Title-holders Lyon return to the top of the table after last night’s 4-1 home win against Sochaux, while rivals Nice could only draw with Paris Saint-Germain.
Influential midfielder Juninho Pernambucano got the goal his all-round display deserved, and France Under-21 striker Pegguy Luyindula scored two in the first-half to take the game away from Sochaux. The former Strasbourg player now has seven league goals this season, one behind fellow Lyon marksman Sonny Anderson.
In the second half Juninho saw his free kick deflected by defender Laurent Charvet into the Sochaux goal – not the perfect debut for the visitors’ defender – to make the game safe. Mickael Pagis gave Sochaux a late consolation goal. They stay in contention in sixth place, just five points off the lead.
Indeed, just five points separate the top seven teams, and with leaders Lyon, Nice and Marseille all with 39 points from 23 games it is a brave man who predicts the season’s eventual champions now.
Nice spurned their chance to retain their position at the league’s summit. They could find no way through a sturdy Parisian defence, the game at home to PSG finishing 0-0. The hosts dominated the match but were unable to find the killer ball they needed.
PSG had Alex Nyarko sent off for his second booking with minutes to spare, too late to affect the result.
Meanwhile Portuguese forward Pauleta continued his good form this season with two goals against Guingamp for Bordeaux. He leads the goal-scoring chart with thirteen. Bordeaux were eventual 4-2 winners at home, and climb to ninth place.
Monaco stay fifth as they could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to Lens. Sebastien Aquillaci bagged the equaliser after the visitors took the lead through Coriden.
Elsewhere, mid-table Nantes were impressive 4-1 winners over Sedan, and bottom team Troyes suffered further misery with a 1-0 defeat by visitors Ajaccio.
On Tuesday night Marseille drew 0-0 at form team Auxerre. Auxerre, on 37 points, would go top if they were to win their game in hand over the top three.