Monaco overcome Le Mans to go clear
By Peter ORourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Spanish striker Fernando Morientes got Monaco off to a flying start with the opener after just five minutes, but Le Mans hit back drawing level three minutes later through Daniel Cousin.
Two minutes later Le Mans stunned the home side going in front courtesy of Laurent Peryrelade's strike.
Monaco drew level on 21 minutes with Cousin's putting through his own net with an unfortunate own goal.
Sebastien Squillaci fired Monaco in front for the first time on 65 minutes and Thabang Molefe made sure of the win with the fourth five minutes from time.
Marseille lost ground on Monaco after going down 1-0 to Bordeaux at Parc Lescure.
Jean-Claude Darcheville netted the only goal of the game right on the stroke of half time to condemn Marseille to defeat.
Lyon warmed up for their UEFA Champions League clash with Bayern Munich next week with a resounding win over Nice at Stade Gerland.
Juninho Pernambucano sent the reigning champions on their way with the opener on 24 minutes and Florent Malouda doubled the lead three minutes later.
The visitors hopes suffered a blow when Romain Pitau was sent off after 31 minutes and Lyon made their numerical advantage count with two further goals before the break from Giovane Elber (39) and Sidney Govou (45).
Brazilian midfielder Juninho added his second on 73 minutes to complete the rout for Paul le Guen's men and leave them in good health for the trip to Munich on Wednesday.
Guingamp grabbed a priceless three points with a shock 3-1 win at Lille.
Kemal Bouhrani fired the visitors in front on 64 minutes and Nicolas Gousse added a second six minutes from.
Bouhrani made sure of the win with his second and his side's third two minutes from the end before Benoit Cheyrou netted a late consolation for Lille in the final minute.
Toulouse dropped into the bottom two after going down 3-0 at home to Auxerre.
The hosts got off to the worst possible start with striker Eduardo Da Silva putting through his own net after just seven minutes.
Former Feyenoord winger Bonaventure Kalou doubled the lead on 24 minutes and Philippe Violeau completed the win with the third in stoppage time.
Montepellier stunned Nantes with an impressive 4-1 win.
Sylvain Armand gave Nantes hope pulling a goal back on 62 minutes, but Habib Bamogo restored the three goal lead ten minutes from time to seal the win.
Ajaccio grabbed a precious point in their battle to climb away from trouble with a 1-1 draw at Bastia.
Jocelyn Gourvennec fired Bastia in front on 37 minutes, but Hoalid Regragui earned Ajaccio a point with a 63rd minute equaliser.
Strasbourg missed the chance to close the gap on the leading pack after being held to a 1-1 draw by Rennes.
Swiss striker Alexander Frei opened the scoring after 26 minutes for Rennes, but Mamadou Niang grabbed a point for Strasbourg with an equaliser on 71 minutes.
Pierre Alain Frau's early goal gave Sochaux a narrow 1-0 win at Metz.
The French Under-21 striker netted after just 12 minutes to give the visitors all three points
Click on fixture for full match summary
Bastia 1-1 Ajaccio
Bordeaux 1-0 Marseille
Lille 1-3 Guingamp
Lyon 5-0 Nice
Metz 0-1 Sochaux
Monaco 4-2 Le Mans
Montpellier 4-1 Nantes
Rennes 1-1 Strasbourg
Toulouse 0-3 Auxerre
Click here for updated league table