Valenciennes were unable to reproduce their recent superb goalscoring form as they slumped to defeat at Lille this afternoon.
The home side were in front after just two minutes through Nolan Roux and were helped further by the dismissal of VA midfielder Carlos Sanchez on the half-hour mark.
Lille looked like they could run away with things when Dimitri Payet added a second goal soon afterwards, but their opponents battled hard after the interval and Anthony Le Tallec's reply set up a tense finish.
Valenciennes came into the match with a tremendous scoring record which had seen them net 12 times in their last three Ligue 1 fixtures.
However, Lille quickly found a gap in the defence when Payet's cross into the area was back-heeled goalwards by Salomon Kalou. Goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau managed to palm that shot away but only as far as Roux, who poked home from a yard out.
VA had to wait 20 minutes for their first chance, which saw goalkeeper Mickael Landreau beat clear a testing volley from Le Tallec.
However, they suffered another setback soon after with Sanchez shown his second yellow card for a challenge on Florent Balmont.
Lille quickly set about building on their advantage and Penneteau produced a diving save to keep out a powerful 25-yard drive from Balmont.
But the home side added to their lead five minutes before the interval with Kalou providing a cross which Payet curled home with his right foot.
Balmont should have made it 3-0 nine minutes into the second half with a volley which was inches away from finding the top corner.
And they were made to pay for the miss after 70 minutes when Gael Danic made the most of a sloppy ball from Marko Basa to swing in a cross which Le Tallec slammed home from close range.
The goal sparked a spell of Valenciennes pressure but they were denied an equaliser late on with Landreau tipping away a low strike from Le Tallec.