St Etienne keep pressure on Lille
A review of the weekend's action in the French Ligue 1.
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St Etienne kept up the pressure on third-placed Lille with an impressive 2-1 win in the Rhone Valley derby at Lyon.
Mevlut Erding set the hosts on their way to a first win in eight against their neighbours with his third goal in two matches but that lead was short lived thanks to an Alexandre Lacazette leveller.
However, substitute Max Gradel ensured Les Verts remain just three points behind Lille with his first goal this year.
Lille substitute Salomon Kalou scored a stoppage-time winner to seal a 1-0 win at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy that broke the hearts of visiting Guingamp.
With the game seemingly petering out towards a goalless draw, the former Chelsea man came off the bench to hammer home his 11th goal of the season and inflict a second straight league defeat on Jocelyn Gourvennec's men.
For large parts of the match on Sunday, the hosts seemed the more likely to break the deadlock, but for an inspired display from Vincent Enyeama, and in the end Lille secured the win which moved them within six points of second-placed Monaco.
Rennes won back-to-back league games for the first time this season with a comfortable 3-0 win over out-of-form Bastia.
Romain Alessandrini set the hosts on their way with his fifth goal of the season on 14 minutes before Ola Toivonen added a second to tee up a ninth win this term for the Brittany side.
Jean Makoun's first strike of the season just after the break completed a miserable afternoon for Frederic Hantz's side who have now won just once in their past seven outings
Evian claimed another big scalp at their Parc des Sport home to give their survival bid a major boost with a 1-0 win over Monaco on Saturday.
Former Monaco defender Cedric Mongongu's 82nd-minute penalty proved the difference after Ricardo Carvalho was penalised for handball.
Evian had already beaten champions-in-waiting Paris St Germain and Lyon in Annecy this season and their latest giant-killing lifted them five points above the relegation zone.
That result dealt a blow to Sochaux's hopes of survival.
Earlier in the day defender Stoppila Sunzu had put second from bottom Les Lionceaux on the brink of victory over Marseille with a 25th minute goal.
However, their seventh league win of the season was snatched away in the 90th minute by Marseille defender Nicolas N'Koulou.
Jonathan Zebina missed a stoppage time penalty which could have claimed a come-from-behind win for Toulouse at rock bottom Ajaccio.
Zebina saw his shot saved by goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa in the third minute of added time as the match ended in a 2-2 draw. Ricardo Faty and Mehdi Mostefa had the home side in control before Issiaga Sylla and Clement Chantome hit back.
Vincent Aboukar scored a first-half penalty as Lorient halted a two-match losing streak with a 1-1 draw at Reims.
The visitors took the lead through Aboukar's penalty in first-half stoppage time before Odair Fortes struck back four minutes after the break for the hosts.
Nantes and Bordeaux battled out an uninspiring 0-0 draw at the Stade de la Beaujoire, while Montpellier's match against relegation-threatened Valenciennes also finished goalless.
On Friday night, Paris St Germain pulled further clear at the top of the table with a 1-0 victory over Nice , although they needed a slice of luck to help them at the Allianz Riviera.
Laurent Blanc's men created a number of chances, but in the end it was an own goal from Timothee Kolodziejczak which earned a seventh consecutive victory and a 13-point advantage over Monaco.
Nice goalkeeper David Ospina was put the test, first palming away a powerful strike from Edinson Cavani before producing an even better save to keep out an Zlatan Ibrahimovic volley which appeared to be on course for the bottom right corner.
Ospina was eventually beaten seven minutes after the interval though, and by his own player. Javier Pastore provided a cross for Ibrahimovic to head on to Cavani, whose effort struck Kolodziejczak before nestling in the net.