PSG and Sochaux on the up
Paris Saint-Germain beat Nice 2-1 at the Parc des Princes to maintain their title challenge. In Sunday afternoon's other game Sochaux moved clear of the relegation places with a thumping 3-0 win over Rennes.
Paris Saint-Germain / OGC Nice : 2 - 1
After two straight defeats in Ligue 1 which had seen them slip from second to sixth in the table and from one point behind leaders Lyon to seven points behind the champions, PSG simply had to win at home to Nice.
PSG took the lead with their first real chance of the game. With 20 minutes on the clock Ludovic Giuly unleashed a shot which Nice's Colombian international goalkeeper David Ospina could only steer into the path of Guillaume Hoarau, who gratefully accepted the invitation to head his team in front.
Hoarau's 16th Ligue 1 goal
Hoarau, called up to the France squad though unused for the two qualifiers against Lithuania, netted his 16th Ligue 1 goal of the season, drawing him to within two of France's newest cap André-Pierre Gignac of Toulouse, the championship's top scorer.
Nice equalised 15 minutes later through another unused France squad player Loïc Rémy. The club's record signing from Lyon last summer only scored once in between Weeks 11 and 29 but has now scored two in two. Rémy latched on to a poor Peguy Luyindula backpass and eventually managed to force the ball past Mickaël Landreau.
Missing several key players through injury and suspension PSG still managed to find a 52nd minute winner from the unlikely source of centre-half Sammy Traoré who headed a corner past Ospina.
PSG were worthy winners and are back up to fifth, ahead of Toulouse and four points behind Lyon.
FC Sochaux-Montbéliard / Stade Rennais FC : 3 - 0
Sochaux started the day only out of the bottom three on goal difference. Now for the first time this season Francis Gillot's men enjoy a bit of breathing space.
Sochaux moved up to 14th with this win over a Rennes side whose European hopes are fading fast. They are now seventh but five points behind sixth placed Toulouse.
Gillot elected to leave star striker Vaclav Sverkos on the bench but even in the absence of the Czech international the home side proved they have plenty of firepower.
Sochaux dominated the chance count even before they won a penalty late in the first half. Rennes midfielder Stéphane Mbia pulled Jacques Faty's shirt while trying to defend a corner.
Boudebouz wise head
Promising winger Ryad Boudebouz belied his 19 years to coolly slot home, sending Nicolas Douchez the wrong way.
Dangerous striker Mevlut Erding added a second before half-time. The Turkish international latched on to a ball from Stéphane Dalmat, in the starting eleven despite spending 30 hours in police custody in Paris earlier in the week, and Sochaux's top scorer bagged his ninth of the season.
To underline their dominance Sverkos came off the bench to replace Erding and added a third just before the end. Sochaux controlling the ball well before the Czech found the side-netting for his sixth goal in eleven Ligue 1 appearances since joing from Banik Ostrava in January.