Lille's title defence was all but ended after they crashed to a 2-1 defeat at Lyon tonight.
Lyon bounced back from their Champions League exit in midweek as Alexandre Lacazette and Lisandro Lopez got the goals to boost their hopes of returning to the competition next season.
Aurelien Chedjou replied for the Ligue 1 champions just before half-time but even after Lyon defender Dejan Lovren saw red on 71 minutes they failed to find an equaliser.
The defeat leaves Lille eight points adrift of leaders Paris St Germain who can extend their advantage when they travel to third-from-bottom Dijon tomorrow.
St Etienne moved up to fourth with a 2-1 comeback win at Valenciennes in a match that saw both teams reduced to 10 men in the first half.
Valenciennes lost Carlos Sanchez to a fourth-minute red card but numbers were evened up in the 33rd minute when Jean-Pascal Mignot was also dismissed and the home side then took a 69th-minute lead through Vincent Aboubakar.
However, two goals in four minutes from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (73) and Bakary Sono (77) gave St Etienne the win which lifts them two points above Toulouse, who could only draw 1-1 at home with Lorient.
Lorient scored both goals as Lucas Mareque put through his own net before innocent Emeghara earned the visitors a point and end Toulouse's three-match winning streak.
At the other end of the table, Sochaux caretaker boss Eric Hely proved an instant success as his side climbed off the foot of the standings with a 3-2 victory at Evian.
Sochaux sacked Mehmed Bazdarevic in midweek and installed Hely who today helped the club end their 14-game winless streak.
While they fell behind to Cedric Mongongu's 24th-minute penalty a Brice Djadjedje own goal and strikes from Vincent Nogueira and Edouard Butin claimed a much-needed win.
Cedric Cambon did pull a goal back 20 minutes from the end but a determined Sochaux held on for the win.
Sochaux are now three points behind 16th-placed Nice and 17th-placed Nancy, who drew 1-1.
Daniel Niculae headed Nancy in front after 12 minutes from Yohan Mollo's free-kick but Franck Dja Djedje equalised before half-time.
In today's other match, Bordeaux beat Brest 2-0 thanks to goals from Yoan Gouffran and Jaroslav Plasil.
Brest had a chance to set up a tense finale for the visitors when they won a 76th-minute penalty, but Bruno Grougi's effort was saved.