An 89th-minute volley by Ligue 1 top scorer Olivier Giroud gave Montpellier a 1-0 win at home to Saint-Etienne on Saturday that saw them move a point above Paris Saint-Germain at the league summit.
PSG will return to the top of the table if they beat Bordeaux on Sunday evening, but Giroud's last-gasp intervention enabled Rene Girard's side to claim a first win in three games in all competitions and confirm their title aspirations.
Having been eliminated from the French Cup by third-tier Gazelec Ajaccio in mid-week, Montpellier saw their best efforts at goal thwarted by a succession of smart saves from Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier.
The visitors were reduced to 10 men when Jean-Pascal Mignot saw red for a last-man foul on Remy Cabella, however, and Giroud finally made the breakthrough at the death, lashing home a 20-yard volley for his 18th league goal this term.
Marseille ended a club-record string of seven straight defeats with a 1-1 draw at Mediterranean rivals Nice, ahead of the visit of in-form Bayern Munich for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday.
Their match began in calamitous fashion though, as Souleymane Diawara had to go off after only six minutes due to injury and his replacement, Charles Kabore, was shown a red card before half-time for a high foul on Elliot Grandin.
The draw left OM 13 points outside the Champions League places in eighth, while they face the prospect of being without both Diawara and suspended goalkeeper Steve Mandanda for Wednesday's game with Bayern.
Top scorer Loic Remy, meanwhile, remains doubtful with a thigh problem.
Lille held on to third place with a 3-0 win at Evian that lifted the defending champions to within seven points of the top, while Lyon climbed above Toulouse into fourth place by beating second-bottom Sochaux 2-1.
Eden Hazard was once again Lille's match-winner, breaking the deadlock with a 36th-minute penalty to claim his 13th league goal of the season and then teeing up Dimitri Payet for Lille's second goal in the 55th minute.
Benoit Pedretti made it 3-0 in the 67th minute with a low shot that crept over the line via the base of the left-hand post.
Improving Lyon extended their winning run to four matches thanks to a third-minute Dejan Lovren header and a cool, scooped finish from Bafetimbi Gomis mid-way through the second half against Sochaux at Stade Gerland.
Lyon, who face Marseille in the French League Cup final next month and meet Gazelec Ajaccio in the French Cup semi-finals, trail Lille by four points in the duel for the third and final Champions League place.
Elsewhere, Lorient drew 1-1 at Ajaccio, while Nancy further allayed their relegation fears with a 1-0 success at Brest.
Saturday's late game sees seventh-placed Rennes visit Valenciennes.
Source: AFP Global Edition