Montpellier frustrated by Novaes
Valenciennes goalkeeper Macedo Novaes was in unbeatable form to help his side claim a point from their trip to Montpellier.
Last Updated: 29/03/14 10:38pm
Valenciennes goalkeeper Macedo Novaes was in unbeatable form to help his side claim a point from their trip to fellow relegation battlers Montpellier.
The 30-year-old Brazilian produced four top-class saves and the only time he was beaten the ball struck the post as 2012 Ligue 1 champions Montpellier were frustrated in front of their fans at the Stade De La Mosson.
The visitors were not without chances of their own, and they too hit the woodwork while coming close on several other occasions.
Neither side could make the breakthrough, though, and Montpellier remain six points clear of third-bottom Valenciennes.
Looking for their first win in five matches, Montpellier bossed the opening half-hour in terms of chances and they were only denied the lead by two brilliant saves from Novaes and a near-miss from Benjamin Stambouli .
The former Bastia custodian's first stop came in the 13th minute when he dived full stretch to slap away M'Baye Niang's effort, and then seven minutes later he produced a miraculous stop to keep out Mathieu Deplagne's shot from the edge of the box.
The home side did manage to beat Novaes in the 29th minute, but there was still no goal to celebrate as Stambouli's left-footed volley from Remy Cabella's corner smashed against the post.
VA had barely threatened up to that point, but they came within inches of taking the lead with their first decent chance in the 32nd minute, the unmarked Gregory Pujol seeing his powerful header from Arthur Masuaku's cross crashing against the crossbar.
Neither side would come any closer to a breakthrough in the second half, although again that was largely down to Novaes.
He did well to block Cabella's low volley at the far post eight minutes into the second half and then, with two minutes left on the clock, he ensured his side would leave with a point when he denied Cabella once again.
In between those two saves, Valenciennes created two openings of their own but David Ducourtioux and Tongo Doumbia both saw their efforts fizz inches wide as the spoils were shared.