Kadir proves the difference
Last Updated: 01/12/12 10:21pm
Gael Danic (left) battles for the ball
Valenciennes climbed to fifth in the Ligue 1 standings as Foued Kadir's early goal saw off Reims.
Kadir struck after only six minutes to settle the encounter at the Stade Nungesser in the hosts' favour, despite the visitors dominating thereafter.
The result kept VA within six points of leaders Lyon, while for Reims it was a seventh defeat of the campaign and left the promoted team only one point above third-bottom Sochaux.
The game's solitary goal arrived from the first attack, Kadir instantly controlling Gaetan Bong's pass before despatching a neat shot across Reims goalkeeper Kossi Agassa.
The visitors had a couple of decent chances to equalise soon after going behind, but found Valenciennes goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau a solid last line of defence.
Penneteau first did well to keep out a Florent Ghisolfi 20-yard blast from Nicolas Fauvergue's pass, and then produced a fine block to keep out Floyd Ayite's curling effort from the edge of the box after he too had been fed by Fauvergue.
VA could have extended their lead just before the half-hour mark, though, when Anthony Le Tallec latched onto Gael Danic's through-ball and unleashed a right-footed shot which skimmed the bottom of the post on its way wide.
It was Reims' turn to be denied by the woodwork six minutes after the interval, substitute Kamel Ghilas' volley from Diego's cross striking the post.
Ghilas again went close after 65 minutes, his fierce attempt just missing the top corner after a slick pass from fellow substitute Odair Fortes.
And when they did get their efforts on target they continued to find Penneteau in fine form, the VA keeper deflecting the ball away to safety after Ghilas was again put through by Antoine Devaux and managed to get his shot away.
French Ligue 1
|5||Paris St Germain||5||9|
|20||Evian Thonon Gaillar||5||1|