Nene on target as PSG go level with OL
Nene notched his club-leading 14th Ligue 1 goal of the season as Paris Saint-Germain enjoyed a 3-1 home win over coach Antoine Kombouaré's former club Valenciennes. PSG moved level with third-placed Lyon on 56 points.
PSG have now gone five games unbeaten in the league and Kombouaré has enjoyed three wins this season over Valenciennes in all competitions this season, despite the northern club's top scorer Grégory Pujol returning from a hamstring injury to score his 15th of the league season - by far the former Nantes forward's best top division haul.
PSG went in front in the 10th minute as Brazilian star Nene provided a sumptuous finish to his compatriot Marcos Ceara's cross. It was the perfect start to the game for the capital club after they had drawn in Week 32 at Brest, whereas OL had won at home to Montpellier in midweek.
Foued Kadir hit the post for the visitors before PSG went two up thanks to former Lyon midfielder Mathieu Bodmer, selected to support striker Guillaume Hoarau. Bodmer provided a bullet header after Mamadou Sakho had flicked on a Nene corner.
Young defender Sakho headed wide before Valenciennes pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time as Pujol met a Gaetan Bong cross and had time to control before planting the ball beyond Apoula Edel, who kept his place in goal as Grégory Coupet missed out with his back injury sustained at Brest.
PSG played well with Bodmer excelling in his advanced role and Nene supplying the statistical argument to back up the quality of his play as he scored once and played a part in the other two.
The home club scored their third and final goal in the final minute of normal time, although not before youthful substitute Jean-Christophe Bahebeck had spurned a presentable opportunity with time running out.
Nene was again to the fore as Sakho got on the scoresheet just before time elapsed. His corner cleared by the Valenciennes defence back to the wide attacker and Nene unleashed a fearsomely powerful shot which was heading wide but for Sakho anticapting the trajectory to sidefoot home with Valenciennes goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau powerless.
Nene was substituted with merely seconds remaining to a standing ovation as PSG boosted their chances of enjoying Champions League football for the first time since 2004. Lyon play at Toulouse on Sunday, while Valenciennes remain three points above the drop zone ahead of the remainder of the Week 33 fixtures.