Nene double keeps PSG on pace
Nene took his tally to 11 Ligue 1 strikes this season as the Brazilian struck twice to keep Paris Saint-Germain in second place with a 2-1 win at Valenciennes on Saturday.
Valenciennes 1-2 Paris Saint-Germain
Since his summer move from Monaco, Nene has been instrumental in PSG's excellent campaign, and after putting the visitors in front two minutes after the break, the ex-Espanyol midfielder struck again six minutes from time to win it just two minutes after Vincent Aboubakar had levelled.
Antoine Kombouaré earned his spurs as a Ligue 1 coach at the Stade Nungesser, but the PSG boss clearly sent his team out with the determination to pick up the points from his former employers. Ceara fired a shot wide before Guillaume Hoarau tested Nicolas Penneteau in the home goal.
The Valenciennes goalkeeper was beaten soon after, but had the good fortune to see Nene's low shot ricochet to safety off a post as the visitors threatened.
Carlos Sanchez Moreno brought a routine save from Apoula Edel after a rare forward foray from the hosts, but they unsurprisingly found themselves behind two minutes after the break - Hoarau teeing up Nene to drill a shot beyond Penneteau.
Top scorer Grégory Pujol had been an injury doubt for the hosts, but the former Nantes forward came close to an eighth goal of the campaign only to see Zoumana Camara clear off the line after Edel had taken the sting out of a well-directed header.
Emerging from the bench on the hour mark, Aboubakar had already sent a spectacular bicycle kick zipping just over the bar before he looked to have claimed Valenciennes an unlikely point - a wonderful first touch allowing him to swivel and fire powerfully past Edel.
Spurred into action, PSG responded and Mevlut Erding struck a post before Nene gave his side a third successive win in all competitions. When a poor clearance dropped invivitingly, the Brazilian lofted a beautifully-judged curling shot past Penneteau to keep PSG on the heels of Lille.