RC Lens secured a 2-1 away win against Montpellier Hérault SC to stay clear of the chasing pack at the top of the French league.
Coly sent off
Lens secured the points thanks to goals in each half from El Hadji Diouf and Stéphane Pédron, however they had to play almost two-thirds of the match with ten men after Ferdinand Coly was sent off.
Montpellier dominated for large spells and missed a great chance to take the lead when Cédric Barbosa fired an eleventh-minute penalty into the arms of visiting goalkeeper Guillaume Warmuz. Pascal Fugier's men claimed a consolation goal two minutes from time for Montpellier but it was not enough to deny the leaders a precious win and extend their lead over second-placed Olympique Lyonnais to five points. Lyon play FC Sochaux-Montbéliard on Sunday.
Third-placed AJ Auxerre moved to within two points of Lyon with a 2-1 win over reigning champions FC Nantes Atlantique. Auxerre were given the lead by Djibril Cissé after 20 minutes but Viorel Moldovan levelled matters eight minutes later. The champions then had Mauro Cetto sent off on the half-hour mark before Arnaud Gonzalez fired the winner for Auxerre 13 minutes from time.
PSG stay in touch
Paris Saint-Germain FC stayed in touch with the leaders by picking up a 3-0 home win against CS Sedan-Ardennes who had Cédric Elzéard sent off after just 22 minutes. Mikel Arteta gave the PSG a first-half lead before Alex and Edouard Cissé wrapped things up in the final seven minutes.
Bordeaux leave it late
FC Girondins de Bordeaux left it late before they claimed a 2-1 win at FC Metz. Cameroonian striker Joseph Desiré-Job put Metz ahead after 36 minutes but Bordeaux hit back with goals from Pauleta and Vikash Dhorasoo after 72 and 83 minutes respectively.
Rennes come from behind
Elsewhere, strugglers Stade Rennais FC also needed to come from behind to beat ten-man SC Bastia 2-1 while Pascal Feindouno's 61st-minute strike was the only goal of the game as FC Lorient beat ES Troyes Aube Champagne. Finally, Shabani Nonda netted two goals for AS Monaco FC in their 3-1 home win over En Avant Guingamp.
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