Champions Montpellier moved into the top half of the table for the first time this season as they secured a third consecutive win at home to Bastia.
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After Marco Estrada’s sensational 14th-minute opener, second-half goals from Emanuel Herrera, Younes Belhanda and Anthony Mounier ensured the recent resurgence of Rene Girard’s side has now started to gather real momentum.
The 4-0 scoreline was Montpellier’s biggest win of the season – beating the 3-0 success over Ajaccio only last weekend – as their disastrous start has started to fade from memory.
A first goal in six games was not enough for Reims to claim a much-needed win against Lille as they drew 1-1.
Hubert Fournier’s team had failed to find the target once in their last five games, but took the lead with just six minutes on the clock through Anthony Weber.
However, just when they looked on course to claim a first win since October 6, the home side conceded an equaliser to Dimitri Payet.
Sixteen-year-old winger Neal Maupay came off the bench to score a dramatic late winner as Nice came from two goals down to claim all three points against Evian at the Stade Municipal du Ray.
Maupay was given his Ligue 1 debut in the 87th minute and duly rewarded manager Claude Puel, who saw his side move up to fourth in the table after their fifth successive home win, with a volley in the first minute of added-on time.
That looked unlikely when strikes from Yannick Sagbo and Cedric Barbosa put Evian two goals to the good inside 13 minutes, but a goal in either half from Dario Cvitanich levelled proceedings before Maupay struck late on.
Troyes picked up only their second league win of the season, 3-2 over Ajaccio to move off the bottom of the table – but came close to throwing away the victory at the death.
Jean-Marc Furlan’s side headed into the game having collected just nine points from 17 games, but raced into a three-goal interval lead thanks to strikes from Stephane Darbion, Benjamin Nivet and Fabien Camus at the Stade de l’Aube.
The visitors finally got going in the closing stages – pulling one back in the 89th minute through substitute Paul-Bastien Lasne and reducing the deficit further in stoppage time when Johan Cavalli’s free-kick flew in off the head of Troyes defender Granddi Ngoyi – but they had left their charge too late.
Brest claimed their first away win, 2-1 at fellow strugglers Sochaux.
Cedric Bakambu gave the home side the lead in the second half but goals from Kamel Chafni and Eden Ben Basat turned things in Brest’s favour.
Rennes moved into the top four of Ligue 1 after goals in either half from Julien Feret and Jonathan Pitroipa gave them a 2-0 victory over Valenciennes on Friday night.
Feret put the home side ahead after just four minutes with a fine finish and he was also involved in the build-up to Rennes’ second goal in the 70th minute, which was scored by Pitroipa.
The victory was Rennes’ first in three games and saw them move to within three points of second-placed Paris St Germain.
Valenciennes, meanwhile, remain in eighth after losing for a third time in five matches.