Montpellier hopeful after surprising Marseille
Montpellier boosted their chances of securing UEFA Champions League qualification as they eased to a convincing 2-0 victory over Marseille. They dominated the match against their more illustrious opponents and have now cut Bordeaux's lead at the top of the table to six points and remain two better off than Lille in third. Karim Ait-Fana gave Montpellier the lead in the second half and an own goal by Benoit Cheyrou secured the three points which keep alive the possibility of an incredible journey from Ligue 2 last season to the UEFA Champions League in 2010-11.
Leaders Bordeaux had a rare off-day in front of goal as strugglers Boulogne claimed an unexpected point at the Stade Chaban-Delmas. The defending champions had scored 36 goals heading into the contest, the second-highest tally in the league, but wasted chance after chance in a game they dominated. The result meant second-bottom Boulogne moved level on points with Le Mans, four away from a position of safety.
Back on track
Lille got back to winning ways with a narrow victory over fellow northerners Lens at the Stadium Lille-Metropole. Belgium international Eden Hazard netted the only goal midway through the first half by rounding off a superb team move. The win halted a run of three defeats - one in the league and two cup reverses - for Lille, which in turn had ended a sequence of seven victories. The result keeps Rudi Garcia's side third and in contention for UEFA Champions League qualification.
Monaco edged out Cote d'Azur rivals Nice 3-2 for a fourth straight league win. A brace from striker Park Chu-young and one from the impressive Nene helped them move above Marseille into fourth place, while Nice, who remain 16th - six points clear of the relegation zone - ended the match with ten men following the dismissal of Renato Civelli.
Rennes moved up to eighth as they defeated ten-man Grenoble 4-0 at Route de Lorient. Frederic Antonetti's side had only secured one point from their last three games, but they ended that poor run as Romain Danze, Sylvain Marveaux (2) and Ismael Bangoura found the net. This latest defeat leaves Grenoble nine points adrift at the bottom of the table, and 13 points from safety.
Nancy recovered some pride following their shock midweek Coupe de France exit at the hands of lower-league opposition by posting a deserved 1-0 win over Lorient at Stade Marcel-Picot. Youssouf Hadji scored the only goal of the game five minutes before the interval to secure a win that enables Nancy to climb to 12th place in the standings, two points behind Lorient.
Toulouse kept alive their hopes of qualification for Europe with a 3-1 win at Le Mans, as Turkey international Colin Kazim-Richards scored their third goal. Le Mans remain in the bottom three.