St Etienne go third as Lille bounce back
St Etienne upheld the form book with a regulation 2-0 home win over Ligue 1 strugglers Troyes at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
The result was enough to take the home side to third in the French top-flight table, one point behind Marseille and PSG who both play on Sunday, while their defeated opponents are languishing in second-bottom place with just seven points.
Troyes managed to hold the stalemate during the first half, but they conceded two minutes into the second period when Renaud Cohade scored, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang eased late nerves with an 88th-minute finish.
Two goals in three second-half minutes from Foued Kadir and Mathieu Dossevi helped Valenciennes come from a goal down to beat Bastia 3-2 and go fourth in the standings. The visitors survived an early onslaught from Bastia to take the lead through Kadir just after the half-hour mark, but Anthony Modeste drew them level from the penalty spot in the 39th minute.
Julian Palmieri then put the home team ahead in the 61st minute only for Kadir to level for Valenciennes after 77 minutes. Kadir then teed up Dossevi to complete the comeback.
Kalou lifts Lille
Salomon Kalou scored the only goal of the game as Lille put their midweek humbling behind them at the expense of visiting Brest.
Rudi Garcia's side were on the wrong end of a 6-1 hammering by Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League, but they successfully recorded their third straight league win. Kalou produced the decisive moment, slotting home on the stroke of half-time.
Toulouse missed a chance to go joint-top of the table after a Chahir Belghazouani double inspired Ajaccio to a surprise 4-2 victory. Despite being boosted by a fourth-minute own goal from Anthony Lippini, Toulouse trailed at half-time after goals from Frederic Sammaritano and Belghazouani.
Sigamary Diarra made it 3-1 before Aymen Abdennour gave Toulouse brief hope which was extinguished by Belghazouani's second of the night.
Evian leapt out of the relegation places as they inflicted a first home defeat on Reims since the opening day of the season. Kevin Berigaud and Youssef Adnane scored to fire the visitors, who had lost their previous three league games, 2-0 ahead.
A Cedric Cambon own goal with 18 minutes left meant they had to sweat on the victory but they held on to move ahead of Sochaux, who host Lyon on Sunday.