Lyon ensured they would head into Ligue 1’s winter break level on points with table-toppers PSG after a 3-0 win against Nice on Saturday.
Remi Garde’s men are only goal difference behind the Parisian giants at the halfway point of the season after an impressive home victory.
Argentine forward Lisandro Lopez fired Lyon into the lead after 40 minutes when he converted Bafetimbi Gomis’ assist.
Anthony Reveillere doubled Lyon’s advantage after 56 minutes before Nice goalkeeper David Ospina was sent off, effectively ending the contest.
Gomis added polish to the scoreline with his 15th goal of the season and although a red card to Lyon defender Dejan Lovren slightly soured the result, it was still a comprehensive victory for Garde’s men.
Rennes also went into the break on a high as they recorded a 4-2 come-from-behind win at Ajaccio.
Adrian Mutu’s opener after just two minutes had Rennes on the back foot and although they equalised through Julien Feret’s penalty, Fousseni Diawara restored Ajaccio’s lead.
Midfielder Romain Alessandrini scored a vital goal for the winners on the stroke of half-time though, and strikes in the second half from Cheick Diarra and Feret sealed a terrific away win for the fourth-placed Rennes.
Last season’s champions, Montpellier, head into the festive period in 11th position on the table after they were thumped 4-1 at Lille.
Dimitri Payet, Nolan Roux and Ryan Mendes all found the back of the net for the winners, who were also aided by a Daniel Congre own goal.
Souleymane Camara netted a late consolation for the losers but it mattered little as Lille jumped to seventh on the table.
Other results saw Pedrinho’s stoppage time effort give Lorient a 2-2 draw against Reims while Anthony Modeste bagged a double in Bastia’s 4-2 triumph over strugglers Nancy and Bordeaux and Troyes played out a goalless draw.