Three and easy for Valenciennes
Last Updated: August 10, 2013 11:13pm
Maor Melikson celebrates after converting a penalty
Valenciennes opened their Ligue 1 season with an emphatic win over 10-man Toulouse at the Stade du Hainaut.
The Nord region club impressed and surprised on their way to an 11th-placed finish last term and the early signs point to another successful season following this one-sided encounter.
There appeared to be a case of mistaken identity when Uros Spajic was dismissed for a foul in the 35th minute. Maor Melikson converted the penalty but Steeve Yago had been the man under suspicion from the VA players in the build-up.
Perhaps rattled by the events of the first half, Toulouse allowed their hosts to pull away to a comfortable victory as Jose Saez and Gregory Pujol helped themselves to a goal each after the break.
The visitors produced the first moment of real quality in the 26th minute as Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro and Eden Ben Basat combined well to set up Wissam Ben Yedder for a close-range effort, which just missed the mark.
Nicolas Penneteau denied Ben Besat on 31 minutes and soon afterwards Pujol took a tumble in the Toulouse box with Yago in close proximity.
Referee Stephane Jochem flashed Spajic the red card, however, and Melikson ignored the confusion to beat Ali Ahamada low to his right from the spot.
Valenciennes nearly made it two before the interval but Ahamada repelled Saez's header from a pinpoint Mathieu Dossevi cross.
Long-serving VA midfielder Saez did find a way through when play resumed, pushing the ball over the line when Lindsay Rose's header rattled the crossbar in the 51st minute.
Toulouse were soon overrun but Eloge Enza-Yamissi and Tongo Doumbia both came up against the resolute Ahamada as time ticked away.
The goalkeeper was not able to keep Pujol out in the 87th minute, though, with a swift run and cross from Bahebeck leaving him with no chance as the Valenciennes striker cut a third goal home at the near post.
French Ligue 1
|1||Paris St Germain||16||37|
|15||Evian Thonon Gaillar||16||19|