Ligue 1 Wrap: Lille fight for second, Sochaux denied by battling Bastia
With stuttering Monaco due to host Nantes on Sunday, Nolan Roux and Salomon Kalou got Lille off to an ideal start as they looked to secure the final automatic UEFA Champions League spot.
However, the visitors were forced to endure a nervy ending as Franck Beria and Pape N'Diaye Souare were both dismissed before Serge Aurier pulled one back.
It mattered little in the end however as Rene Girard's men held on to keep the pressure on Claudio Ranieri's team and prove there is still much to play for in the upper reaches of Ligue 1 - despite Paris Saint-Germain's continued dominance.
Laurent Blanc's side, fresh from theiir Champions League win over Chelsea in midweek, made it eight league wins in a row thanks to a 3-0 victory over Reims.
Aissa Mandi had an afternoon to forget as he scored two own-goals to add to Edinson Cavani's opener as PSG continued their march to the title.
At the other end of the table, Sochaux were left to rue a Bastia comeback as they missed out on a win that would have aided their survival hopes.
Herve Renard's men were two goals to the good at the break and looked set to be closing in on Evian in 17th before Gianni Bruno and Djibril Cisse were on target for the hosts as Sochaux were denied what would have been their first away Ligue 1 win of the season.
Their failure to win was perhaps made all the more frustrating by Guingamp's defeat at home to Montpellier - goals from Siaka Tiene and Benjamin Stambouli ensuring the 16th-placed hosts are now level on points with Evian, who drew at Lorient.
Daniel Wass got the equaliser 20 minutes from time after Jeremie Aliadiere's early opener, while Bordeaux and Rennes played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Stade Chaban-Delmas.
Guillaume Hoarau and Diego Rolan looked to have set the home side on the way to victory but two goals in four second-half minutes secured Rennes a draw that moves them up to 11th.