PARIS (AFP) - Former France international forward Ludovic Giuly struck twice as Paris Saint Germain continued their bid for an unlikely French title with a 4-1 drubbing of Nantes on Saturday.
Of the top title contenders in action this weekend, PSG - who flirted with relegation last season - were alone in playing Saturday but they promptly capitalised on the chance to steal a march on Lyon, Bordeaux and Marseille.
Ex-Barcelona forward Giuly fired past former PSG keeper Jerome Alonzo in the 12th minute before strike partner Peguy Luyindula doubled their lead in the 20th minute.
Djamel Abdoun scored Nantes' goal, from the penalty spot, on 36 minutes but a Giuly strike five minutes after the restart allowed Paul Le Guen's side some breathing space before a scorcher from Stephane Sessegnon on 71 minutes settled the match.
PSG's 13th win of the season from 23 games left them in third spot on 42 points, equal with second-placed Bordeaux and one point adrift of leaders and seven-times champions Lyon.
Lyon face Nice knowing there is no room for error, while the pressure could all be on Marseille when they host Laurent Blanc's title-chasing Bordeaux.
Marseille are five points adrift of Lyon and began the day in fourth spot, only to finish it in sixth after Toulouse beat Le Mans 2-0 to move up to fourth and Lille beat Sochaux 3-2 to move up to fifth.
For PSG coach Le Guen it has been a testing few days. The club on Friday suspended Serbian international Mateja Kezman for two weeks after a shirt-throwing temper tantrum during the midweek League Cup loss to Bordeaux.
This win has helped soothe the pains, but Le Guen is doing his best to keep all talk of winning the championship restricted to Lyon and Bordeaux.
"This is a real victory for us, we went out and did what we set out to do," Le Guen told Canal Plus television.
"We dominated and we were solid throughout. We created a lot of chances, and came up with a great performance a few days after our defeat on Wednesday.
"But the title? No, I think Bordeaux and Lyon are the real contenders. We want to keep niggling at them, but the question is whether we can or not."
Elsewhere Saturday struggling Saint-Etienne gave their relegation battle a boost with a precious 3-2 win at home against Caen.
Rennes, who weeks ago were firmly in the title chase, dropped two precious points in a 1-0 defeat, thanks to a last-minute winner by Amadou Alassane, away to rock-bottom Le Havre.
Monaco took a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw away to fellow mid-table side Lorient while Auxerre stayed well clear of the relegation zone with a 2-0 away win at Nancy.
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