Lyon's faint hopes of Champions League qualification were all but extinguished on Sunday when they were held to a 1-1 draw by relegation-threatened Brest at Stade Gerland.
Victory would have taken Lyon to within six points of third-place Lille with three games remaining, but they are now eight points behind the French champions and appear destined for a fourth-place finish at best.
Brest, meanwhile, climbed out of the relegation zone at the expense of Auxerre, although they have now played a game more than Auxerre and second-bottom Dijon, who are both just a point behind them.
France coach Laurent Blanc revealed in a television interview broadcast on Sunday morning that Yoann Gourcuff still stands a chance of being selected for Euro 2012, and it was the Lyon playmaker who made the breakthrough in the 37th minute.
Lyon left-back Mouhamadou Dabo was given time to cross from the left wing and his centre was met with a well-directed diving header from the injury-plagued Gourcuff, who claimed only his second goal of the season.
The French Cup winners could not hold on, however, as Gregory Lorenzi equalised for the visitors in the 75th minute, slamming home from close range following a left-wing corner.
In the day's other afternoon kick-off, Ajaccio let slip a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 at fellow promoted side Evian, which left the Corsican outfit three points clear of the relegation zone.
Paris Saint-Germain can take over from Montpellier at the Ligue 1 summit by winning at mid-table Valenciennes later on Sunday.
Any victory would be enough to take Carlo Ancelotti's side top of the table on either goal difference or goals scored, with Montpellier due to visit fifth-place Rennes on Monday.