Paris Saint-Germain FC slipped up when they were held to a 1-1 draw by FC Sochaux Montbéliard.
Paris Saint-Germain FC slipped up in their quest to bring the Ligue 1 title back to the French capital when they were held to a 1-1 draw by fourth-placed FC Sochaux Montbéliard at the weekend.
Friday-night victories for the top two, AS Monaco FC and Olympique Lyonnais, had put the pressure on Vahid Halilhodzic's side and although Pauleta's 50th-minute spot-kick put PSG ahead, Santos replied for the visitors five minutes later to earn a share of the spoils. With eleven games left, the capital club are now seven points adrift of leaders Monaco and three behind Lyon, who travel to Sochaux on Saturday.
AJ Auxerre remain in fifth position despite going down by a solitary Matt Moussilou goal against mid-table Lille OSC. Olympique de Marseille had the chance to move level on points with their fellow UEFA Cup contenders but were drubbed 4-1 by SC Bastia on Sunday evening.
After a sluggish start, Bastia opened the scoring after 22 minutes courtesy of a goal by Florian Maurice, who headed in a Pascal Chimbonda cross. Alou Diarra doubled the lead six minutes later after goalkeeper Fabien Barthez failed to block an attempt from Bartholomew Ogbeche, who also scored the fourth after Chaouky Ben Saada's fine volley had made it 3-0. The prolific Didier Drogba scored an 80th-minute penalty for Marseille but it was too little, too late.
Marseille's defeat means FC Nantes Atlantique are now only a point behind in seventh after their 3-0 away win against Stade Rennais FC. Viorel Moldovan was twice on target for the west-coast club, who face Lyon, PSG and Monaco in their next three away matches.
Le Pen strikes
Elsewhere, Ulrich Le Pen's second-half double rescued a draw for RC Strasbourg, who had trailed 2-0 at the interval in their match against OGC Nice, Achille Emana's solitary goal gave Toulouse FC all three points against Montpellier Hérault SC at the Mosson and a goal in each half gave FC Girondins de Bordeaux a 2-0 win against Le Mans UC 72.
In the weekend's other game, FC Metz were reduced to ten men midway through the second half of their home defeat by RC Lens. John Utaka had put the visitors ahead before Stéphane Morisot saw red and Senegalese international Papa Bouba Diop made it 2-0.