Marseille came from behind to win 2-1 at Sochaux and climb to second place in Ligue 1 on Saturday night.
Andre-Pierre Gignac netted both goals for Marseille against a Sochaux side who have picked up 24 of their 28 points at home this season. Brown Ideye gave the home side the lead but Gignac scored in first-half stoppage-time and again after 70 minutes to clinch three points.
The win moved Marseille above Paris St Germain and to three points behind leaders Lille.
The Parisians were held 0-0 by a stubborn Lens side who nevertheless remain in the bottom three. Guillaume Hoarau saw his header come back off the woodwork in the first half, which was as close as PSG went to scoring.
Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho was among the spectators as his team's Champions League opponents Lyon crushed St Etienne 4-1 in the late-evening match.
St Etienne went ahead through Carlos Bocanegra, but Lyon were in front by half-time thanks to a volley from Bafetimbi Gomis and Moustapha Bayal's own goal, and added to their lead in the second half with strikes from Michel Bastos and Jimmy Briand.
Lyon jumped from sixth place at the start of the day to fourth, while St Etienne dropped a place from fifth.
Monaco won for the first time this year, 3-1 at home against Lorient, to emerge from a Ligue 1 slump and end their visitors' perfect start to 2011. Goals from Igor Lolo, Thomas Mangani and a late penalty from Chu-Young Park saw off Lorient, to secure Monaco's fourth win of a league campaign in which they have also drawn 12 games.
Kevin Gameiro for the visitors cancelled out Lolo's early opener, but Lorient were then second best as Monaco, still in the relegation zone despite their victory, gave a strong performance. Lorient had Jeremy Morel sent off in stoppage-time for his foul on Jean-Jacques Gosso which handed Monaco their spot-kick.
Nancy eased their relegation concerns with a 3-1 win over an Auxerre side whose winless streak extends back to mid-November.
Both sides had been in freefall heading into the fixture, with Nancy having lost their four previous Ligue 1 fixtures and Auxerre showing few signs of arresting their slump. Nancy swept into a two-goal lead inside the opening quarter of an hour, with goals from Julien Feret and Alexandre Cuvillier, and Youssouf Hadji made it 3-0 early in the second half before Ireneusz Jelen scored Auxerre's consolation.
Romain Hamouma scored a minute from time as Caen, another side in trouble towards the foot of the table, claimed a 2-1 win at Bordeaux.
Hamouma headed home Thibault Moulin's cross to give Franck Dumas' side their fourth away win of the season. Kandia Traore had given the visitors the lead before Anthony Modeste equalised for Bordeaux, who were heading for their sixth home draw of the campaign before Hamouma's late intervention.
Montpellier, hoping to qualify for Europe, were held to a goalless draw at Ligue 1 basement side Arles.