Bordeaux, touted as serious contenders to champions Lyon this season, lost ground on the leaders Sunday with a 2-1 loss at Lille for their second away defeat of the campaign.
The day’s other early match resulted in a goalless draw between Toulouse and Rennes ahead of the evening derby between Saint Etienne and Lyon.
Last season’s runners-up Bordeaux travelled north eyeing a welcome three points against a Lille side that had gone three games without a win.
But they left without a point to slip to seventh.
Bordeaux made the early running and went into a 28th minute lead with a fine piece of individual skill from Argentine striker Fernando Cavenaghi who controlled the ball with his chest before shooting past Gregory Malicki in the 28th minute.
Lille were back on level terms four minutes later after defender Adil Rami set up Michel Bastos, and Ludovik Obraniak inflicted the killer blow in the final quarter of an hour.
The result hauled Lille out of the relegation zone.
On Saturday Marseille keeper Steve Mandanda made two crucial saves in the last five minutes to ensure a 2-1 home victory against Sochaux, keeping them top of the French league championship on Saturday.
Marseille were cruising to victory through goals by Karim Ziani and Baky Kone but Mevlud Erding pulled one back on a counter attack and the same player, through and one-on-one with Mandanda with a chance for an equaliser, saw his shot brilliantly saved by the leg of the France international keeper.
Then just before the final whistle, Mandanda made a reflex save low down to his right on the goalline, from an Erding header, to once more keep Marseille’s one-goal advantage.
A modest Mandanda said: “I just tried to play to my very best. At 2-0 we started to play at a lower standard. I think we were a bit scared and could have finished the match better.”
Paris Saint Germain put last week’s stuttering draw with Sochaux behind them with a 1-0 defeat of Caen to place Paul Le Guen’s side in sixth spot.
Le Guen and the capital side’s supporters couldn’t have wished for a better start when Guillaume Hoarau shot home from close range by the near post from Jerome Rothen’s cross from the left in the fifth minute.
PSG jumped from 11th to sixth, two points behind second-placed Le Mans who handed out a 4-1 drubbing to Nantes to make it three wins from three.
Hosts Nantes, who sacked their coach Michel Der Zakarian this week, took the lead in the 21st minute via Guirane Ndaw, but that was cancelled out two minutes later by Norwegian Thorstein Helstad.
From then on it was all plainsailing for the visitors with Modibo Maiga, Mathieu Coutadeur, and Gervinho in injury time making it a night to remember for new manager Yves Bertucci’s side.
Nice, 2-0 victors over Valenciennes, and promoted Grenoble, who beat Monaco with a 19th minute goal from striker Daniel Moreira, are also unbeaten and lying third and fourth on goal difference.
Elsewhere Auxerre came away from their visit to Lorient with a 2-0 win and Nancy came from behind to see off Le Havre 2-1.