Bordeaux took a step closer to clinching their first league title in a decade with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Le Mans. Bordeaux's 22nd win of the season took them top of the table with a three-point lead over Marseille and two league matches remaining.
That could all change on Sunday if Marseille beat seven-times consecutive champions Lyon, who are already out of the title race. However Eric Gerets' Marseille side, the only other team who can now win the title, will be under huge pressure to deliver against Claude Puel's under-achieving champions. Sitting third, but seven points behind Marseille and ten adrift of Bordeaux, Lyon will be expected to battle for all three points with a place in the UEFA Champions League qualifying stages at stake.
With former France defender Laurent Blanc at the helm this season, Bordeaux were among the early contenders for the title before dropping back with some lacklustre results at the turn of the year. However, some unexpected slip-ups from Lyon, and a late resurgence in which Bordeaux have won their past nine game, has put Blanc's side right back in the race.
On-loan AC Milan midfielder Yoann Gourcuff was inspirational, helping set up Marouane Chamakh's equaliser in the 38th minute before giving the hosts the lead on the stroke of half-time. He then set up Marc Planus for the match winner on 76 minutes. Le Mans, to their credit, came in search of the points and had taken the lead through Anthony Le Tallec in the 24th minute before he scored his second of the game eight minutes after the restart.
Gignac rescues Toulouse
In other matches, relegation-threatened Saint-Etienne were left in despair after an 89th-minute equaliser from French international Andre Pierre Gignac gave UEFA Cup-chasing Toulouse a share of the spoils.
Monaco, still down in mid-table, opened the scoring through Korean Park Chu-Young in their match with Valenciennes, who levelled in the 61st minute. Caen meanwhile were left cherishing a 2-0 win, only their eighth of the season, over fellow strugglers Sochaux as the Normandy side continue their battle to beat the drop.
Lorient could only manage a 1-1 draw with already-relegated Le Havre, while Grenoble and Nancy played to a scoreless draw that left both sides neither in danger nor in sight of a European place next season. Paris Saint-Germain are facing Auxerre in the day's late match.