Rennes find the winning momentum
Rennes finally strung together two consecutive Ligue 1 victories with a confident 3-0 home success against Bastia on Sunday that moved them clear of the drop zone.
It was the first time this season that the Brittany outfit achieved three straight wins in all including their French Cup quarter-final success over Lille on Thursday.
The hosts dominated from the outset with Romain Alessandrini opening the scoring after 14 minutes and Swedish striker Ola Toivonen doubling their advantage on 28 minutes.
Cameroonian midfielder Jean Makoun rounded off the scoring after 59 minutes.
Bastia had to wait until the 84th minute for their first real chance as Ivorian midfielder Romaric's free-kick found Francois Modesto alone in front of goal, only for the French defender to miss the target.
It ensured a valuable three points for Rennes who are now provisionally in 12th position before Lille play Guingamp later Sunday.
The Corsican outfit remain in 10th position.
Lyon meet Saint-Etienne in the Rhone derby later Sunday, which will have a major bearing on the battle for European qualification.
Monaco suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat away to Evian on Saturday to leave Paris Saint-Germain 13 points clear at the top of the Ligue 1 table with just seven games left.
Toulouse missed the opportunity to leapfrog Marseille into the top six as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Ajaccio in Corsica.
The visitors had fallen two goals behind as Ricardo Faty and Gadji Tallo netted for Ajaccio, but Issiaga Sylla pulled one back before Clement Chantome, the on-loan PSG midfielder, equalised.
But Toulouse missed a great chance to win the game when Jonathan Zebina saw a stoppage-time penalty saved by Guillermo Ochoa in the home goal.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Odair Fortes scored to earn Reims a 1-1 draw at home to Lorient, for whom Vincent Aboubakar netted a first-half penalty, while there were goalless stalemates between Montpellier and Valenciennes and Nantes and Bordeaux.
On Friday, champions PSG took another step towards retaining their title and warmed up for next Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg at home to Chelsea by winning 1-0 at Nice.
A Timothee Kolodziejczak own goal early in the second half at the Allianz Riviera allowed the capital club to stretch their club record-breaking run of consecutive wins in all competitions to nine.
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