Jeremy Pied struck a first-half volleyed goal Sunday as Lyon beat Nice 1-0 to move within three points of the French league lead.
Pied ghosted past Nice fullback Ismael Gace at the far post to volley in a cross from France playmaker Yoann Gourcuff in the 30th minute.
Lyon climbed to eighth place with 19 points from 13 matches, narrowing the gap with leader Brest.
"This championship is a bit weird," Gourcuff told Canal Plus television. "It’s very tight. You just need two straight wins or two straight losses to move up or down about 10 spots."
Meanwhile, Auxerre downed Rennes 2-1 to move into ninth place with 18 points, and Paris Saint-Germain slipped to fourth place with 20 points after drawing 1-1 with mid-standings Lorient.
Lyon threatened early with a half-volley from Gourcuff that was turned around the post by goalkeeper David Ospina after seven minutes.
The hosts dominated possession in the first half but struggled to create clear-cut chances before the opening goal, with Pied and Gourcuff missing the target with long-range strikes in the 22nd and 27th.
Lyon had the opportunity to add a second goal when Gace unintentionally tripped forward Bafetimbi Gomis in the 36th. But Ospina dived to his left to stop Michel Bastos’ penalty kick.
Ospina also denied Bastos four minutes later and midfielder Jeremy Toulalan in the 45th.
Nice took more risks in the second half, replacing Gace with forward Eric Mouloungui. The tactical move did not prevent Lyon from still having the better chances.
Ospina tipped the ball over the bar from a header by Gomis in the 53rd. The Nice goalkeeper made a fumble in the 65th, spilling the ball into Bastos’ path, but the Brazilian winger sent his lob above the bar.
Nice’s only chance came from a mazy run by Anthony Mounier, who dribbled past Toulalan and Anthony Reveillere, but Danijel Ljuboja could not knock in the Nice winger’s low cross.
"The most important thing is to have won, to try stringing victories together and to climb up the standings," Gourcuff said. "The higher we are in the standings and the better we’ll play on the pitch."
In Auxerre, substitute Julien Quercia scored the winner from a tight angle in the 86th.
Slovenia midfielder Valter Birsa put Auxerre ahead with a curling shot from the edge of the box in the 67th, before Rennes forward Jires Kembo-Ekoko equalized in the 70th by converting a rebound after his header had bounced off the post.
The victory came as a relief for Auxerre, which was in 17th place after nine rounds. Rennes missed an opportunity to snatch the lead, dropping to fifth place with 20 points.
"It’s really frustrating," Rennes coach Frederic Antonetti said. "There’s a lack of maturity because we haven’t been threatened much, yet we concede two goals."
In Lorient, Nene found the net in the last minute to salvage a point for PSG. The Brazilian midfielder took a pass from Mathieu Bodmer to fire home.
Lorient forward Lynel Kitambala tucked the ball home from close range after the defense had failed to clear a corner in the 31st.
"I’m very happy with my players’ performance," PSG coach Antoine Kombouare said. "They showed huge mental resources to rally."
On Saturday, it was: Brest 1, Sochaux 1; Caen 2, Lille 5; Marseille 1, Lens 1; Montpellier 1, Toulouse 0; Bordeaux 2, Nancy 1 and Monaco 0, Arles-Avignon 0.
The match between Valenciennes and Saint-Etienne was postponed because of a wet pitch.