Kevin Gamerio scored the only goal as Strasbourg beat Angers 1-0 on Sunday to boost their Champions League ambitions as Monaco missed another chance to keep touch with the leaders after a goalless draw at home against lowly Lorient.
Strasbourg were one of the winners of the weekend as victory at Angers propelled Julien Stephan’s team just one point behind third-placed Nice, who missed the chance to move second with a 2-0 defeat to Lyon on Saturday.
Gameiro’s superb volley after 11 minutes was enough to seal the three points giving the former Paris Saint-Germain, Sevilla and Valencia striker his fifth goal in four league matches.
PSG on Friday stretched their huge lead at the top of the table to 16 points. Second-placed Marseille play at Metz later on Sunday.
Kylian Mbappe’s injury time winner sealed a 1-0 win for PSG over Rennes before their Champions League knockout round showdown with Real Madrid.
Monaco stalled at their Louis-II Stadium, a week after losing 2-0 to Lyon, with this latest setback keeping Philippe Clement’s team in sixth, sandwiched between Rennes and Lyon, on the same number of points.
The Principality side could have moved up to fifth had they got the better of Brittany side Lorient who came to the Riviera on a run of seven consecutive away defeats in the league.
The stalemate allows third-placed Nice to maintain a five-point advantage on Monaco.
“We lacked efficiency in front of the goal,” said Clement. “It’s always difficult to play against Lorient, who have proven themselves against Lens and PSG in recent weeks.
“The standings? It’s always the same! We have to stay focused on ourselves and do the maximum to win.”
Lorient remain just above the relegation zone, equal on points with Saint-Etienne, who moved off the bottom of the table with a 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Clermont.
“We bent, but we did not break,” rejoiced Lorient coach Christophe Pelissier.
“We are launched in our preservation operation”.
Nantes pocketed a narrow 1-0 victory over Reims, whose central defender and captain Yunis Abdelhamid was sent off in the first quarter of an hour for a nasty tackle on Fabio.
Moses Simon slotted in the resulting free kick, leaving the Canaries eighth, two points behind Lyon.
Cedric Hountondji gave promoted Clermont the lead against Saint-Etienne just before the break but Mahdi Camara equalised after 71 minutes and Timothee Kolodziejczak scored the winner eight minutes from time.
Clermont are 15th, three points ahead of Troyes, who crashed 5-1 at mid-table Brest.
Uruguayan striker Martin Satriano, on loan from Italian champions Inter Milan, scored a first half brace for the Bretons, with Franck Honorat grabbing two more after the break.