Nantes took full advantage of the opportunity to make ground on Ligue 1's top four after they beat struggling Valenciennes 2-1 at the Stade de la Beaujoire.
Following an un-entertaining opening 45 minutes, the game burst into life when Jose Saez sent the visitors into a surprise lead after 52 minutes.
However, VA's lead lasted only seven minutes when Alejandro Bedoya levelled before Filip Djordjevic missed a golden opportunity to claim all three points from the penalty spot.
The Serb's blushes were spared though when Fernando Aristeguieta popped up with two minutes left to play to break Valenciennes' hearts.
In a raucous Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes dominated possession in the early exchanges as the visitors seemed content to sit back and contain their superior hosts.
However, despite both sets of centre-backs proving to be tough nut to crack, Valenciennes fashioned the first real opening of the game with 20 minutes played but, after getting down the wing and providing a superb delivery, Loris Nery's cross just failed to pick out the well-placed Jean-Christophe Bahebeck.
In what was proving to be an opening half featuring very little goalmouth action, the hosts managed to contain the in-form Djordjevic as the Serbian star struggled to make his mark on the game.
As the interval approached former Wolves midfielder Tongo Doumbia tried his luck from distance but failed to find the target in what was proving to be the story of the opening 45 minutes.
Despite that dull first half, both teams seemed invigorated by the break and it was the visitors who almost made the breakthrough with just five minutes played after the restart.
Nery was on hand again to provide a superb delivery which Arthur Masuaku met with a thunderous shot only to see his effort come back off the post with Rudy Riou soundly beaten.
However, that proved to be a warning shot as the unfancied visitors took the lead just moments later in superb fashion.
The impressive Maor Melikson picked out Saez with a neat pass and, seeing Riou off his line, the 31-year-old dispatched a wonderful half-volley to silence the home crowd.
VA's joy didn't last long though as Nantes replied just seven minutes later in fortunate circumstances.
Bedoya was allowed too much time and the American dispatched a shot which, with the help of a huge Brou Angoua deflection, upended Nicolas Penneteau and nestled in the back of the net.
In what was proving to be a more open second period, both sides continued to fashion chances but Bahebeck was guilty of wasting a great opportunity when he headed over with the goal at his mercy before Vincent Bessat blazed a volley into the crowd from a tight angle.
With 20 minutes left to play, Nantes were given a perfect opportunity to take the lead for the first time when Angoua hauled down Djordjevic inside the area but, having taken the penalty himself, the Serb saw his effort well saved by Penneteau.
However, with minutes left to play Valenciennes gave Aristeguieta the freedom of the six-yard box and the Venezuelan was left with a simple finish to steal all three points for the hosts.