it forward, accepting the return ball after Emmanuel Riviere and Moussa Sissoko combined on the right and volleying the cross home.
Valenciennes were down and out and it was the hosts who had the last chance of the match, Riviere seeing his effort cleared off the line.