Lyon put a huge dent in Lille's bid to retain their French title as Sochaux collected a vital three points in their fight to avoid relegation.
In front of watching Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, holders Lille slipped to just a fourth defeat of the season after losing 2-1 at Lyon.
Alexandre Lacazette gave Lyon a 12th minute lead which was doubled on 38 minutes by Lisandro Lopez.
Aurelien Chedjou pulled a goal back for Lille in first-half injury-time before both teams struck the crossbar during the second period, while Lyon played the final 20 minutes with 10 men after Dejan Lovren was sent off.
Sochaux climbed off the foot of the Ligue 1 table following a thrilling 3-2 victory away to mid-table Evian.
The hosts took the lead through Cedric Mongongu's 25th minute penalty, but Sochaux were ahead by half-time following a Brice Dja Djedje own goal and Vincent Nogueira effort.
Eduard Butin increased the visitors' lead on 66 minutes, but Cedric Canbon's reply five minutes later ensured Sochaux endured a nervy final 20 minutes to hold on for a fifth win of the season.
Nancy moved out of the relegation places following a 1-1 draw at fellow strugglers Nice which plunged Dijon into the bottom three.
Daniel Niculae put Nancy ahead on 12 minutes before Franck Dja Djedje levelled on 37 minutes, while Djamel Bakar hit the post for the away side with 10 minutes to go.
St Etienne rose to fourth in the standings on the back of a fortunate 2-1 success at Valenciennes in an incident-packed encounter.
Valenciennes saw Carlos Sanchez sent off after just four minutes, but St Etienne's Jean-Pascal Mignot was then shown a red card on 33 minutes.
The hosts took the lead on 69 minutes through Vincent Aboubakar, who then struck the crossbar just two minutes later.
Les Verts immediately went down the other end to equalise through Pierre Aubameyang and Bakary Sako scored the winner six minutes later.
There was still time for Valenciennes to be denied by the woodwork again as Gregory Pujol struck the post with 11 minutes to go.
Lorient picked up a point in their fight for survival following a 1-1 draw at European chasing Toulouse.
Lucas Mareque's own goal gave Toulouse a 51st minute lead, but Innocent Emeghara spared his team-mate's blushes with the equaliser 10 minutes later.
Bordeaux are refusing to concede defeat in their quest to qualify for Europe following a 2-0 success away to Brest.
Yoan Gouffran fired Bordeaux ahead on 35 minutes after Michael Ciani had hit the post and Jaroslav Plasil doubled the lead three minutes after half-time.
Brest wasted a golden chance to get back into the game with 15 minutes remaining when Bruno Grougi saw his penalty saved.