French Ligue One Roundup. Dec. 5
Striker Moussa Sow scored a hat trick as Lille thrashed Lorient 6-3 to move back into first place in the French league standings.
Lille has 28 points from 16 games, one more than Paris Saint-Germain, which climbed to second with a 3-1 win over Brest after goals from Nene, Mathieu Bodmer and Ludovic Giuly. Nolan Roux pulled one back for Brest.
Paris Saint-Germain and Rennes have 27 points each but PSG is second thanks to a better goal difference.
Also Sunday, Nice won 1-0 at home against defending champion Marseille after Emerse Fae scored in injury time. It was the first loss in six matches in all competition for Marseille, which dropped to fourth place with 26 points.
Lorient came from behind twice at the Stadium Lille Metropole before Gervinho put Lille in front for good in the 58th minute.
Sow, the league's top striker with 13 goals, was a threat throughout and struck the fifth in the 82nd before Pierre-Alain Frau capped his team's brilliant attacking performance in the 88th minute.
"It was a great match," Lille coach Rudi Garcia said. "But to play a great match you need two great teams and Lorient played very well too. It's a pleasure to see your team like that."
The match was originally scheduled for Saturday but was postponed because of heavy snowfall.
Lorient opened the scoring after Francis Coquelin unlocked the Lille defense with a through pass for Kevin Gameiro, who burst toward the goal and beat goalkeeper Mickael Landreau with a powerful strike in the seventh minute.
Lille leveled four minutes later when Sow met Yohan Cabaye's cross behind the defense to score with a shot at the near post.
Lille progressively took control of the match and was rewarded in the 18th after goalkeeper Fabien Audard couldn't hold on to a shot from Gervinho. Sow and Maxime Baca tried to latch onto the ball and the Lorient defender beat his own goalkeeper.
Sow thought he had scored in the 39th but his goal was disallowed for offside before Audard made a fine save to divert Eden Hazard's shot onto the post in the 44th minute.
Sow hit the crossbar one minute later and Gameiro scored against the run of play from close range at the stroke of halftime after Lille defender Mathieu Debuchy failed to clear a corner.
Lille quickly recovered as Sow struck his team's third with a header from Florent Balmont's cross in the 49th but Lynel Darcy Kitambala leveled eight minutes later after Gameiro managed to cross the ball into his path.
Lille went back in front just a minute later though, following a nice collective move concluded by Gervinho and Sow gave his team more breathing room with a clinical right-foot shot.
Frau scored his fourth goal this season after Gervinho burst through on goal and set him up with a perfect pass.
Marseille's players received a hostile welcome at Nice, with the home fans throwing bottles at goalkeeper Steve Mandanda before the start of the second half.
Marseille created several chances but lacked a finishing touch and was caught in injury time when the unmarked Fae scored from close range from Anthony Mounier's cross.
"The road is still very long and our goal now is to take the maximum of points from our last three games before the winter break," Marseille coach Didier Deschamps said.
At the Parc des Princes, Nene scored his ninth goal of the season as PSG - which has lost only one of its last 12 league games - claimed its third straight home win.
"The team showed character and confidence," PSG coach Antoine Kombouare said. "It's going to be harder and harder. Everybody is going to want to beat us."
In Sunday's late game, Saint-Etienne was held to a 2-2 draw at home by Bordeaux.
Bordeaux's Fernando headed the equalizer in the 89th minute that goalkeeper Jeremie Janot couldn't hold, the ball finishing in the net after hitting the post.
United States captain Carlos Bocanegra had put Saint-Etienne in front in the 69th minute after heading home Dimitri Payet's free kick.