Ligue 1 Round-up
By Simon Fudge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Lyon returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Rennes on Wednesday.Lyon returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Rennes at Stade de Gerland.
The French champions entered Wednesday's contest still reeling from their first league defeat to second placed Lille on Sunday - a result that pulled Paul Le Guen's side back to the title-chasing pack in Ligue 1.
Despite the weekend defeat, Lyon restored their confidence by scoring the decisive goals within the space of a minute just before half time.
Highly-rated youngster Bryan Bergougnoux gave Lyon the lead on 44 minutes before Sidney Govou double the home side's advantage a minute later.
Rennes' chances of making a comeback were dented ten minutes from time when Etienne Didot was sent off for foul and abusive language by referee Stephane Lannoy.
The visitors scored a late consolation though Olivier Monterrubio, but Lyon held on for the all-important three points.
Lyon's win proved crucial in the title race after their conquerors on Sunday in Lille were held to an eventful 1-1 draw at Nice.
The visitors took the lead seven minutes before the break through a Milenko Acimovic penalty.
Lille, however, were reduced to ten men when former Arsenal defender Efstathios Tavlaridis was sent off for foul and abusive language on the hour mark.
Nice finally made the extra man pay in the dying stages when Jose Cobos levelled for the home side.
Moments later, Cobos was also sent off for using foul and abusive language.
The result extends Lyon's lead at the top to five points following Lille's draw at the Municipal du Ray.
Two goals from Benjamin Mwaruwari helped third place Auxerre see off struggling Bastia 4-1 at the Abbe-Deschamps.
Kanga Akale and Bonaventure Kalou scored the other goals for the home side, despite the Corsicans taking an early lead through Frederic Nee.
Ajaccio pulled out of the bottom three with an important 1-0 home win over high-flying Toulouse, with Waldir Lucas Pereira scoring the Corsican club's winner in the first half.
Roland Courbis's side were reduced to ten men after Mamadou Seck was sent off in the second half for foul and abusive language.
Jean-Claude Darcheville's second half strike gave Bordeaux a 1-0 win over Metz at Stade Chaban-Delmas while St Etienne were held to goalless draw at Nantes.
Bottom club Istres came from two goals down to hold Paris Saint Germain 2-2 at Parc des Princes.
PSG took a two-goal lead through Helder and Pedro Pauleta before Istres turned the match on its head with a penalty from Ibrahima Bakayoko and a late strike from Steve Pele.
Caen heaped more misery on Lens with 1-0 win at the Felix-Bollaert - Sebastien Mazure scoring the winner for the visitors.
Finally, Strasbourg's match with Monaco was called off due to a frozen pitch.
Click below for match summaries:
Ajaccio 1-0 Toulouse
Auxerre 4-1 Bastia
Bordeaux 1-0 Metz
Lens 0-1 Caen
Lyon 2-1 Rennes
Nantes 0-0 St Etienne
Nice 1-1 Lille
Paris Saint Germain 2-2 Istres
Strasbourg v Monaco (postponed - frozen pitch)
Click here for Ligue 1 table.