Marseille moved to second in Ligue 1 with a 2-1 triumph over Saint-Etienne at the Stade Velodrome on Saturday.
The match was poised as a battle between fourth and sixth prior to kick-off, with Marseille leading Saint-Etienne by four points as both sides search for a Champions League berth for next season.
After a goalless opening hour, Marseille broke the deadlock in the 68th minute through Lucho Gonzalez, who found the back of the net after Andre-Pierre Gignac had cut the ball back into his path.
Striker Loic Remy doubled the hosts’ advantage 11 minutes later when he tapped in a partially-blocked shot, before Christophe Landrin pulled a goal back late for the visitors.
Valenciennes produced a late fightback to secure a 2-2 draw away to Caen.
Benjamin Nivet and Sambou Yatabare put Caen two up at the Stade Michel d’Ornano, and they were on track for a vital victory to lift them above Valenciennes on the table.
But Gregory Pujol set up a dramatic finish with an 80th-minute goal, before Steven Langil broke Caen hearts when he equalised in the 88th minute for the visitors.
Brest ensured Monaco would remain in the relegation zone with a 2-0 win at the Stade Francis-Le Ble.
The home side went ahead in the 14th minute through Jonathan Ayite, and the striker netted his second late on after Monaco’s Adriano Pereira was dismissed in the 89th minute.
Sochaux shot back to form with a 3-2 away win over Lens, turning around a run of one win in seven league games.
Both sides played more than half the match with 10 men, but it was all Sochaux early as Nicolas Maurice-Belay and Modibo Maiga netted in the opening half-hour.
Lens pulled a goal back in the 36th minute via Issam Jemaa, before Sochaux’s Kevin Anin and Lens’ Toifilou Maoulida were sent off in the 42nd minute.
Alaeddine Yahia put Lens back on level terms in the 59th minute, as they looked for a point that would have moved them above 18th-placed Monaco.
But Ryad Boudebouz produced the winner for Sochaux in the 66th minute.
Auxerre and Arles drew 1-1, a result that helps neither side in their respective relegation battles, with Arles still rooted to the bottom of the table 14 points behind 19th-placed Lens.
In the later game, Lorient bounced Bordeaux 5-1 in an incident-packed encounter – headlined by a Kevin Gameiro hat-rick – that sends the winners to seventh on the table.
Midfielder Morgan Amalfitano put Lorient ahead in the 14th minute, with fringe France striker Gameiro putting his side 3-0 up with a three-minute salvo not long after.
Brazilian Fernando Menegazzo pulled a goal back five minutes later, and Bordeaux were offered further momentum to draw back into the game when Lorient defender Franco Sosa was shown a second yellow card.
The dismissal only seemed to galvanise Lorient, who extended their lead once more through a penalty from former Portsmouth midfielder Arnold Mvuemba on 61 minutes before Gameiro’s hat-trick-sealing goal in the shadows of full time wrapped up the 5-1 win.
More salt was rubbed into Bordeaux’s wounds when goalkeeper Cedric Carasso was sent off in the 90th minute.