May 5, 2013
Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 Valenciennes
#INSERT type:image caption: Alex heads home PSG's late leveller against Valenciennes END#Ten-man Paris St Germain needed a late goal from Alex to save face against Valenciennes as the Ligue 1 leaders struggled at the Parc de Princes.
The draw leaves Carlo Ancelotti's side seven points clear of Marseille with three games left and although still firm favourites to win what would be their third Ligue 1 title, a draw was far from ideal.
PSG captain Thiago Silva saw red for the home side two minutes before the break after arguing with the referee, but by then they were already behind thanks to Gael Danic's 17th-minute strike.
It took just two minutes for mid-table Valenciennes to create an opportunity when Danic's cross found Lindsay Rose, whose headed effort fell inches wide.
After 16 minutes Blaise Matuidi freed Javier Pastore, who from 15 yards hit a powerful effort which was turned away by Nicolas Penneteau.
The visitors broke immediately and took the lead when Remi Gomis released Vincent Aboubakar whose shot from 20 yards forced a decent save from Nicolas Douchez, although Danic was on hand to fire into an empty net.
PSG tried to respond immediately with Zlatan Ibrahimovic's well-waited ball finding Ezequiel Lavezzi, but Penneteau saved from the Argentinian.
Two minutes before the break the home side suffered another blow after Silva complained to the referee over the bookings of Jeremy Menez and Clement Chantome.
Alexandre Castro took exception to Silva's protests and showed him the red card.
With their opponents down to 10 men, Valenciennes looked to kill the game off with Mamadou Sakho's block keeping out a Younousse Sankhare volley, before Docuhez had to be at full stretch to keep out Kenny Lala's powerful right-footed shot.
Ibrahimovic skimmed the post with a 30-yard effort after 72 minutes before Pastore forced an outstanding save from Penneteau.
PSG were firmly in control and it came as little surprise when they levelled after 84 minutes.
Lavezzi's corner found a leaping Alex, whose powerful header gave Penneteau no chance.