Montpellier enhanced their Ligue 1 title claims with a 2-1 home win over Sochaux with goals from Younes Belhanda and Souleymane Camara.
The winning margin would have been more emphatic but for a string of fine saves by Sochaux goalkeeper Pierrick Cros.
Belhanda opened the scoring after four minutes only for Modibo Maiga to level for the visitors just before the half hour with a spectacular overhead kick.
But Camara settled it 10 minutes into the second half as Montpellier remained on course to beat Paris St Germain to the title.
The win moved Montpellier three points ahead of PSG, who entertain Marseille on Sunday.
Lille's late bid to retain the title hit the skids as they suffered a 3-1 defeat at out-of-form Brest.
Les Dogues were up against it from the early stages, finding themselves 2-0 down inside 10 minutes as a spectacular Omar Daf strike and a Bruno Grougi penalty but the Brittany side in control.
Dimitri Payet pulled one back for Lille in the 27th minute but Alexandre Alphonse's goal seven minutes into the second period restored Brest's two-goal cushion, and they maintained it to finish the day three points clear of the bottom three.
Lille played the final 19 minutes with 10 men after Tulio de Melo was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Lyon moved within three points of Lille as Lisandro Lopez's brace of penalties earned them a 2-1 win over bottom side Auxerre.
The Argentinian was fouled by Auxerre goalkeeper Olivier Sorin in the box and got up to tuck in the first of his spot-kicks in the 28th minute, but Alain Traore levelled three minutes before the break after capitalising on a poor back-pass by Samuel Umtiti.
However, Lyon secured all three points when Willy Boly fouled Lopez and again he held his nerve from the spot in the 72nd minute.
Valenciennes eased their relegation fears with an eventful 2-0 win over Toulouse which featured two penalties and a red card.
Toulouse had to play the entire second half with 10 men after Franck Tabanou was sent off two minutes before the interval.
And the home side took advantage of their numerical advantage through Gael Danic (62) and a penalty from Mamadou Samassa two minutes from time, while Toulouse's misery was complete when Moussa Sissoko blazed a last-minute penalty over the bar.
A dramatic late double strike earned Rennes a 3-1 victory at Evian to boost their European bid.
The hosts led at half-time through Jerome Leroy's exquisite lob, but Youssouf Hadji equalised two minutes after the interval.
Aldo Angoula's own goal then put Rennes ahead with two minutes remaining and Mevlut Erding's injury-time goal put the seal on victory.
Bakaye Traore scored both goals as Nancy improved their chances of avoiding relegation with a 2-0 victory at Dijon.
Both teams went into the game with relegation still a possibility but it was Nancy who claimed three points and stretched their unbeaten run to six games.
That run has included impressive wins over Lyon, Paris St Germain and Montpellier and the latest victory over Dijon is yet more evidence of their determination to survive the drop.
Ajaccio recovered from a goal down to claim a potentially vital 1-1 draw with St Etienne in their battle against relegation in Ligue 1.
The Corsican side have now lost just one of their past eight games and are three points above the bottom three after Carl Medjani's 78th-minute equaliser cancelled out Florent Sinama-Pongolle's opener.