Lyon had to fight back from a goal down to claim all three points against a combatant Valenciennes outfit that took an early lead on Saturday afternoon. The Ligue 1 giants eventually came through 3-2, despite a valiant effort by the visitors in the latter stages.
Nevertheless, Les Gones will be pleased with the result and with the performance, particularly that of Michel Bastos, whose equalising goal on 18 minutes was the most telling indication of his commitment to the club after being heavily linked with a move to England on transfer deadline day.
“I only have one thing in mind: to make this a superb season for Olympique Lyonnais," the 29-year-old told olweb.fr. "I am happy with how I played, and with the way the team played.”
One big loss for Lyon, however, was the sale of goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris, who headed to Tottenham for €12 million (£9.5m).
“We wish him great success. He’s a great keeper,” said Maxime Gonalons.
“We won, which is great," he added, before turning his attention to new signing Steed Malbranque. "Malbranque is a top player and has great technique, fight and experience.”