Paris Saint-Germain head into the winter break as Ligue 1 leaders after taking advantage of Montpellier's slip at Evian.
PSG came away from Saint-Etienne with a 1-0 win courtesy of Mathieu Bodmer's 32nd-minute goal, which deflected in off goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier, moving to 40 points in the process. But Montpellier, who would have reached the same total with a better goal difference had they won, fell to a surprise 4-2 reverse at Evian.
Rene Girard's side had looked on course for victory, in the final game before the three-week hiatus, after Ligue 1's leading goalscorer Olivier Giroud and Younes Belhanda struck either side of Cedric Barbosa's equaliser. But after Saber Khelifa equalised again, Evian stormed back to claim a fourth successive home win with goals from Cedric Cambon and Brice Djadjedje.
Third-placed Lille were also pegged back, drawing 4-4 against Nice as Francois Clerc's injury-time leveller ended a thrilling contest at Stade Metropole. The champions were on course for all three points after goals from Aurelien Chedjou, Joe Cole, Eden Hazard and Florent Balmont had them 4-3 ahead entering stoppage time.
But Clerc popped up in the final seconds to grab an equaliser that means Nice will spend the festive period above the drop-zone. Nice were more than a match for their fancied hosts, twice equalising through Renato Civelli and Franck Djadjedje, whose second of the night had put them 3-2 up at the break.
Lyon suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at lowly Valenciennes after Ally Cissokho scored an unfortunate own goal at the Stade du Hainaut. The decisive goal came after 28 minutes, when Bafetimbi Gomis attempted to clear a Foued Kadir free-kick but only conspired to flick it up off Cissokho and into his own net.
Jires Kembo-Ekoko's 25-yard rocket earned Rennes their first win in six games as they beat Bordeaux 1-0 at Stade dele Route-de-Lorient. The striker fired home in the 52nd minute to end Les Girondins' resurgent run of ten points from their previous four games in which they had not conceded a goal.
Away joy for Ajaccio
Ajaccio recorded their first away win of the season as Sochaux's woeful run of form continued at the Stade August-Bonal. Benjamin Andre's opener and a Mathieu Peybernes' own goal were enough for the league's bottom club, who have now recorded back-to-back victories. Sochaux, meanwhile, dropped to second-bottom in the standings having now scored just one goal and taken one point from six matches.
Substitute Issam Jemaa grabbed a last-gasp equaliser for Auxerre to nick a valuable 2-2 draw against fellow strugglers Dijon. The Tunisia forward scored in stoppage time to salvage a draw after fellow substitute Anthony Le Tallec had got the hosts back in the game by reducing the deficit in the 81st minute. Benjamin Corgnet and Brice Jovial had given the promoted visitors a two-goal cushion. Elsewhere, Toulouse versus Brest and Lorient against Caen both ended goalless.