PARIS: Florian Thauvin extended his brilliant run of goalscoring form to earn Marseille a 1-0 win over a resurgent Bordeaux on Sunday (Feb 18) and reinforce their push for Champions League football next season.
Thauvin headed in a corner from Dimitri Payet on 35 minutes at the Velodrome to match last season's career-best return of 15 league goals and keep Marseille within a point of Monaco in second.
Rudi Garcia's team have lost just once in Ligue 1 dating back to September going into next Sunday's showdown at bitter rivals and runaway leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
OM will then meet PSG again at the Parc des Princes just three days later in the quarter-finals of the French Cup.
Defeat for Bordeaux ended a four-match winning streak and marked the first suffered under new coach Gustavo Poyet, who replaced the sacked Jocelyn Gourvennec last month.
Bertrand Traore struck twice but Lyon fell further behind their rivals for a Champions League berth after surrendering a two-goal lead a 2-2 draw at struggling Lille.
Burkina Faso forward Traore, who joined from Chelsea last July, hit a first-half double as Lyon looked on course for a welcome victory following three successive league defeats.
But goals after the break from Nicolas Pepe and Brazilian striker Luiz Araujo earned Christophe Galtier's side a point that left Lille just one place above the relegation zone.
Lyon looked the side most capable of troubling Paris Saint-Germain after beating the league leaders in January, but a subsequent rotten run of form has left them six points adrift of third-placed Marseille.
Nice captain Dante scored his first Ligue 1 goal for the club in a 1-1 draw with Claudio Ranieri's Nantes to snap a four-match losing run.
The result bumped Nantes back up to fifth, while Mario Balotelli's Nice - who lost 3-2 to Lokomotiv Moscow in the Europa League on Thursday - are ninth after halting their recent slide.
Nantes goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu had a busy and effective afternoon but Dante got a toe to a loose ball in a scramble to give last season's third-place finishers a fifth-minute lead at the Allianz Riviera.
The 34-year-old Dante joined Nice from Wolfsburg in 2016 and this was his first strike for them in 55 league games.
The equaliser for Ranieri's visitors came courtesy of an Emiliano Sala penalty on 27 minutes as the Argentine striker netted his 11th goal of the campaign.
Atlantic coast outfit Nantes appointed Ranieri, who won the Premier League with Leicester, just ahead of the current campaign when Sergio Conceicao quit to join Porto.
PSG defeated Strasbourg 5-2 on Saturday to remain perfect at home this campaign, while second-placed Monaco thumped Dijon 4-0 on Friday.
French Ligue 1 results:
Marseille 1 Bordeaux 0
Lille 2 Lyon 2
Nice 1 Nantes 1