Marseille, PSG stay on course
Champions Marseille and Paris Saint Germain kept their push for the French Ligue 1 title alive on Sunday, as both came away with 2-1 wins against Nancy and Toulouse respectively. Marseille owed their success to a double from midfielder Andre Ayew as they were pushed hard by struggling Nancy who opened after 32 minutes following a superb solo effort from Julien Feret.
Ghanian internationl Ayew equalised just before the break and netted the winner four minutes from time following an error by Nancy goalkeeper Damien Gregorini to ensure the visitors stay third, a point behind provisional leaders Rennes.
It was a precious victory and fourth in a row in Ligue 1 for Didier Deschamp's men before they begin a heated month of March with Lille, Rennes, Manchester United and Paris on the schedule. Nancy remain rooted in 16th position.
PSG, meanwhile, followed on from their UEFA Europa League success in midweek but were helped by errors from Toulouse as the side from the capital sit provisionally fourth, two points behind the leader. Free-falling Toulouse suffered their third defeat in a row after missing the chance to take an early lead after 16 minutes when Portuguese midfielder Paulo Machado missed a penalty awarded for a Sylvain Armand foul on Moussa Sissoko.
Armand opened for PSG ten minutes later but their second came thanks to an own goal from Toulouse's Uruguanan defender Adrian Gunino whose hand touched the ball trying to kept out a Mathieu Bodmer effort after 37 minutes.
Rennes, meanwhile, took provisional top spot on Saturday with a 2-0 win against struggling Lens, but Lille could move ahead again when they host fellow title-chasers Lyon later on Sunday. Rennes' newly-signed French-born Togolese striker Razak Boukari set the hosts on their way after 14 minutes with a superb strike from 25 metres out, with Victor Hugo Montano getting the second after 70 minutes to leave Lens stuck in the relegation zone.
Saint Etienne suffered their third consecutive defeat as they lost 2-0 at home against relegation-threatened Nice, leaving them in seventh position with 35 points. Kafoumba Coulibaly put the Riveria side ahead after 54 minutes with Anthony Mounier wrapping up the precious three points six minutes from time, moving them up two places up to 15th.
Monaco however remain in the relegation zone after being held 2-2 by ten-man Caen in their Stade Louis II. South Korean striker Park Chu-Young scored both Monaco's goals (35, 61) only for a quickfire double from Caen's Youssef El Arabi and Yohan Mollo ensuring the side's split the points.
Meanwhile tailenders Arles-Avignon held visiting Brest 1-1. Kamel Ghilas scored after 36 minutes just seconds after teammate Lorenzi had a goal refused for offside, but Larsen Toure got the equaliser just after the break.
Bordeaux gained a much-needed 3-0 win against fellow under-achievers Auxerre in Saturday's late match. However, goals from captain Alou Diarra, Anthony Modeste and Jarsolav Plasil lifted Bordeaux up from 13th to 10th, with Auxerre one point off the relegation zone after only four victories this season. Elsewhere, Sochaux were held to a goalless draw by Montpellier as were Valenciennes by visiting Lorient.