Alexandre Lacazette was on target again as Lyon strengthened their position at the top of the French Ligue 1 table with a 2-0 victory at second-bottom Lens.
Jean-Philippe Gbamin’s own goal put the visitors on their way in the 22nd minute and Lacazette doubled the lead from the penalty spot four minutes later. That was the seventh successive match where Lacazette has found the back of the net and it helped Lyon extend their advantage at the top of the table to four points over Marseille, who are in action on Sunday.
St Etienne and Paris Saint Germain, in third and fourth respectively, are also playing on Sunday so in-form Monaco took advantage to close the gap on the European spots with a 1-0 win over Nantes. Bernardo Silva scored the only goal of the game 17 minutes from time as Monaco made it nine wins from an unbeaten 10-match run in all competitions.
Leonardo Jardim’s men are now two points behind PSG, with sixth-placed Montpellier a further four points back following their exciting 3-2 win at Metz. Lucas Barrios was the hero for Montpellier with a hat-trick as the 2012 Ligue 1 champions came from behind to claim the spoils at the Stade Saint-Symphorien.
The Paraguay striker set the visitors on their way with a 17th-minute penalty but struggling Metz – without a win in their previous eight league games – hit back with goals from Yeni Ngbakoto and Gaetan Bussmann to take a 2-1 lead going into the break.
Montpellier drew level eight minutes into the second half, though, when Barrios slotted home his second and the former Borussia Dortmund striker netted the winning goal in the 70th minute, following up from close-range after Morgan Sanson’s 25-yard effort had ricocheted back into his path off the post.
At the other end of the table, Caen snapped an eight-game winless streak with a 4-1 home victory over Reims. The promoted club, whose previous win came back in October, have propped up the table for much of the season, but their confident thumping of Reims leaves them only two points of safety.
Alaeddine Yahia and Sloan Privat caught the visitors cold with goals in the first eight minutes and, after Gaetan Charbonnier responded with a penalty, Yahia added Caen’s third. The second half remained tense until Bengali-Fode Koita struck a fourth goal from the spot and suddenly survival appeared to be a real possibility for Patrice Garande’s men once again.
Also on Saturday, Lorient beat Lille 1-0 thanks to Raphael Guerreiro’s second-half strike while Toulouse battled back to draw 1-1 with fellow relegation battlers Bastia, Ali Ahamada’s own goal being cancelled out by Martin Braithwaite’s 77th-minute equaliser.