Monaco won 4-1 away to relegated Ajaccio in the French Ligue 1 to keep Paris Saint-Germain waiting a little longer in their bid to secure a second consecutive league title.
All the goals came in the second half at the Stade Francois-Coty as Dimitar Berbatov continued his impressive recent form by scoring twice for the visitors before Gadji Tallo got one back. Berbatov then set up another goal for Geoffrey Kondogbia, while Lucas Ocampos added the fourth late on as Monaco made it four successive league wins to all but guarantee second spot and automatic qualification for next season's UEFA Champions League group stage.
"We were not great in the first half and Ajaccio caused us problems because they wanted to win the game," Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri said. "The state of the pitch didn't help. We tried to adapt to our opponents and we played well in the second half and scored four goals. Berbatov is a great player."
Ranieri's side are now 11 points clear of third-placed Lille, who have just four matches remaining, including Sunday's home meeting with Bordeaux. They are also seven points adrift of PSG, who must win away to relegation-threatened Sochaux on Sunday if they are to celebrate clinching the French Ligue 1 crown this weekend.
Laurent Blanc's men will therefore have to beat the all-time record points tally in the French top flight in order to become champions this weekend, which says much about how well Monaco have performed in their first season since winning promotion back to the top flight.
Saint-Etienne keep Champions League hopes alive
Elsewhere, fourth-placed Saint-Etienne kept alive their outside chances of Champions League qualification by winning 2-1 away to Evian, but Valenciennes are all but condemned to relegation following a 1-0 loss away at Coupe de France finalists Guingamp.
The northern side, who were promoted to Ligue 1 in 2006, are now nine points adrift of safety with only three matches remaining and are set to swap places with Metz, who won promotion back to the top flight after a six-year absence earlier on Saturday.
Montpellier and Nice appeared to secure their top-flight survival by beating Toulouse 2-1 and Reims 1-0 respectively, while Rennes and Lorient drew 1-1 in a Brittany derby.
On Friday, Marseille's hopes of qualifying for Europe were dealt another blow when they could only draw 1-1 away to Nantes.