French champions Lille cut the gap to second-placed Montpellier to seven points with a commanding 4-0 win over Valenciennes.
Eden Hazard did his market value no harm with a goal and three assists and Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was reportedly in the stands at the Stade Lille-Metropole. The Premier League team have been linked with a move for Hazard - and the midfielder sparkled as Lille reclaimed third place in Ligue 1.
Hazard opened the scoring in the 18th minute and after Brou Angoua had scored an own goal, Aurelien Chedjou and Tulio de Melo completed a comfortable home win.
Toulouse climbed to fourth with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Rennes, with an own goal from Romain Danze settling the outcome.
Both sides began the day on 44 points, but Toulouse climbed above their opponents and moved up three places thanks to the unfortunate Danze's mishap a minute before the interval.
Sochaux hauled themselves off the foot of the standings with a solid 2-0 victory at home to fellow relegation scrappers Nice.
Edouard Butin hit the opener for the home side on the stroke of the interval before Marvin Martin made it two midway through the second half.