Champions Girondins Bordeaux looked a pale shadow of their best when they were held to a goalless home draw by lowly Boulogne in Ligue 1 on Saturday.
The leaders, who created chances but looked clumsy in front of goal, even survived a few scares against the northerners, second from bottom in the 20-strong league.
Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh found the net with a header from a free kick in added time but was ruled offside.
"We know we're not at the same level as Bordeaux but we resisted well and even had a few opportunities," Boulogne coach Laurent Guyot told French television channel Canal Plus. "Of course, we would have liked to win but we must remain humble. A draw here at Bordeaux is a very good result for us."
Montpellier boosted their chances of securing Champions League qualification as they eased to a convincing 2-0 victory over Marseille later on Saturday night.
They dominated the match against their more illustrious opponents and have now cut Bordeaux's lead at the top of Ligue 1 to six points and remain two better off than Lille in third.
Karim Ait-Fana gave Montpellier the lead in the second half and an own goal by Benoit Cheyrou secured the three points which keep alive the possibility of an incredible journey from Ligue 2 last season to the Champions League in 2010-11.
Lille, who had lost their last three matches in all competitions, bounced back with a 1-0 win over Racing Lens in a northern derby to go second, if only for a few hours. They are now eight points behind Bordeaux.
Belgium winger Eden Hazard lived up to his reputation as one of Ligue 1's most exciting players by resisting the challenge of two defenders to score Lille's winner after 23 minutes.
There was crowd trouble following another derby, won 3-2 by Monaco over Riviera rivals Nice who had Argentine defender Renato Civelli sent off for a second booking in added time.
Visitors Nice had their chances but despite a brave effort they lost and some 200 of their supporters invaded the pitch at the final whistle. They were pushed back by security.
A flurry of second-half goals saw Toulouse keep themselves in the race for European qualification as Le Mans remain in the relegation zone.
The game was goalless at half-time but Paulo Machado and Andre-Pierre Gignac put the visitors 2-0 up. Idir Ouali gave Le Mans hope of salvaging something from the game only for Colin Kazim Richards to put a seal on the victory.
Rennes moved up to eighth in the Ligue 1 table as they hammered 10-man Grenoble at Route de Lorient.
Frederic Antonetti's side had only secured one point from their last three games but they ended that poor run as Romain Danze, Sylvain Marveaux (2) and Ismael Bangoura found the net.
Nancy recovered some pride following their shock midweek Coupe de France exit at the hands of lower-league opposition by posting a deserved 1-0 win over Lorient at Stade Marcel-Picot.
Youssouf Hadji scored the only goal of the game five minutes before the interval to secure a win that sees Nancy climb to 12th place in the standings, two points behind Lorient, who have now lost two league games in succession.