Paris Saint Germain slumped to a demoralising 3-0 defeat at Caen on Saturday as the humiliating prospect of relegation from the French first division loomed closer.
Second-half goals from Anthony Deroin, Reynald Lemaitre and Yoan Gouffran gave Caen the three points as PSG, coached by former Rangers and Lyon boss Paul le Guen, slipped to second from bottom of the table.
They are on 35 points with four games left and three from safety after fellow relegation candidates Lens had earlier beaten Sochaux 3-2 in a tense clash to sit just above the relegation places.
Strasbourg are third from bottom, and occupy the last relegation place, after squandering a one-goal lead at home to six-time champions Lyon before falling to a 2-1 defeat.
“Caen were superior to us,” admitted Le Guen who pledged his team will fight to the end of the season.
“All is not lost. We just have to be better in the next matches. I am the head of the team and make the decisions. I take responsibility for the choices.”
Deroin gave Caen a 51st-minute lead when he scored past PSG keeper Mickael Landreau at the far post with Lemaitre heading the second from a corner 23 minutes later.
Gouffran added the third with two minutes from time converting a long ball past the hapless Landreau to pile on the misery for PSG whose League Cup success and run to the French Cup semi-finals will count for little should they end up in the second division next season.
Lens were in front after just five minutes at their Stade Felix-Bollaert home through Adama Coulibaly before Mevlut Erding levelled four minutes after the interval for Sochaux.
Aruna Dindane restored Lens' lead in the 51st minute but Sochaux were outraged when Kandia Traore had a 66th-minute strike ruled out for offside.
Dindane then made the most of Lens' lifeline with his second of the night on 71 minutes but Jeremie Brechet found the net for Sochaux 10 minutes from time to ensure Jean-Pierre Papin's side had to endure a nervous last few moments.
Lyon's hopes of a seventh successive title were boosted with their come-from-behind win at Strasbourg for whom Wason Renteria had scored an unlikely 20th-minute opener.
The home side's hopes of a shock win, which would have aided their survival prospects, suffered a setback when Eric Mouloungui was red-carded for a second bookable offence just before the break.
Juninho hit the post for Lyon just after the restart before Mathieu Bodmer pulled the champions level in the 62nd minute from a pass by the impressive Abdul Kader Keita.
Fabio Grosso headed the winner seven minutes later from another cross by Keita.
Bordeaux, who are in second place, can cut the gap on Lyon to four points if they win at fifth-from-bottom Toulouse on Sunday.
Marseille will host Lille and will leapfrog Nancy, who only drew 1-1 with Le Mans on Saturday, with a win as the battle for Champions League places hots up.
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