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By ESPN Staff

Ligue 1: Montpellier level, Lyon maintain charge

Lyon maintained their impressive charge up the Ligue 1 table with a 2-0 victory over lowly Nice at Stade Gerland.

Les Gones had been beaten 4-1 by their opponents earlier in the season, but gained revenge thanks to a Lisandro Lopez strike and an own goal from Onyekachi Apam. The win ensures Lyon remain unbeaten in the league in 2010 as they close the gap to just two points.

Montpellier went level with leaders Bordeaux after an easy 3-1 win over Rennes thanks to a brace from Joris Marveaux.

Joris Marveaux bagged two goals inside the first half, but Jimmy Briand threaten to get Rennes back into the game before Souleymane Camara finished them off. In injury-time there were ugly scenes as Rennes players Abdou Kader Mangane and Asamoah were sent off.

Johan Audel's stunning volley earned Valenciennes a deserved 1-0 victory at Stade Nungesser against St Etienne.

The hosts had the better of the match throughout but were thwarted by a series of fine blocks from St Etienne keeper Jeremie Janot. It needed something special to beat the 32-year-old - but Audel duly provided that 13 minutes from time to keep his side eighth.

Lorient piled further misery on slumping Sochaux with Sigamary Diarra's header enough to claim all three points with a 1-0 win. Diarra sent a bullet header into the net in the 34th minute to inflict another defeat on a Sochaux side who entered the game reeling from a 4-0 drubbing against Lyon.

A second-half goal by Kevin Dupuis guided Toulouse to a 1-0 win and their seventh home win of the season over a Lens side whose poor away form continued. Dupuis pounced with a little over half an hour to go after Moussa Sissoko's volley had been parried and the goal was enough to claim all three points.

Moussa Maazou's goal was enough to earn Monaco all three points with a 1-0 win after they withstood a second-half onslaught from relegation-threatened Boulogne.

The visitors had the best of the game, hitting the post in the second half and forcing a number of good saves from home keeper Stephane Ruffier. But they were unable to find the net and Maazou's clinical finish four minutes before the interval separated the sides.

Nancy missed the chance to pull further clear of the Ligue 1 relegation zone as they suffered a 2-0 home defeat to bottom side Grenoble.

Yoric Ravet's powerful volley gave Grenoble the lead when Pierre Boya worked an opening on the right and, with 12 minutes remaining, Ravet scored his second of the game from a fine free-kick.

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