Paris St Germain returned to Ligue 1 action following the mid-season break with a routine 2-0 victory over Bastia that extended their lead at the top of the table to 22 points.
First-half goals from Thiago Motta and Maxwell proved enough for Laurent Blanc’s men, who have now won 17 of their 20 league games during the current campaign.
Monaco slipped to third despite coming from behind to earn a 2-2 draw against Ajaccio at the Stade Louis II on Saturday night.
Ajaccio raced into an early lead when a quick free-kick caught the hosts by surprise and Khalid Boutaib was on hand to nod Issiaga Sylla’s delivery beyond Danijel Subasic.
As Monaco continued to disappoint, the visitors’ evening improved further when Mohamed Larbi was allowed space on the right before pulling the ball back to John Tshibumbu to add a second just after the half-hour mark.
The hosts got themselves back in the contest early in the second half when goalscorer Tshibumbu fouled Fabinho in the area and the Brazilian full-back dusted himself down to tuck home the penalty.
Another Ajaccio error allowed Monaco to claim a share of the spoils, with goalkeeper Clement Maury failing to claim Joao Moutinho’s corner and allowing Ricardo Carvalho to stab home.
Angers leapfrogged the principality side into second place with a confident 2-0 victory against fellow European hopefuls Caen, although they are 20 points behind leaders Paris St Germain.
Stephane Moulin’s side broke the deadlock just before the break as Pierrick Capelle showed great control on the edge of the area before dispatching a clinical finish for his first Ligue 1 goal.
And the hosts wrapped up the three points after 74 minutes when Billy Ketkeophomphone broke free of the Caen defence from substitute Mohamed Yattara’s pass before beating Remy Vercoutre.
Alexandre Lacazette scored the first-ever goal at the Stade des Lumieres as Lyon beat luckless Troyes 4-1 to move up to sixth.
Lacazette broke the deadlock after 18 minutes, only for Florian Camus to equalise midway through the second half with a stunning strike.
But Lyon were not to be denied a winning start in their new stadium as Rachid Ghezzal, Jordan Ferri and Claudio Beauvue all netted in the final 18 minutes.
Lorient squandered a two-goal lead as they were held to a draw 2-2 at Rennes in their mid-table clash.
The visitors were two up inside 22 minutes courtesy of Fallou Diagne’s own goal and Abdul Waris’ tap-in but Ousmane Dembele and Jeremie Boga got Rennes back on level terms before the break and that is how it remained.
Cheick Diabate scored the only goal of the game as Bordeaux beat Montpellier 1-0 to claim their first away league win of the season.
Wissam Ben Yedder grabbed a second-half hat-trick as Toulouse came from behind to end a run of three winless Ligue 1 games with a 3-1 victory at Reims, whose goalscorer Antoine Devaux was sent off late on.
St Etienne lost ground in the race for the Champions League places as they lost 2-1 at Nantes.
Les Verts made a good start, taking the lead early on through Nolan Roux’s penalty after Romain Hamouma went down inside the penalty area under a Remy Riou challenge.
But Nantes hit back before half-time and, after hitting the post with an initial effort, Johan Audel levelled from close range.
Les Canaris completed the turnaround and sealed their first league win at home since October with six minutes remaining when Florentin Pogba’s good work presented Kolbeinn Sigthorsson with an opportunity he took with aplomb.
Fourth-placed Nice also dropped points as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Lille, who are now unbeaten in five league matches.
The hosts went ahead after 10 minutes through Yassine Benzia’s free-kick but Nice equalised just before the break when Niklas Hult’s deflected effort nestled in the back of the net.
Both sides went close in the second-half with a Eric Bautheac free-kick hitting the crossbar for Lille before Vincent Enyeama did superbly well to deny Paul Baysse late on.
Marseille missed the chance to get themselves right back in contention for the European places as they were held to a goalless home draw by struggling Guingamp.
The hosts, now without a league win at the Stade Velodrome since September 13, had their chances but the closest they came to a goal was when Rolando saw a header hit the crossbar at the start of the second half.
Guingamp, who arrived in the south of France having lost five games of a six-match winless streak in Ligue 1, could have stolen all the points late on but Steve Mandanda saved substitute Mevlut Erding’s effort.