Low-key PSG see off Valenciennes, move top
Paris: Defending champions Paris Saint-Germain provisionally moved top of Ligue 1 on Wednesday after a 1-0 win away to struggling Valenciennes.
Record signing Edinson Cavani netted his third goal of the season on the stroke of half-time after linking up with Zlatan Ibrahimovic to maintain PSG`s unbeaten start to the season.
Laurent Blanc`s side also moved to the summit of the table for the first time this term, one point ahead of previous leaders Monaco, who host Bastia in Wednesday`s late match.
Defeat for Valenciennes extended the northerners` losing streak to six, leaving them second from bottom on just three points.
Blanc made four changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Monaco in the capital on Sunday, electing to rotate his squad with PSG currently on a run of five fixtures in 15 days.
A fit-again Alex replaced injured compatriot Thiago Silva, who faces six weeks out with a thigh injury, to partner Marquinhos in central defence with Christophe Jallet and Lucas Digne also recalled at the back.
Javier Pastore was given the nod ahead of Thiago Motta in midfield and the Argentine almost marked his return to the starting line-up with a goal inside the opening 60 seconds only to blaze over with just goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau to beat.
Pastore again shot over from a tight angle shortly after as both `keepers were relatively untroubled in a quiet first 45 minutes before Cavani struck two minutes into first-half stoppage.
Ibrahimovic, who on Tuesday signed a contract extension tying him to the club until 2016, carried the ball from well inside his own half before picking out the angled run of Cavani, who shot low first time across Penneteau into the far corner.
PSG were dealt a blow as Zoumana Camara came on for Alex at half-time as the Brazilian`s return from injury was cut short.
The hosts then responded after the break with Marco Verratti forced to clear off the line from a Lindsay Rose header with `keeper Salvatore Sirigu then scrambling across his line as Anthony Le Tallec`s free-kick whistled just wide of the post.
The former Liverpool striker, though, missed an excellent chance to haul the home side level late on as Matthieu Dossevi`s effort was deflected into his path but Le Tallec failed to make any contact from six yards out as PSG held on for a narrow win.
Elsewhere, goals from Salim Arrache and Aboubacar Demba Camara gave Fabrizio Ravanelli`s Ajaccio their first victory of the season as they recorded a 2-1 win at home to Lyon.
Martin Braithwaite`s 72nd-minute winner handed Toulouse a 1-0 win over Lorient, while promoted Guingamp routed basement club Sochaux 5-1, Nantes beat Nice 2-0 and Bordeaux drew 0-0 with Reims.
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