Matt Moussilou hit the quickest hat-trick in Ligue 1 history as LOSC Lille Métropole defeated FC Istres 8-0.
By Chris Burke
Matt Moussilou hit the quickest hat-trick in Ligue 1 history as LOSC Lille Métropole moved back into second place with an 8-0 victory against FC Istres, while leaders Olympique Lyonnais are a step closer to their fourth-successive title after defeating RC Lens 1-0.
Without a win in eight matches before Saturday, Lille re-launched their bid for a UEFA Champions League place in emphatic style. Former France Under-21 striker Moussilou set the tone with three goals between the 13th and 18th minutes, before Mathieu Bodmer and Philippe Brunel ensured bottom club Istres were 5-0 down by the interval.
Moussilou hit his fourth eleven minutes after the restart, and the nightmare continued for Istres goalkeeper Rudy Riou when Brunel added a seventh. Ibrahim Thiam then scored an own goal to round off the highest-scoring match of the season and leave shattered Istres nine points adrift of safety.
At the opposite end of the table, Lyon's fate looks just as certain thanks to Juninho Pernambucano's 64th-minute goal. The Brazilian scored from point-blank range to put the French champions 13 points clear of Lille, and even a victory for third-placed Olympique de Marseille at home to Paris Saint-Germain FC on Sunday would still leave Paul Le Guen's men a comfortable eleven points out in front.
AS Monaco FC dropped down to fourth after they surprisingly fell 3-0 at struggling AC Ajaccio. Two goals from Marcelo Edson and a third from fellow Brazilian André Luiz lifted the Corsican side out of the relegation zone for the first time since January. SM Caen took their place after losing 1-0 away to Sochaux, while 19th-placed SC Bastia lost by the same scoreline at Stade Rennais FC.
There was relief for AJ Auxerre as they ended a run of six matches without victory, coming from behind to defeat FC Nantes Atlantique at home. The visitors went ahead through Mamadou Diallo, but had Nicolas Savinaud and Emerse Faé dismissed as Younes Kaboul and Luigi Pieroni struck to keep Auxerre in fifth.
Toulouse FC remain level on points with Auxerre, however, after a 1-0 win against FC Metz. Elsewhere, OGC Nice saw off AS Saint-Etienne 2-0 and RC Strasbourg won by the same score away to FC Girondins de Bordeaux, who had Cyril Rool sent off.