Lyon secure comfortable victory
Lyon returned to the top of Ligue 1 with a convincing 2-0 win over Valenciennes at a freezing Stade du Hainut on Friday night.
Goals from Gueida Fofana and Bafetibis Gomis secured an impressive fourth win in five on the road for the visitors, while Valenciennes' recent slump continued following four defeats in their last six league games.
Lyon made a blistering start and took the lead with their first attack. Guedia Fofana picked the ball up in midfield and outstripped two Valenciennes defenders before firing a superb shot beyond Nicolas Penneteau from 25 yards.
The visitors continued to press and Bafetibis Gomis could easily have had a hat-trick inside the opening 10 minutes.
The French international twice tested Penneteau with first-time efforts before he failed to find the target from a pinpoint Rachid Ghezzal cross.
Penneteau's work was not done there, however. Moments later Gomis combined well with Steed Malbranque on the right before stinging the fingertips of the hosts' goalkeeper from just inside the area.
Valenciennes failed to learn their lesson and Gomis finally got reward for his endeavour just before the hour mark. Gueida Fofana picked out Alexandre Lacazette on the right and his cross was powerfully turned in at the near post by Lyon's leading scorer.
The rattled hosts finally managed to muster a shot at goal before the break, but Vincent Aboubakar failed to make a good connection from Mathieu Dossevi's cross and his header was easily gathered by Remy Vercoutre.
The pause did nothing to change the rhythm of the game and Alexandre Lacazette went close soon after from a Malbranque corner, but his near-post looping header finished up behind the goal.
Valenciennes nearly hauled themselves back into the game in the 57th minute when Anthony Le Tallec turned well on the edge of the area. His curling shot looked to be bending inside the right post but Remy Vercourte got down well to make a smart one-handed save.
With Lyon seemingly happy to sit back and preserve a two-goal lead, Valenciennes continued to press late into the game.
Matthieu Dossevi met Anthony Le Tallec's cross with a dangerous volley from 12 yards but Vercoutre remained alert and turned his effort away for a corner.
Despite late pressure from the hosts, Lyon's defence remained resolute ensuring they were only the second team, alongside title-rivals Paris St Germain, to win at the Stade de Hainut this season.