PARIS (AFP) - Marseille remained on course for a first French championship in 18 years after thrashing south coast neighbours Nice 4-1 on Sunday to move two points clear at the Ligue 1 summit.
Ivory Coast winger Bakary Kone put the hosts ahead three minutes before half-time and Stephane Mbia headed home from a corner in the 52nd minute, with Lucho Gonzalez the supplier on both occasions.
Mathieu Valbuena made it 3-0 in the 71st minute, lifting the ball over David Ospina with the outside of his right foot from Mamadou Niang's lay-off, before Souleymane Diawara converted another Lucho corner with a towering header.
Emerse Fae claimed an injury-time consolation for Eric Roy's side.
All of Marseille's title rivals except Auxerre dropped points over the weekend, with Lyon and Lille drawing 1-1 earlier on Sunday, leaving Didier Deschamps's team in pole position with seven matches to play.
The Mediterranean giants have a game in hand on Auxerre, Lyon, Montpellier and Lille and will open up a five-point lead over the chasing pack with victory in their delayed match at Sochaux on Wednesday.
Despite the victory, Marseille striker Mathieu Valbuena urged caution.
"The confidence is there, we all work for each other. We know that in the newspapers tomorrow, we will be described as champions. Of course, we are in first place, but we have to remain calm," he said.
Second-placed Auxerre maintained their drive for a European place after Romanian striker Daniel Niculae smashed home in the 88th minute to bring them a 1-0 win at Nancy.
"We're five points above Lille, which is the most important thing," said Auxerre captain Benoit Pedretti, whose side must finish in the top five if they are to play European football next season.
"We have to avoid sixth place. It would be annoying to have done all that and not qualify for Europe."
Lyon captain Cris headed in from a free-kick to earn his side a point at home to Lille after they had fallen behind to a deflected Pierre-Alain Frau strike in the 62nd minute.
Both sides finished the match with 10 men, after Lille defender Ricardo Costa and Lyon defensive midfielder Maxime Gonalons were dismissed for committing two bookable offences.
"I say bravo to the players because after a European Cup match they put in a very solid performance," said Lyon coach Claude Puel.
"They gave everything that they could have given today."
Lyon, who will face Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals after knocking out Bordeaux on Wednesday, remain third on 58 points, level with Montpellier, who fall to fourth on goal difference.
Lille stay sixth, seven points shy of Marseille, while the battle for a top-three finish and a place in next season's Champions League threatens to go down to the final weekend of the season.
Defending champions Bordeaux's quest to retain their title was dealt a sizeable blow on Saturday when they lost 3-1 at Paris Saint-Germain.
Eliminated from the Champions League in mid-week and beaten by Marseille in last month's League Cup final, Bordeaux finished the weekend six points behind OM in fifth but with a game in hand.
Montpellier were held 2-2 at second-bottom Le Mans, while bottom club Grenoble's long-awaited relegation was confirmed when they lost 4-0 at Toulouse and fourth-bottom Saint-Etienne beat Sochaux 2-0 to pull 11 points clear of the drop zone.
|Coach: D. Deschamps|
|Coupe de France Review: Guingamp leave it late, Auxerre win on penalties|
|Juventus 1 Fiorentina 2: Salah double hands visitors advantage|
|New Cardiff badge to ditch Welsh dragon for ´oriental dragon´|
|Reid contract a ´real statement´ from West Ham, says Nelsen|
|BREAKING NEWS: Cisse accepts FA charge over spitting|
|Van Gaal fumes at suggestion of poor relationship with Giggs|
|Evans and Cisse charged over spitting|
|Cellino ban extended after settlement with Football League|
|Podolski could return to Arsenal, says agent|
|Van Gaal continues to stand by Evans|
|Sherwood wants blood and thunder FA Cup tie|
|QPR v Tottenham: Sandro targets early goals|
|Bradford City v Reading: Parkinson calls for best performance of the season|
|Aston Villa v West Brom: Sherwood expects repeat performance|
|Cisse apologises for spitting incident|
|Parkinson relishing Reading reunion|
|Suarez set for Anfield return|
|Toulouse deny Casanova replacement rumours|
|Reus remains a doubt for Hamburg clash|
|Evans denies spitting at Cisse|
|Robinho recalled to Brazil squad|
|Athletic Bilbao v Real Madrid: Ancelotti wants reaction|
|Milan v Verona: Hosts seek response|
|Hamburg v Borussia Dortmund: Resurgent visitors face bogey team|
|Lacazette: Lyon may sell for right price|
|Hannover v Bayern Munich: Champions prepared for battle|
|Paris Saint-Germain v Lens: David Luiz calls for focus|
|Cisse appointed Senegal coach|
|Bundesliga Preview: Immobile out to impress as Dortmund target top half|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Lyon aim to bounce back, PSG ready to pounce|
|La Liga Preview: Simeone looks to Torres, Real seek response|
|League Two Preview: Ainsworth keen to take pressure off, Burton seek return to winning ways|
|Busquets to miss Rayo clash|
|Championship Preview: Watford out for three wins in a week|
|League One Preview: Freeman issues rallying call to leaders|
|Gutierrez return lifted St James´ Park - Carver|
|Balotelli: ´Someone doesn´t like me´|
|Poyet charged by FA after Bruce spat|
|Sanchez resilience delights Wenger|
|Blanc brushes off PSG treble talk|
|Toure, Bony struggling with AFCON fatigue, claims Pellegrini|
|Gomis offers assurances over health|
|Emre can become world-class - Rodgers|
|Reid signs new West Ham deal|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: America, Alajuelense advance|
|Magath open to Rangers role|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Corinthians preserve perfect record|
|MLS and players union reach agreement|
|Wenger hails Giroud´s mental strength|
|We didn´t give Espanyol a chance - Valverde|
|Benteke eyeing FA Cup glory|
|Serie A Preview: Inzaghi under pressure, Roma eye win|
|Sturridge: ´I am ready to play every game´|
|Luis Enrique coy on Busquets injury|
|Dyche realistic after Anfield loss|
|Matuidi sets sights on PSG quadruple|
|Championship Review: Wigan boost survival hopes, Blackpool´s misery continues|
|DFB-Pokal Review: Bayern through, Bremen upset|
|Hughes: Stoke evolution is ahead of schedule|
|Allardyce: Big calls went against West Ham|
|Van Gaal defends Evans amid spitting furore|
|Pearson calls for video technology after City snubs|
|Rodgers hails Henderson impact|
|Pochettino proud of Tottenham response|
|Kluivert appointed Curacao coach|
|´Devastated´ Carver slams referee for penalty gaffe|
|Hero Hazard thrills Mourinho|
|Benitez praises Napoli ´intensity´|
|Mourinho laughs off bizarre Matic injury|
|Gutierrez grateful for reception after beating cancer|
|Pellegrini explains Kompany omission|
|Guardiola underlines respect for beaten Braunschweig|
|Second-half display pleases Wenger as Arsenal maintain top-three place|
|Martinez wants united front at struggling Everton|
|Espanyol 0 Athletic Bilbao 2 (1-3 agg): Basque club into final|
|QPR cannot keep relying on Austin, says Ramsey|
|´No problems whatsoever´ with Gomis|
|Celtic 0 St Johnstone 1: Swanson stunner shocks leaders|
|Tottenham 3 Swansea 2: Spurs bounce back from Wembley loss|
|Liverpool 2 Burnley 0: Sturridge celebrates starting return with goal|
|PSG 2 Monaco 0: Hosts sail into semi-finals|
|Newcastle United 0 Manchester United 1: Last-gasp Young strike gives visitors dramatic win|
|Lazio 1 Napoli 1: Gabbiadini on hand to spare holders´ blushes|
|Manchester City 2 Leicester City 0: Champions bounce back|
|West Ham 0 Chelsea 1: Hazard wins it for the leaders|
|QPR 1 Arsenal 2: Second-half improvement seals victory for Wenger´s men|
|Stoke City 2 Everton 0: Moses and Diouf do the damage for Hughes´ men|
|Bayern Munich 2 Eintracht Braunschweig 0: Holders ease into quarter-finals|
|Gutierrez makes comeback after beating cancer|
|Blatter calls for points deductions to punish racism|
|Evian 1 Lorient 0: N´Sikulu extends hosts´ run|
|Villarreal 1 Barcelona 3 (2-6 agg): Busquets blow sours Copa progression|
|Eredivise Preview: Schreuder issues Twente rallying call, PSV hoping to return to form|
|Barca sweat over Busquets injury|
|Gomis collapses during Tottenham game, Swansea confirm he is ´stable´|
|Ban lifted on Greek Super League action|
|AFC Champions League Review: Zeng injury overshadows Guangzhou win|
|Orlando draw up Walt Disney World link|
|Pearson pragmatic over handling of Premier League ´sideshows´|
|Robertson targeting first-team run|
|Dortmund breathe sigh of relief over Reus injury|
|Bayern can´t be caught, claims Hoffenheim chief|
|Lahm will ´definitely´ end career at Bayern|
|Pele: Brazil should copy Germany for Copa America glory|
|Dynamo hit with partial stadium ban after crowd trouble|
|Dani Alves close to Barca exit - agent|
|Injuries fail to dampen Montella´s Coppa excitement|
|Boateng turned down Barca offer|
|Atalanta replace Colantuono with Reja|
|Pogba to return against Fiorentina, Allegri confirms|
|Don´t make Costa angry, warns Allardyce|
|Pochettino wants end-of-season break for Kane|
|MLS 2015 Preview: Galaxy target defence as new boys welcome marquee signings|
|Debt-riddled Twente cop three-point penalty|
|Gladbach targeting DFB Pokal glory|
|Montreal Impact 1 Pachuca 1 (agg 3-3): Hosts through on away goals|
|Zouma can replace Terry - Mourinho|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Universitario, Libertad notch first wins|
|RB Leipzig´s attack worrying Wolfsburg|
|Jardim backs busy Monaco|
|De Boer: ´I´d only sign for an interesting club´|
|Martinez calls for unity|
|A-League Preview: Phoenix staying grounded|
|Danish FA agree to more pay negotiations|
|Rodgers feared sack before ´radical´ change|
|Chelsea turned Valencia´s head - Allardyce|
|Poyet spat was not a good look - Bruce|
|Gold ´hopeful´ over Reid deal|
|´No problem´ with Bruce, says Poyet|
|Sherwood confident in Villa upturn after derby win|
|Pulis stands by Foster after costly error|
|Boulogne 1 Saint-Etienne 1 (aet, 3-4 on penalties): Minnows´ run ends on penalties|
|Schalke want to buy Nastasic|