LOSC Lille Métropole left it late to claim a 1-0 win at bottom club AC Arles-Avignon and stay top of Ligue 1, with Paris Saint-Germain FC hot on their heels having beaten Valenciennes FC.
Arles, with just one win all season, faced a tough task even before the 53rd-minute dismissal of Jamel Ait Ben Idir but kept Lille at bay until the final throes of the game. Túlio De Melo was the hero for Rudi Garcia's side, who are now unbeaten in seven league fixtures.
Their lead is just a solitary point, though, after PSG claimed a late win of their own. Nenê had put the capital club in front two minutes after half-time against Valenciennes and subsequently struck the winner four minutes from time after Vincent Aboubakar had equalised for the hosts. Titleholders Olympique de Marseille are a further three points adrift in third having drawn 1-1 with AJ Auxerre. Stéphane Mbia was dismissed for Didier Deschamps' side six minutes before the break.
RC Lens – who lost 3-0 at Lorient FC – remain in the bottom three along with SM Caen, held 0-0 at home to OGC Nice. Montpellier Hérault SC against Stade Brestois 29 also ended goalless, while AS Nancy-Lorraine beat FC Sochaux-Montbéliard 1-0 to climb up to 13th.