Ligue 1 round-up
Marseille's title hopes were effectively dashed, as Lens suffered relegation from Ligue 1.
Last Updated: 15/05/11 10:00pm
Marseille's title hopes were effectively dashed on a dramatic day of action in France, as Lens suffered relegation from Ligue 1 and Nancy boosted their survival hopes.
Marseille started the day four points behind leaders Lille and needed to beat Lorient to apply pressure, but they could only draw 2-2.
Loic Remy opened the scoring for Marseille, only for Lorient to respond through Lamine Kone and Kevin Gameiro.
Andre-Pierre Gignac salvaged a late equaliser for Marseille but the result leaves Lille, who won the Coupe de France on Saturday, firmly in pole position to claim a domestic double.
Lens have been languishing in the bottom three for much of the campaign and any faint hopes they retained of pulling clear were finally extinguished on Sunday following a 1-1 draw at Monaco.
Raphael Varane struck a last-gasp equaliser for the visitors, cancelling out Benjamin Moukandjo's 15th-minute opener, but it was not enough for Lens.
The result saw them slip seven points behind fourth-bottom Nancy - who were 3-0 winners against fellow strugglers Nice - with two games remaining.
Youssouf Hadji, Pascal Berenguer and substitute Bakaye Traore were the men on target as Nancy claimed a precious win, aided by the second-half dismissal of Renato Civelli.
Nancy's victory moved them out of the drop zone at the expense of Monaco.
At the other end of the table, out-of-sorts Rennes moved a big step closer to securing Europa League qualification with a 2-1 win at St Etienne which severely dented the hosts' hopes of European football.
Victor Montano's early strike had the visitors ahead and Jerome Leroy restored their advantage just before half-time after Bakary Sako had restored parity.
Back at the bottom, Caen climbed three points clear of the relegation zone with a 2-0 home win over Montpellier thanks to goals from Romain Hamouma and substitute Kandia Traore.
A late equaliser denied Valenciennes the win that could have all but assured them of their Ligue 1 status as they drew 1-1 with fellow relegation battlers Auxerre.
It was against the run of play that the hosts took an 80th-minute lead through Foued Kadir, but three minutes from time Jo-Gook Jung headed home the leveller.
Toulouse also blew another golden chance to secure their survival as Kamel Ghilas' 20th-minute strike handed relegated Arles a 1-0 triumph - only their second win of the season in Avignon.