After failing on its Champions League debut, Rennes is finding its domestic form again with Sunday’s 3-0 win at Lorient moving the club up to fifth place.
Rennes also missed out on securing a spot in the Europa League amid a run of bad form. But coach Julien Stephan’s side has bounced back with three straight wins and is level on points with fourth-place Marseille, which has a better goal difference.
After center half Damien Da Silva opened the scoring midway through the first half with a low shot, midfielder Benjamin Bourigeaud made it 2-0 midway through the second with a fine angled shot into the bottom left corner. Forward Martin Terrier rounded off the win in the 75th minute when he cut in from the left and curled the ball into the opposite corner.
Sixth-place Montpellier lost some ground on the front-runners after drawing 2-2 at midtable Brest, with striker Andy Delort grabbing a late equalizer for Montpellier.
Monaco snapped a streak of three straight defeats with a 1-0 win at Dijon thanks to an early goal from German forward Kevin Volland, who was set up by striker partner Wissam Ben Yedder. Monaco climbed up to seventh place.
In other matches, it was: Saint-Etienne 2, Nimes 2; Strasbourg 0, Bordeaux 2; and Nantes 1, Angers 1.
Later Sunday, defending champion Paris Saint-Germain was at Lille without the injured Neymar and with striker Kylian Mbappe starting on the bench after passing a late fitness test. A fifth defeat of the season would leave PSG four points behind Lille at the top of the league.
On Saturday, title candidate Lyon won 4-1 at Nice to make it 13 games unbeaten.