UEFA Champions League semi-finalists AS Monaco FC opened up a two-point gap at the top of Ligue 1 when they drew 0-0 at RC Lens on Saturday.
However the title race is now a three-horse race after Paris Saint-Germain FC roared back into contention with a 2-1 win at OGC Nice. Meanwhile champions Olympique Lyonnais will go top if they win at RC Strasbourg on Sunday. At present Monaco have 65 points while PSG and Lyon are both on 63.
Three days after they produced one of the Champions League's greatest shocks by knocking out Real Madrid CF, Monaco struggled at Lens. "We were obviously tired but we managed to stick together and I made some fine saves," said goalkeeper Flavio Roma after the match.
After a sluggish start, Lens piled on the pressure with Roma dealing well with Olivier Thomert's curling shot. The leaders had another scare ten minutes later when Nigerian striker John Utaka missed from close range. Lens also had a strong second-half shout for a penalty turned down when Utaka fell in the box.
Meanwhile PSG had to come from behind to beat Nice, who opened the scoring on 16 minutes through striker Lilian Laslandes after good work by Romain Pitau. PSG had goalkeeper Jérôme Alonzo sent off after 55 minutes for a challenge on Nice midfield player Christophe Meslin, but recovered to fight back strongly.
José Karl Pierre-Fanfan headed an equaliser ten minutes from time and Argentinian defender Juan Pablo Sorín sealed the win with another header in the 88th minute.
Elsewhere, French international Benoît Pedretti scored the first goal and set up Mickaël Isabey for the second to give FC Sochaux Montbéliard a 2-0 victory over EA Guingamp as they geared up for the League Cup final next Saturday with a win. They stay fourth on 57 points.
Ligue 1 top scorer Djibril Cissé netted his 21st goal of the season and Bonaventure Kalou then answered a Toifilou Maoulida equaliser as AJ Auxerre won 2-1 against struggling FC Metz. The Burgundy side are three points behind Sochaux in fifth.
In Saturday's other games, AC Ajaccio had David Terrier sent off as they were held to a goalless draw by fellow strugglers Montpellier Hérault SC while FC Nantes Atlantique had Nicolas Gillet to thank for a late equaliser which rescued a
1-1 draw at home to SC Bastia. Le Mans UC 72 are still bottom despite securing their fifth win of the season, a 2-1 home success against Toulouse FC, who are also in the relegation zone.
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