MORE AWAY-DAY JOY FOR EVIAN
Evian continued their impressive away form to pick up three more vital points in their battle to avoid relegation in a 3-0 win at Valenciennes.
All three of Evian's goals came in a 15-minute purple patch before half-time with Saber Khelifa, Kevin Berigaud and Yannick Sagbo, with a penalty, the men on the scoresheet.
There was no way back for Valenciennes after that as Evian moved five points clear of their opponents and nine above the relegation zone.
Evian had lost each of their last three home matches but their troubles in front of their fans is in stark contrast to their away form, which had seen the promoted outfit pick up 10 points from a possible 12 on their travels coming into this match.
And a fourth successive away victory was all but assured following a clinical first-half display at the Stade du Hainaut.
Vincent Aboubakar headed an early chance inches wide for the hosts but otherwise it was Evian who dominated the opening 45 minutes.
They had already gone close in the 26th minute after an excellent effort from Christian Poulsen was parried by Nicolas Penneteau when, two minutes later, they took the lead through Khelifa, who slotted home after being picked out by Thomas Kahlenberg.
Five minutes later it was 2-0 when a long punt forward by Evian goalkeeper Stephan Andersen was brought down by Berigaud and, after his control saw him escape the attentions of two defenders, he fired past Penneteau right-footed.
Gael Danic was denied by Anderson as Valenciennes sought a reply, but the hosts then found themselves 3-0 down in the 43rd minute when Sagbo sent Penneteau the wrong way from the spot after David Ducourtioux had handled inside the area.
Shell-shocked Valenciennes had only conceded eight goals at home before today - the joint-best in the division - but that record and their chances of getting anything out of the game had been ruined by Evian's first-half blitz.
It might have got even worse for the hosts as well, with Penneteau doing well to deny Sagbo, Thomas Kahlenberg and Mohamed Rabiu after the break as Evian sought to increase their lead.
Valenciennes also had a couple of chances in the final 18 minutes but Aboubakar fired over before the same player was denied by Anderson as the hosts crashed to only a fourth home defeat of the season.
Latest Football News at 10:59 BST