Substitute Martin Terrier scored the only goal of the game as Olympique Lyonnais won 1-0 at Stade Rennais to close up to a point behind second-placed LOSC.
Stade Rennais FC 0-1 Olympique Lyonnais
Bruno Genesio, soon to find out whether he'll still be the Lyon coach beyond the end of the season, got the 4-4-2 diamond out of the locker for this game against Rennes, a dress rehearsal for the midweek Coupe de France semi-final to be held in Lyon. A first away win in four was secured late on by substitute Terrier as Lyon inflicted Julien Stéphan's first home loss as Rennes coach, a major blow to the club's European hopes.
OL were on top from the first whistle and visiting captain Nabil Fekir (13') struck the post with a free-kick from 25 metres that moved in the air and had Roazhon Park mightily worried.
After starring for the Netherlands during the international window, Memphis Depay was keen to rediscover his mojo at club level but the forward narrowly missed the target on the turn (22') and then saw a shot saved by Tomas Koubek (28'). Rennes lost James Léa-Siliki to injury, replaced by Jérémy Gelin, in a first half that Lyon enjoyed the better of.
Gelin was vital to Rennes (51') when he cleared a Marcelo header off the line from a Depay corner and at the other end Gelin had a backheel blocked by Houssem Aouar (53'). Ismaïla Sarr (55' and 59') couldn't direct his efforts on goal as Rennes picked up the pace.
Tanguy Ndombele has still never scored in the league for OL after having an effort saved by Koubek (68') and then former OL star Hatem Ben Arfa threatened to be the hero, only to have an attempt saved by Anthony Lopes (82'), the goalkeeper back from the concussion he sustained at Barcelona. Lopes and OL enjoyed a huge let-off (85') when Adrien Hunou couldn't find the goal from six metres out.
Terrier, who'd stepped off the bench in the 74th minute, proved the OL hero as he concluded a superb move from close range. Bertrand Traoré had found full-back Léo Dubois and the former Nantes captain's superb cross was more than inviting.
THE PLAYER: Martin Terrier
The France Under-21s attacker has now bedded in at Lyon and his statistics are improving all the time. After a slow start to his OL career in scoring terms, the former Strasbourg man has now bagged three league goals in his last six appearances.
THE STAT: 15
This was Stéphan's first home loss in all competitions. His previous 14 matches in charge had resulted in 10 victories and four draws.