French leader Montpellier moved provisionally five points ahead of title rival Paris Saint-Germain after Souleymane Camara’s early goal was enough to secure a 1-0 home win against Valenciennes on Saturday.
Camara, who has scored several times coming off the bench, was handed a start alongside top scorer Olivier Giroud and repaid coach Rene Girard after just five minutes with his eighth goal of the season.
With five matches remaining, Montpellier is edging closer to a first league title, and PSG needs to beat Sochaux at home on Sunday to close the gap. PSG, which has won only one of its past five league games, also has a worse goal difference.
Also, €30 million($40 million)-rated Eden Hazard scored his 16th goal of the season as defending champion Lille won 2-0 at Dijon. Hazard set up midfielder Rio Mavuba’s opening goal in the 39th minute before making it 2-0 with a fine run and shot in the 45th.
Lille defender Idrissa Gueye was sent off in the first half, while Dijon center half Abdoulaye Meite and midfielder Bennard Kumordzi were red-carded after the break.
Rennes won 1-0 win at Brest to climb up to fourth place thanks to a penalty from winger Julien Feret.