In a tense affair at the Stade de le Route de Lorient, Colombian striker Victor Montano handed Rennes the three points when he slammed home a 64th-minute penalty to delight the home supporters.

The win moved Rennes to 27 points from their 16 games and one clear of second-placed Marseille, who play Nice on Sunday.

In other Saturday matches, Arles remain anchored to the foot of the table after their 1-1 draw at home with Nancy.

Franck Djadjede gave Arles the lead after just eight minutes, but Youssouf Hadji levelled for Nancy after 26 minutes to ensure honours finished even.

Auxerre remained in ninth place on the league table after a last-gasp equaliser from defender Jean-Pascal Mignot secured them a 1-1 draw at Lens.

Alaeddine Yahia opened the scoring for the hosts after 29 minutes, but Mignot struck three minutes from the end to claim a share of the spoils.

Sochaux moved into seventh place with their 2-1 win over Valenciennes.

Brazilian defensive midfielder Carlao put Sochaux ahead after 15 minutes, and Modibo Maigo doubled their advantage 10 minutes after half-time before Carlos Sanchez pulled one back for Valenciennes on 65 minutes.

And Toulouse climbed to eighth place in the standings with a 1-0 win over Caen, who fell to 19th place as a result.

Paraguayan striker Federico Santander scored the only goal of the game for Toulouse after 66 minutes.