Lille beats Valenciennes 1-0 to pressure Monaco

Published:

LILLE, France (AP) -- Lille beat Valenciennes 1-0 Saturday in the French league to put pressure on Monaco in the race for second place.

Divock Origi took a pass from Salomon Kalou to score with a low strike in the 70th minute.

Lille pulled within three points of Monaco. Paris Saint-Germain tops the league with a 13-point lead over Monaco.

"It wasn't easy but the most important thing is to take the three points," Lille coach Rene Girard told Canal Plus television. "It seemed to me that we missed a bit of gas in the tank, a bit of freshness. But the boys managed to do what they needed to do."

Lille dominated the first half but failed to convert chances into a goal. Djibril Sidibe was denied by Valenciennes goalkeeper Magno Novaes in the 13th and Salomon Kalou struck the post in the 18th.

Novaes then tipped a long-range strike from Sidibe over the bar in the 47th but could not save Origi's effort that took a deflection off Valenciennes defender Carl Medjani.

Lille goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama preserved the win by stopping an angled shot from Mathieu Dossevi in the 87th.

Later Saturday, it's: Ajaccio vs. Bordeaux; Evian vs. Bastia; Nice vs. Lorient; Rennes vs. Monaco; and Sochaux vs. Toulouse.

On Sunday, Paris Saint-Germain visits Lyon, Saint-Etienne faces Reims and Nantes hosts Guingamp.

On Friday, Marseille edged Montpellier 3-2 to keep its slim hopes of a European spot alive.