Olympique Lyonnais stand atop a tightly packed Ligue 1 Uber Eats podium after wrapping up the first half of the 2020/21 season in style while LOSC Lille and Paris Saint-Germain remain hot on their heels.
Lyon extended their unbeaten run to 14 top-flight games with a 3-0 victory over FC Nantes in Round 17 to take their points tally to 36 — the most they've had at this stage of a season since they had one point more when claiming the last of the club's seven French titles in 2007/08.
"We have to come back healthy after the holidays and pay attention due to the pandemic. It'll be important to start well again as we have Lens and the Rennes four days later," said OL boss Rudi Garcia after watching Karl Toko Ekambi, Tino Kadewere and Lucas Paqueta — with his first goal for the club — all score in the first half.
"You can see the players are happy. We would like to keep playing every three days, but the break is also going to do us good."
WATCH: Round 17 highlights
Lille started the round ahead of OL on goal difference, but now find themselves behind their rivals by virtue of a single goal following their 3-2 win at Montpellier Hérault SC. After Timothy Weah had put the visitors ahead with his second league goal in three games, the duo traded strikes until Burak Yilmaz's 86th-minute winner. "Having 36 points after all the European matches we've played isn't nothing," said Lille boss Christophe Galtier, whose side have played 10 matches in a month since the November international break. "I'm really proud that we showed the mental strength and character to get the win."
Paris Saint-Germain remain unbeaten in 30 home league games against RC Strasbourg Alsace after a 4-0 win at the Parc des Princes that keeps the reigning champions in third, just a single point behind the top two — Kylian Mbappé claimed his 12th top-flight strike of the season to remain ahead of Boulaye Dia at the top of the league's goalscoring chart, but the Stade de Reims man also found the net as his side won 3-1 in Bordeaux, who have not beaten their Champagne region opponents in Ligue 1 Uber Eats since January 1978.
Rennes have hit top form since the end of their UEFA Champions League debut and racked up a fourth successive win to move fourth, four points behind PSG, thanks to Clément Grenier's second-half strike against FC Metz. It was the former Lyon midfielder's first league goal since August 2019. Olympique de Marseille lost ground again, however, and are now seven points off third following a 2-1 defeat at Angers SCO that takes Andre Villas-Boas' men into the Christmas break on a winless three-game run.
WATCH: The pick of the Round 17 goals
AS Monaco's progress up the table has been slowed in recent weeks and they were held to a 2-2 draw at home by AS Saint-Etienne meaning Niko Kovac's men have won just once in their last five, and are in sixth on 27 points. RC Lens also boast that tally — the best for a promoted side at this stage of a season since Angers in 2015/16 — following their 2-1 home win over Stade Brestois 29.
Jeff Reine-Adélaïde set a goal up and scored another as OGC Nice went 2-0 up at home to FC Lorient only to have to settle for a point as the Breton visitors found an equaliser through Adrian Grbic's 82-minute penalty at the Allianz Riviera to leave Nice in 12th. Dijon FCO scored three times in 16 second-half minutes to come from behind to win 3-1 at Nîmes Olympique, who now replace their Round 17 opponents at the foot of the table.