Paris-Saint Germain’s title hopes were dented when they went down 1-0 at Auxerre on Saturday, while Stade Rennes defeated Montpellier.
Auxerre midfielder Kamel Chafni was the hero for the hosts, latching on to a poor defensive clearance and producing a marvellous strike to deny PSG a coveted three points.
Siaka Tiene’s miscued clearance fell fortuitously for Chafni, who unleashed a looping half-volley that dipped over PSG custodian Apoula Edel and tucked into the far corner four minutes from time.
PSG had threatened on several occasions but were never able to get the better of Auxerre goalkeeper Olivier Sorin, whose clean sheet ensured the hosts rise to 16th place, three points clear of the relegation zone.
The Parisians could have risen to second on the table with a win, but instead fall five points adrift of provisional Ligue 1 leaders Stade Rennes.
The new leaders notched a 1-0 win at Montpellier for their fifth consecutive league victory, though they will return to second place should Lille defeat Marseille on Sunday.
Togolese winger Razak Boukari scored a first-half thunderbolt for the visitors, unleashing a blistering volley from Addelhamid El Kaoutari’s headed clearance that rocketed past Montpellier shot-stopper Geoffrey Jourdren in the 27th minute.
It was Boukari’s fourth goal in seven appearances for Rennes since sealing a transfer from Lens in January.
Elsewhere, Sochaux put Toulouse’s European ambitions under threat with a 1-0 win at the Stadium Municipal.
Modibo Maiga turned David Sauget’s cross past Toulouse keeper Matthieu Valverde in the 64th minute, and things only got worse for the hosts as Valverde then saw red in the last minute of injury time.
In other results, relegation-threatened Caen defeated Saint-Etienne1-0 while Youssef El-Arabi’s 90th-minute winner, while Lorient v Nancy, Nice v Lens and Valenciennes v Monaco all ended in goalless draws.