Paris Saint-Germain laboured to a 1-0 victory over rock-bottom Troyes to move a step closer to the Ligue 1 title.
Coming off their away-goals Champions League exit to Barcelona, PSG seemed to find the Stade de l'Aube somewhat less inspiring than the Camp Nou and afforded Troyes the better chances in the first half.
However, Blaise Matuidi's 65th-minute strike eventually sank his former club to send PSG 10 points clear of Marseille before L'OM travel to Lille on Sunday.
Lorient breathed life back into their fading European hopes with a convincing 4-1 victory over in-form Bastia.
Christian Gourcuff's Lorient had slipped down to eighth after winning just once in six matches but they picked up a valuable three-point haul thanks to goals from Yann Jouffre, Benjamin Corgnet and a late brace from Jeremie Aliadiere.
Mid-table Bastia, who had won four of their previous five matches and scored 12 goals in their last three, had pulled a goal back when 2-0 down through Anthony Modeste but that was all they had to show for their trip to the Stade du Moustoir.
Bordeaux put a major dent in Montpellier's European hopes as they claimed a 4-2 win at the Stade Chaban-Delmas.
Ludovic Sane put Les Girondins ahead in the 11th minute and two quickfire goals from Cheick Diabate and Jaroslav Plasil had them 3-0 up before the half-hour.
Remy Cabella pulled a goal back in first-half stoppage time but Henri Saivet restored the three-goal advantage before Benjamin Stambouli netted a late consolation for the defending champions.
The result leaves Montpelier four points behind fifth-placed Lille, while Bordeaux are a further two points back following their win.
Goals by Nicolas Fauvergue and Diego earned Reims a 2-0 win which eased them away from the relegation zone and left hosts Brest deeper in trouble.
Fauvergue opened the scoring just before the half hour and Diego curled in a superb free-kick with 13 minutes to go to complete the scoring.
Two late goals gave Evian a 4-2 win over Rennes which could prove vital in their battle for survival.
With the drop very much on their agenda, Pascal Dupraz's men were a point clear of the bottom three entering the last 12 minutes of this game.
Milos Yinkovic and Yannick Sagbo quickly changed that, though, with Evian ending the night three points ahead of the pack and able to look ahead to their midweek Coupe de France quarter-final with a little more optimism.
Before the late surge they had got and squandered the lead twice, with Jean Kana-Biyik's own goal and Kevin Berigaud's strike scrubbed out by Julien Feret and John Boye.
No lasting damage would be done, though, with Evian getting the reward their display deserved.
Nancy missed the chance to haul themselves out of the drop zone after being held to a 1-1 draw at fellow relegation-battlers Ajaccio.
Nancy, who for so long looked doomed to relegation this season, have enjoyed a resurgence in recent weeks and came into this encounter seeking a sixth win in seven.
Patrick Gabriel's side began brightly with Paul Alo'o putting them in front inside five minutes, but they were swiftly pegged back by Mehdi Mostefa's leveller as the points were shared.
Nancy remain a point shy of the final position of safety with six games remaining, although their fans will be happy enough with that given their travails earlier in the campaign.
Ajaccio's supporters will be less enthused, however, with their team now nursing a run of one win in eight that leaves them only four points clear of trouble.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report