Lille bag points as Marseille draw
Lille grabbed a late 1-0 win at Lorient through right-back Mathieu Debuchy, keeping their title defence alive, while Marseille moved up to fourth place despite a 1-1 draw with Valenciennes.
Lille had won just four of their previous 11 games in all competitions and were beaten 5-4 by Bordeaux in an extraordinary game last weekend, but Debuchy's goal gives them the edge in the battle for the third UEFA Champions League place.
The champions are eight points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain and seven points shy of second-placed Montpellier in third but enjoy a three-point lead over Olympique Marseille, as well as fifth-placed Lyon and sixth-placed Rennes, both of whom play tomorrow.
While Lorient had their chances, Debuchy struck in the 76th minute, latching on to Benoit Pedretti's dinked pass and squeezing a low shot in off the near post to bag all the points for Lille.
Marseille geared up for Wednesday's UEFA Champions League assignment at home against Inter Milan in a 1-1 draw with Valenciennes at Stade Velodrome that took them above Lyon and Rennes, albeit only on goal difference.
Didier Deschamps rotated his starting line-up and saw Alou Diarra give Marseille a 16th-minute lead with a bullet header from Rod Fanni's right-wing centre. Jordan Ayew had a 20-yard shot deflected on to the left-hand post, but Valenciennes equalised early in the second half when Brazilian defender Gil lashed home after the hosts failed to clear a corner.
Deschamps introduced Brandao, Benoit Cheyrou and Jeremy Morel in search of victory and the in-form Brazilian striker came closest to claiming the winner with an 89th-minute header that hit the post and bounced out.
Bottom clubs battle
At the other end of the table, the basement battle between bottom club Sochaux and Auxerre ended in a goalless draw that allowed Auxerre to climb one place to 18th.
Former Lyon winger Sidney Govou claimed his first league goal for Evian with an injury-time volley at Caen that rescued a 2-2 draw for the promoted side.
On-loan Chelsea forward Gael Kakuta scored his third goal in four appearances and made another for Brice Jovial as Dijon won 3-0 at home over Nice to send Rene Marsiglia's side down to second bottom.
Finally, Toulouse rose up to seventh with a 3-0 success at Nancy, while Ajaccio were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Brest.
Lyon and Rennes will both aim to leapfrog Marseille tomorrow, when Lyon visit Bordeaux and the Brittany club travel to eighth-placed Saint-Etienne. The headline clash of the weekend, however, sees Paris Saint-Germain host closest rivals Montpellier at Parc des Princes.