Paris St Germain's title hopes were dealt a major blow in a defeat by Lille, while Auxerre took a significant step towards avoiding Ligue 1 relegation as many of their basement-battle rivals dropped points on Sunday
Two goals in eight second-half minutes saw third-placed Lille deal a heavy blow to 10-man PSG's Ligue 1 title hopes.
Javier Pastore put PSG in front in the 48th minute only for Mamadou Sakho to see red for a foul in the area, allowing the electric Eden Hazard, who was watched by representatives of both Manchester United and Manchester City, to draw the sides level from the penalty spot with 20 minutes left. Nolan Roux converted the winning goal soon after.
The result leaves Montpellier five points clear at the summit, while Lille are now just two points adrift of Sunday's opponents in the race for automatic UEFA Champions League football.
Jean-Guy Wallemme's Auxerre gave their survival hopes a huge lift with a superb 4-0 demolition of fellow relegation battlers Brest.
All the goals came in the first half, with Edouard Cisse, Olivier Kapo, Alain Traore and Roy Contout all on target to hand Auxerre their first win in four.
The hammering marked a nightmare start for interim Brest coach Corentin Martins, who was promoted from his position as the club's director of sport on Thursday following the sacking of coach Alex Dupont.
Auxerre remain bottom but are now three points from safety, while third-bottom Brest remain just a point behind 17th-placed Ajaccio.
Caen remain dangerously close to the relegation zone after playing out a 1-1 draw with mid-table Nancy .
The visitors got their noses in front with a goal from Mbaye Niang, but Benjamin Moukandjo equalised nine minutes from time to ensure the points were shared.
The draw leaves Caen just two points above the bottom three with four matches remaining.
Three goals in the last five minutes failed to alter the destination of the points as Rennes collected a fourth win in a row with a 3-1 defeat of relegation battlers Ajaccio.
After Ajaccio's Samuel Bouhours was dismissed in the 11th minute, Julien Feret's 27th-minute goal looked like being the only one of the match.
But there was a late flurry as Razak Boukari and Ilan traded strikes before Yacine Brahimi settled it in injury time.
Bouhours was given a straight red for a bad challenge on Jonathan Pitroipa, almost immediately handicapping the away side, who ended the day a point above the drop zone.
Nine-man Sochaux's bid to escape relegation suffered another setback as they were soundly beaten 3-0 at home by Bordeaux.
Jussie set Bordeaux on their way with the opening goal in the 12th minute and Nicolas Maurice-Belay doubled the lead in the 62nd minute with a penalty in an incident that saw Sochaux midfielder Sebastien Roudet sent off.
Things then quickly went from bad to worse for the hosts as they lost a second player, Modibo Maiga, to a red card two minutes later before Bordeaux wrapped up the scoring 21 minutes from time through Henri Saivet.
St Etienne kept alive their hopes of Europa League qualification with a 1-0 win over strugglers Dijon.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the only goal at the end of the first half as his club boosted their chances of a top-four finish.
Dijon, however, are facing a battle of a different kind with the club just one point above the bottom three with four matches remaining.
Valenciennes took a significant stride towards safety with a workmanlike 2-0 win over 10-man Nice.
Foued Kadir's tap-in and Didier Digard's own goal were sufficient to see off Nice, who played much of the match with 10 men after the early dismissal of Kevin Anin for violent conduct.
Valenciennes are now seven points above the drop zone with four matches remaining, while Nice - who began the day level on 37 points with their hosts - stay four points above the relegation places.