PSG beat Brest, Giroud rescues Montpellier
Paris Saint-Germain preserved their three-point lead at the summit in Ligue 1 after ending Brest's unbeaten home record with a narrow 1-0 victory at Stade Francis Le Ble.
Second-placed Montpellier remain on PSG's tail, however, after Olivier Giroud's last-minute strike earned them a 1-0 win at Nice, while Lyon overcame Dijon 3-1 to move above Lille into third place.
Brest goalkeeper Steeve Elana had to save from Nene in the early stages against PSG, but from the resulting corner, Serbian defender Milan Bisevac bundled the visitors ahead.
PSG were missing both Javier Pastore and Jeremy Menez through injury and were made to endure some nervy moments towards the end of the first half, notably when Salvatore Sirigu had to save from Brest debutant Alexandre Alphonse.
Carlo Ancelotti's side assumed the upper hand in the second period, however, with Mathieu Bodmer and Nene both going close to extending Paris Saint-Germain's lead.
"It was a very important victory, because it's not easy to win at Brest," said Ancelotti. "We started the match well by scoring a goal and playing good football for the first 25 minutes. Then we had some problems adjusting to the loss of [Mohamed] Sissoko, and Brest caused us problems. We gave their forwards too much space.
"But in the second half we reasserted control of the match by taking possession of the ball. We could have scored another goal, but the most important thing was to win."
Giroud, the league's top scorer, had a first-half penalty denied by Nice goalkeeper David Ospina but he redeemed himself in the final minute to take his tally for the season to 15 league goals and put Montpellier three points shy of PSG.
Giroud's late intervention meant that Nice slipped one place to 19th, with Sochaux climbing above them after rescuing a 1-1 draw at Lorient through a stunning late strike from Cedric Bakambu.
Lyon down Dijon
Lyon took an eighth-minute lead against Dijon when Jimmy Briand headed home Michel Bastos' inswinging cross, but Dijon drew level in the 61st minute. Lyon centre-back Samuel Umtiti fell to the ground inside his own box after a foul by Brice Jovial, but play continued and Younousse Sankhare slammed the ball home.
In the 82nd minute Bafetimbi Gomis restored the hosts' advantage, though, brilliantly turning past two defenders before lashing a left-footed shot into the roof of the net. Alexandre Lacazette finished off a crisp team move in the dying stages to kill off Dijon's hopes of a comeback.
Romanian striker Daniel Niculae returned to haunt former club Auxerre by scoring twice in a 3-1 away win for Nancy. Toulouse drew level on points with sixth-placed Marseille courtesy of a solitary strike from Emmanuel Riviere in a 1-0 win at home to Caen.
Finally, in the day's late kick-off, Eden Hazard broke the deadlock for Lille against Saint-Etienne from the penalty spot in the 50th minute after he had been tripped by visiting captain Sylvain Marchal, before Roux crowned his first appearance with a late quick-fire brace to seal a 3-0 win.