PARIS (AFP) - Lyon jumped four places to eighth in the French top flight on Sunday, their highest position of the season so far, after a 1-0 win at home to an unadventurous Nice side.
Young winger Jeremy Pied put Lyon ahead in the 30th minute when he volleyed in Yoann Gourcuff's cross.
The hosts won a dubious penalty shortly afterwards, after Bafetimbi Gomis went down easily in the box, but Michel Bastos's spot-kick was pushed onto the post by Nice goalkeeper David Ospina.
Pied's goal proved sufficient, however, and allowed Claude Puel's team to close to within three points of leaders Brest and move level on points with champions Marseille, who have a game in hand.
"We delivered a very good first half. It's a pity not to have doubled the score," said Puel. "It's not the first time we had a lot of chances and had to be satisfied with the minimum. But the most important is to have taken the three points.
"It's important to move closer to the summit but for the moment it's not the position which is the most important but the number of points between us from the leaders."
Earlier, a last-minute goal from in-form Brazilian forward Nene earned Paris Saint-Germain a 1-1 draw at Lorient that moved the side from the capital up to fourth.
Kevin Gameiro had already hit the bar for Lorient with a delicate lob before the unmarked Lynel Kitambala pounced at a corner in the 32nd minute to put them ahead.
The visitors carried a consistent threat going forward though, and Lorient goalkeeper Fabien Audard had to produce spectacular saves to keep out headers from Guillaume Hoarau and Mathieu Bodmer either side of the interval.
PSG felt they should have had a penalty when Mevlut Erding fell under a challenge from Jeremy Morel and moments later it took a finger-tip save from Gregory Coupet to deny Sigamary Diarra and keep Paris in the game.
Coupet's save acquired greater significance in the final minute, when Nene controlled Bodmer's header across goal before firing into the bottom-right corner to rescue a point for Antoine Kombouare's men.
"You can see that we never give up and we have a team that hates to lose, which is good," said PSG coach Kombouare.
There were worrying scenes on the PSG bench as France international striker Hoarau collapsed in the aftermath of Nene's equaliser, but he walked back to the changing room unaided after receiving attention from medics.
"Guillaume banged his head in the first half," said Kombouare.
"He carried on playing on the adrenaline but it swelled up. It's better now though."
Liverpool coach Roy Hodgson was at Auxerre's home game with Rennes on an apparent scouting mission but he had to wait until the hosts took the lead in the 67th minute for a disappointing game to come to life.
Slovenian forward Valter Birsa picked the ball up in midfield before jinking past Kader Mangane and bending a sublime shot into the top-left corner with the inside of his left foot.
Rennes hit back immediately, Jires Kembo Ekoko lashing home from close range after his initial header struck the post, but there was a sting in the tale for the would-be league leaders.
Roy Contout charged into the Rennes box in the 86th minute and although he was felled by goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez, substitute Franck Quercia was on hand to tuck home the winner from a tight angle.
Both PSG and Rennes had been hoping to end the day at the head of the division, but instead they swapped places in the standings, with Paris climbing to fourth and Rennes dropping to fifth.
PSG are now two points behind leaders Brest, with Auxerre a further two points off the pace in ninth after their seventh game without defeat.
Brest held onto their lead on Saturday after Nolan Roux's equaliser earned them a 1-1 draw at home to Sochaux.
A first-half hat-trick by Moussa Sow set Lille on the way to a 5-2 win at Caen that sent the northern side up to second, while champions Marseille drew 1-1 at home to Lens and slipped to sixth.
|Coach: C. Puel|
for Michel Bastos 74'
for Y. Gourcuff 75'
for J. Pied 86'
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