Monaco slips in title race after Valenciennes loss

PARIS (AP) — Monaco lost ground in the French title race on Friday after slipping to a 2-1 home defeat against struggling Valenciennes.

Second-place Monaco's loss means that league leader Paris Saint-Germain can go into the winter break five points clear if it beats third-place Lille at home on Sunday. Valenciennes took the lead in the 30th minute when veteran France defender Eric Abidal scored an own goal, and midfielder David Ducourtioux made it 2-0 in the 58th.

Colombia winger James Rodriguez continued his fine recent form when he pulled a goal back in the 84th. Despite a crucial win, Valenciennes remains mired in the relegation zone in 18th place.

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