Ligue 1 round-up
Montpellier moved a point clear at the top of Ligue 1 while Paris St Germain were held to an eight goal thriller at Lyon.
Last Updated: 25/02/12 10:54pm
Montpellier moved a point clear at the top of Ligue 1 after they recorded a slender home win while Paris St Germain were held to an eight goal thriller at Lyon.
There were also wins for Ajaccio, Evian, Nice and Valenciennes while Auxerre were held at home.
Carlo Ancelotti's Paris St Germain lost their slender lead at the top of the Ligue 1 standings despite salvaging a point in a sensational 4-4 draw against Lyon at the Stade Gerland.
Guillaume Hoarau opened the scoring with a low shot before Bafetimbi Gomis notched his 10th goal this season to level things up.
Argentine striker Lisandro Lopez gave Lyon a 2-1 lead in the 36th minute before Brazilian winger Michel Bastos fired a volley into the top corner to make it 3-1 four minutes later.
But back came the Capital giants and they pulled a goal back from the penalty spot as midfielder Nene took his tally to 12 goals by converting on the stroke of halftime.
Lyon winger Jimmy Briand then put the hosts 4-2 up just before the hour mark, before substitute Marcos Ceara reduced the deficit to 4-3 in the 73rd minute to set up a grandstand finish and Hoarau bagged his second goal of the game in the 94th-minute to rescue a point in a thrilling top of the table clash.
Hoarau's last-gasp goal was a sucker-punch for Remi Garde's Lyon, who now lie five points behind third-placed Lille having played a game more in the battle for Champions League qualification.
John Utaka headed an 80th-minute winner as Montpellier climbed above Paris St Germain to the top of Ligue 1 with victory over Bordeaux.
The Nigerian powered home Marco Estrada's corner to keep the hosts firmly in the title hunt.
Montpellier almost extended their lead as Belhanda's shot flew inches over the top, but one proved enough.
In the day's other games Nice ended a six-match winless run as Anthony Mounier's header early in the second half proved enough for all three points against 10-man Caen at the Stade Municipal du Ray.
The three points took Nice out of the bottom three on goal difference and established Mounier as their top league scorer with five goals.
For Caen, defeat saw them drop one place to 12th and ended a three-match unbeaten run, with the loss compounded by the dismissal of Aurelien Montaroup in the 57th minute.
Valenciennes scored twice in three second half minutes to take all three points against gutsy Lorient.
Substitute Mamadou Samassa scored with a powerful strike in the 78th before midfielder Renaud Cohade capitalized on a counterattack to beat Lorient goalkeeper Fabien Audard in the 81st.
Nancy's tumble towards relegation trouble continued with a hurtful 2-0 defeat by Evian.
Kevin Berigaud struck twice in three first-half minutes in Annecy to condemn the visitors to a defeat which leaves them further entrenched in the bottom three.
Evian, meanwhile, climb towards mid-table after a potentially crucial victory which lifts them up the congested standings.
Ajaccio gave their survival hopes a boost as two goals in two second-half minutes proved enough to see off Dijon at the Stade Francois-Coty.
The Corsicans had not won any of their last three league games after a revival either side of the winter break gave them hope of avoiding an instant return to the second tier, but goals from Eduardo (53) and Johan Cavalli (55) put them in command before Dijon pulled one back through Bernard Kumordzi.
Auxerre dropped to second from bottom after an inspired performance by St Etienne goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier ensured the game finished goalless.
Ruffier single-handedly denied Laurent Fournier's side in the first half with the hosts desperate to claim only their second victory in 13 games.
However, a draw was no disgrace given St Etienne have been on such good form, having won eight of 11 games coming into the clash.