By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The title holders made the trip to Sochaux on the back of booking a UEFA Champions League quarter final spot and they enjoyed the perfect start upon their return to domestic action.
Brazilian striker Giovane Elber put Lyon in front after just three minutes but Francileudo levelled the scores before the break.
But in a tense second half, Lyon stole the points courtesy of Edmilson's 65th minute winner.
Paris Saint Germain kept their title hopes alive with a narrow win at bottom club Le Mans.
January recruit Daniel Ljuboja scored the only goal of the game midway through the second half to hand PSG a vital three points.
At the opposite end of the table, Guingamp produced a stunning fightback to grab a vital 4-3 success over fellow strugglers Montpellier.
The visitors forged ahead on the half hour mark through Guillaume Moullec before they had Thierry Gathuessi sent off eight minutes later.
Habib Boumago's penalty in the 45th minute extended the lead before Jerome Leroy scored three minutes into first half injury time.
After the break, Guingamp were enlivened as Oumar Tchomogo equalised on 55 minutes and Leroy scored twice to complete his hat-trick inside the final half hour.
Jerome Lafoucade scored for Montpellier in the 88th minute to set up a grandstand finale but the ten men could not conjure an equaliser.
Nantes fluffed the chance to make ground on the European spots after throwing away a two-goal lead at home to Metz.
Viorel Moldovan and Sylvain Armand had Nantes in control at the interval but second half goals from Medhi Meniri and Toifilou Maoulida earned the visitors a point.
Nice, though, kept up their hopes of a Uefa Cup spot by grinding out a 2-1 triumph at home to Rennes.
Goals from Christophe Meslin and Lilian Laslandes either side of the break had Nice in the ascendancy with Rennes claiming a consolation through Frederic Piquionne before Everson clinched the points in the final minute.
Mathieu Chalme was in fantastic form for Lille as his hat-trick earned his team a 3-0 triumph at Ajaccio.
In a dour tussle between Lens and Bastia, neither side could find a goal as they were forced to settle for a point apiece.