FC Nantes Atlantique's 44-year stay in the French top flight is over after a 1-0 win at FC Girondins de Bordeaux was rendered meaningless by OGC Nice's 1-0 win against Paris Saint-Germain FC and Valenciennes FC's success by the same scoreline at home against AS Saint-Etienne.
With RC Lens - who began the day in second, ahead of Bordeaux on goal difference - being swept aside 3-0 by Olympique Lyonnais, Ricardo Gomes's side were unlikely to show any mercy to their beleaguered opponents, but Dennis Oliech's late goal salvaged some pride for Michel Der Zakarian's side. The result represents a major blow to Bordeaux as they chase a UEFA Champions League place. Lens' hopes of opening up a gap in the standings disappeared in the first half at Lyon with goals from Sidney Govou, Juninho Pernambucano and an Alou Diarra penalty settling the game.
Lens and Bordeaux's failings gave Olympique de Marseille the chance to seize second place and they took their opportunity to move two points clear of their rivals with a 2-1 win at home against AS Nancy-Lorraine. Mamadou Niang (77) put Marseille in front a minute after David Sauget was sent off for the visitors and, although Sébastien Puygrenier levelled, Djibril Cissé secured the win.
Marama Vahirua's early goal was enough to give Nice their victory while Patrick Paauwe scored the only goal in Valenciennes's narrow win. CS Sedan-Ardennes will be joining Nantes in France's second tier after their 2-1 defeat at LOSC Lille Métropole, coupled with those one-goal wins, left them unable to escape the drop. Grégory Pujol had given Sedan the lead but strikes from Michel Bastos and Kader Keita condemned them to relegation.
ES Troyes Aube Champagne are favourites to join them after their 2-2 draw with Stade Rennais FC left them five points behind Nice with two games to go. Elsewhere, FC Sochaux-Montbéliard defeated AS Monaco FC 2-1 and FC Lorient overcame AJ Auxerre by the same scoreline.
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