PSG in command as Monaco draw
A review of the weekend's action in the French Ligue 1 where Monaco were held to a draw by Lille.
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Monaco dropped two valuable points in the race to catch Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain as Lille forced a 1-1 draw at Stade Louis II.
Mounir Obbadi fired the hosts into an early lead but Divock Origi had dragged Lille back into the game by half-time and Monaco were unable to find a winner after the break.
The result may prove crucial in the title race as PSG now hold a 10-point advantage over the principality club heading into the eight-game run-in, while Lille sit three points clear of St Etienne in third place.
St Etienne kept the pressure on third-placed Lille and avoided a third successive league defeat with a confident 3-1 win over 10-man Sochaux.
With Lille due to visit Monaco in the final game of the weekend, Les Verts moved within two points of the final Champions League spot thanks to a Franck Tabanou strike sandwiched in between a Mevlut Erding brace.
Sochaux's goal came when trailing 2-0 when Sebastian Corchia and Cedric Bakambu combined well before picking out Edouard Butin in the area and the substitute was left with a simple task of tucking the ball home with Stephane Ruffier caught out of position.
However, any thoughts of a comeback were duly quashed with 10 minutes left to play when Bakambu handled the ball and referee Benoit Millot showed no hesitation in showing the Sochaux striker his second yellow card of the day.
Lyon moved within a point of St Etienne with a hard-fought 1-0 win in Guingamp.
Bafetimbi Gomis' 11th goal of the season just after the interval proved to be enough to bring an end to a run of two successive defeats for Les Gones folliwing Thursday's Europa League defeat in Plzen.
Alexandre Lacazette almost got Les Gones off to a perfect start but his stinging effort brought a smart save out of Mamadou Samassa before opposing goalkeeper Anthony Lopes turned Rachid Alioui's shot around the post moments later.
On Saturday, Marseille's bid to play in Europe next season continued to stutter as they fell to a 1-0 loss at home to Rennes.
Midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure scored the only goal in the 76th minute to earn Rennes their eighth Ligue 1 win of the season and halt a three-game losing run.
OM have yet to pick up a win this month following defeats to PSG, Nice and a 1-1 draw against Reims, and lie sixth in the standings.
Toulouse's European aspirations also suffered a setback with a 1-1 draw against Evian.
Wissam Ben Yedder's goal after 56 minutes looked to have earned the home side the points until substitute Clarck Nsikulu's last-minute equaliser for Evian.
Continuing the theme, Bordeaux effectively ended Nice's slim hopes of securing a Europa League spot after the two sides played out a 1-1 stalemate.
Nice came into the match four points behind their opponents and 10 behind fourth place, knowing that anything but a win would virtually end their chances of catching St Etienne.
And while Alexy Bosetti did cancel out Jussie's second-half penalty, the visitors could not find a winning goal despite the dismissal of Abdou Traore with four minutes remaining.
First-half goals from Florian Raspentino and Gianni Bruno gave Bastia a 2-0 win over Reims which should quell any fears they had about relegation, with Frederic Hantz's men now 12 points clear of the drop zone.
Nantes ended a shocking run of form - and pulled eight points clear of the bottom three - by beating Montpellier 2-1 in a dramatic clash which also saw two red cards and a missed penalty.
Goals in the opening 20 minutes from Serge Gapke and Koffi Djidji set the home side on their way to victory, before Djidji then scored at the other end to give Montpellier a route back into the match.
However, red cards for Joris Marveaux and Daniel Congre then effectively ended the visitors' challenge, before Nantes missed the chance to extend their lead when Itay Shechter saw his spot-kick saved.
Teenage substitute Issa Baradji fired a late double to hand Ajaccio a rare 3-2 win and scupper the hopes Valenciennes had of moving out of the relegation zone.
With five minutes remaining, Valenciennes were on the point of climbing out of the bottom three, leading 2-1 and just needing to see out the closing stages.
Eighteen-year-old Baradji intervened though in dramatic style, grabbing an 87th-minute equaliser and a late winner to earn the visitors their success.
Majeed Waris scored in the 51st and 72nd minutes for Valenciennes, with Benjamin Andre netting between those goals for the away side and Baradji breaking home hearts.
On Friday night, Paris St Germain took yet another step towards retaining their title with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Lorient .
Thiago Motta scored the only goal of the contest in the 41st minute as PSG moved 11 points clear at the summit for 48 hours at least, with nearest chasers Monaco not in action until Sunday night against third-placed Lille.