Paris: Saint-Etienne joined Marseille and Bordeaux at the top of Ligue 1 on Sunday thanks to a goal eight minutes from time from Fabien Lemoine that gave them a valuable 1-0 win at Lens.
Last season`s runners-up Monaco got some welcome cheer after a dismal start to their campaign with a narrow 1-0 victory over Brittany side Guingamp while Lille and Montpellier battled to a scoreless draw.
In the final match on Sunday, champions Paris Saint-Germain host Lyon at the Parc des Princes in a bid to move alongside Lille on 12 points and one adrift of the leading trio.
At the Louis II stadium on the Cote d`Azur, former Sporting Lisbon coach Leonardo Jardim guided Monaco to their second win in six days thanks a goal seven minute before half-time from Nabil Dirar.
The team, who celebrated their return to European football after almost a decade with a 1-0 win over Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen in midweek Champions League action, picked up maximum points in the league for only the second time this season.
They are now up to 15th with a return of seven points from six matches.
Saint-Etienne, who won the last of their ten French titles back in 1981, edged past promoted Lens following a dismal Europa League 0-0 draw at Azerbaidjan side Qarabag on Thursday and now await Bordeaux in a top-of-the-table clash at their Geoffroy-Guichard stadium on Thursday.