Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain saw off Nancy 2-1 in Ligue 1, while Lille beat Valenciennes 3-1.
David Beckham had to make do with a cameo substitute appearance as his Swedish club-mate stole the attention with two second-half goals, following Benjamin Moukandjo's first-half opener for the visitors.
Victory for PSG lifted them five points clear at the summit, ahead of Sunday's clash between second-placed Lyon and third-placed Marseille, while a fourth league defeat in five for their opponents left them six points adrift of safety.
Lille came from behind to beat Valenciennes 3-1 at the Stade du Hainaut and extend their Ligue 1 winning streak to five matches.
Maor Melikson had given mid-table Valenciennes a first-half lead, but Rudi Garcia's men slipped into another gear after the break, with goals from Ronny Rodelin, Tulio de Melo and Benoit Pedretti earning the three points.
Lower down the ladder, Evian responded to coach Pascal Dupraz's pre-match pleas with an emphatic 5-1 win over fellow strugglers Sochaux to move out of the relegation zone.
Dupraz had claimed that psychologically the game was "worth a thousand points", with Evian lying three points behind their opponents who occupied the last position above the drop zone.
By the time Cedric Barbosa and Saber Khelifa had scored twice apiece, Kevin Berigaud adding another to render Cedric Bakambu's 53rd-minute equaliser irrelevant, Evian had jumped two places to 16th and it was their shell-shocked opponents who were left residing in the bottom three.
Brest remained looking over their shoulder at the relegation places after losing 1-0 at home to Toulouse. Landry Chauvin's side headed into the game five points above the drop zone but Adrien Rabiot's goal on the stroke of half-time - coupled with Evian's win - saw Brest's margin over the bottom three shrink to just two points. Toulouse, meanwhile, climbed to 11th.
It was a dramatic night in the lower reaches and a woeful display from Reims goalkeeper Kossi Agassa helped Troyes lift themselves off the foot of the table and drag the away side ever closer to the drop zone after a 4-2 win.
Goals from Corentin Jean and Julien Faussurier put the home two in front with an hour gone before a late scoring spree, including Jean's second and a late effort from Mohamed Yattare added to the excitement.
Nicolas de Preville and Odair Fortes were on target for the visitors, making it 2-1 and then 3-2.
Finally, Ajaccio moved clear of the danger zone as Ronald Zubar's second-half goal earned them a 1-0 victory over Lorient. The former Wolves defender lashed home a powerful shot in the 75th minute.