Vincent Aboubakar bagged an early brace as Lorient roared to a surprise 4-0 victory over 10-man Evian.
While Lorient had lost seven of their last 10 matches in all competitions before Saturday night, Evian had won three in four and held high-flying Monaco to a draw last time out.
But the form book went out of the window as Aboubakar scored twice in the opening 13 minutes and, after Evian defender Fabrice Ehret had seen red just before the hour mark, the visitors sealed victory in the closing stages through Sadio Diallo's strike and Yann Jouffre's penalty.
The win keeps Christian Gourcuff's men one spot above the Ligue 1 relegation zone but they are now four points clear of 18th-placed Valenciennes.
Aboubakar has been one of the few positives for Lorient this season with five goals in 13 appearances, although he stated his desire this week to play a role in leading his side up the league table.
And the Cameroonian forward put his words into action with the opening goal in the fifth minute.
After some good good build up play involving Kevin Monnet-Paquet, Alain Traore then freed Aboubakar and the 21-year-old made no mistake from close range.
Lorient were then two goals to the good eight minutes later after a fast counter-attack ended with Jouffre feeding Aboubakar, who raced through on goal before firing in off the post.
Les Merlus should have been out of sight on the half hour as Monnet-Paquet went clean through but was denied in a one-on-one situation by Evian goalkeeper Jesper Hansen.
Evian's best chance of the half came shortly afterwards when on-loan Dynamo Kiev forward Marco Ruben's piledriver from the edge of the area was pushed away by Lorient custodian Florent Chaigneau.
Their hopes of getting themselves back into the match suffered a blow in the 57th minute, however, when Ehret was given his marching orders after a particularly vicious challenge on Lorient captain Bruno Ecuele Manga.
The home side were not put off and Chaigneau had to be at his best to keep out strikes from Olivier Sorlin and Jonathan Mensah.
But Lorient made their man advantage count in the 81st minute when Hansen's poor clearance allowed Jouffre to flick to Diallo, who netted from close range.
Jouffre got the goal his performance deserved to seal an emphatic victory for Lorient five minutes later.
Aldo Angoula fouled Aboubakar in the area and after referee Olivier Thual had pointed to the spot, Jouffre stepped up to slot home after sending Hansen the wrong way.