Paris Saint Germain eased the pressure on Paul Le Guen with a morale-boosting 2-0 win over Montpellier in the French League Cup.
Portuguese ace Pauleta broke the deadlock after just six minutes to put the home side in control.
Montpellier wasted a golden opportunity to draw level on 77 minutes when Gregory Lacombe missed from the penalty spot with Mickael Landreau saving his effort.
The visitors were reduced to ten men a minute from time when Alexis N'Gambi was sent off for a late tackle on Jerome Rothen.
PSG made the game safe seconds later when Pauleta netted his second of the contest with a header to give the capital side their first home win of the season.
Lyon eased into the quarter-finals with a 3-1 win at Caen.
Abdulkader Keita gave Lyon the lead just past the quarter hour mark, but Elliot Grandin drew Caen level on 30 minutes.
Mathieu Bodmer restored Lyon's lead on 76 minutes and in-form striker Karim Benzema made the game safe a minute from time.
Valenciennes upset Rennes with a 2-0 win to book their place in the last eight.
Goals in each half from Mody Traore (23) and Gregory Pujol (72) were enough to give Valenciennes the victory.
Lens dumped Monaco out of the League Cup with a 2-1 win at the Stade Louis II.
The Ligue 1 strugglers got off to a flying start with Abdoulrazak Boukari firing them in front after 16 minutes with a fine solo strike.
Monaco drew level on 66 minutes when Frederic Piquionne's deflected shot found the net.
Lens grabbed the winner seven minutes from time courtesy of Eric Carriere's goal.
Lens will now face Nancy in the quarter-finals.