St Etienne go top as Marseille falter
Toulouse's goalkeeper Ali Ahamada is pictured during the French L1 football match Toulouse (TFC) against Marseille (OM), on September 14, 2013 at the municipal stadium in Toulouse. The match ended 1-1.
Benjamin Corgnet grabbed a brace either side of Romain Hamouma's strike for Les Verts before Maor Melikson grabbed a consolation for the hosts from the penalty spot 10 minutes from time.
It was enough to move Saint-Etienne a point above Paris Saint-Germain at the top of Ligue 1 following the champions' 2-0 win at Bordeaux on Friday.
Big-spending Monaco could go back to the summit if they win at home to Lorient on Sunday.
New Turkish attacking signing Mevlut Erding, formerly of PSG, may have drawn a blank but his supporting act stepped up to the mark in fine style.
Corgnet slotted into an empty net on 17 minutes after home goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau had denied Hamouma.
The latter then doubled the advantage on 47 minutes, beating Penneteau with a fine strike from 20 yards.
Corgnet wrapped up the victory with a shot through Penneteau's legs from Hamouma's cross six minutes later.
Valenciennes' sole response came from a generously-awarded penalty when the referee gave handball against Bayal Sall.
Midfielder Corgnet said it was his positioning further forward, behind the front man, that had made the difference.
"That's two matches now that I've played in the hole (behind the striker), my favourite role," he said.
"We've been playing better these last two matches and it's a pleasure to be a part of this team."
Earlier, former European champions Marseille had needed a late goal from Brazilian defender Lucas Mendes to snatch a point against the team that began the day bottom of the league.
Victory would have taken the team from Provence back to the top of the table, a position they had lost when going down 2-1 at home to Monaco before the international break.
"We had some good periods, especially in the first half, some real quality moves, well co-ordinated, but we didn't turn them into goals," said Marseille coach Elie Baup.
Marseille created, and squandered, several opportunities, including a shocking miss by Dimitri Payet, who failed to find the net while goalkeeper Ali Ahamada lay helpless on the ground.
Ahamada then made an important save to deny France winger Mathieu Valbuena before Toulouse took a shock lead as Wissam Ben Yedder slotted home a pass from Dane, Martin Braithwaite.
It would have been enough to secure a first win of the season but Mendes headed home a Valbuena free-kick three minutes from time to earn a point.
Even so, Baup's team will need to up their game considerably if they are to gain anything at home to Arsenal in the Champions League in midweek.
"we will have to go looking to make things happen with mental strength, we will have to work hard because our team depends on a lot of collectivity," said Baup.
On Friday, France midfielder Blaise Matuidi put PSG ahead from a precise Zlatan Ibrahimovic pass before Brazilian winger Lucas Moura sealed the victory for Laurent Blanc's team in the second half.
It was a dominant performance from the champions against woeful opponents as PSG demonstrated they are starting to find their feet under Carlo Ancelotti's replacement.
Sochaux dropped to the bottom of the table following a 1-0 defeat at Nantes, who moved up to sixth.
Reims are fifth after a goalless draw at Montpellier while Ajaccio continue to fall -- they are now just one place above the relegation zone - following a 3-2 defeat at home to Evian.
Their Corsica neighbours Bastia drew 1-1 with Guingamp.