Lille holds off Valenciennes 2-1 in French league

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PARIS (AP) -Lille bounced back from its midweek Champions League defeat by beating Valenciennes 2-1 in the French league on Saturday.

Lille, which lost 1-0 at home to Bayern Munich on Tuesday, made the perfect start when Valenciennes defender Gaetan Bong turned the ball into his own net under pressure from Lille striker Nolan Roux in the second minute as they were both stretching for a loose ball.

Valenciennes midfielder Carlos Sanchez was sent off in the 28th for picking up two quick yellow cards.

Lille got its second goal just before the break when forward Salomon Kalou broke free and passed wide to winger Dimitri Payet, who scored with a powerful low shot across goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau.

Anthony Le Tallec pulled a goal back for Valenciennes with 20 minutes remaining after a fine run and pass from midfielder Gael Danic.

"We played ourselves into trouble, it took a gift from us to let them back in the game," Lille coach Rudi Garcia said after his team's third league win of the season. "But we played very well in the first half."

Later, French leader Paris Saint-Germain looked to maintain its unbeaten start to the season away to Nancy.

Also, it was: Montpellier vs. Nice; Reims vs. Troyes, and Toulouse vs. Brest.

Sochaux's home match against Evian was postponed because of heavy snowfall. The match will not be played on Sunday as Sochaux has a League Cup match on Tuesday.

In Sunday's matches, it is: Marseille vs. Lyon; Bastia vs. Bordeaux, and Lorient vs. Ajaccio.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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