Goals from defender Landry N'Guemo and substitute Bakaye Traore earned Nancy a 2-0 win over Caen and a useful three points in the congested Ligue 1 relegation battle.
The hosts went into the game just three points above the drop zone and three points behind their opponents. But N'Guemo gave them a half-time advantage and, after Caen's Sambou Yatabare was sent off, Traore's clincher lifted them six points clear of the bottom three after a dominant display.
Lyon continue to put pressure on the Ligue 1 leaders thanks to a 2-0 victory at mid-table Sochaux.
Lisandro Lopez and Miralem Pjanic scored the goals which extended Les Gones' unbeaten run to seven matches in all competitions. The win moved Lyon a point behind joint leaders Lille and Rennes, although the former play their game in hand against Valenciennes.
Eric Mouloungui scored the winner to earn Nice a 1-0 victory over fellow strugglers Auxerre and move them seven points clear of the Ligue 1 drop zone.
Mouloungui volleyed home Anthony Mounier's cross just after the hour mark to leave the visitors, Champions League participants earlier this season, three points above the bottom three.
Auxerre had hoped last weekend's win over title hopefuls Paris St Germain would prove a turning point in their disappointing season, but instead it looks to have been another false dawn.
A controversial penalty set St Etienne on their way to a 2-0 victory at home to Brest.
Bakary Sako converted the 35th-minute spot-kick, but Brest had reason to feel very hard done by as replays suggested Alejandro Alonso dived to win it. Their anger boiled over, with coach Alex Dupont getting sent to the stands before Dimitri Payet sealed the win late on.
A late goal from Remy Cabella rescued a well-deserved point for basement side Arles in an entertaining 3-3 clash with Lorient.
Having trailed to Camel Meriem's opener, the visitors hit back with strikes from Morgan Amalfitano, Sigamary Diarra and Kevin Gameiro to take what appeared to be a healthy lead. But Arles belied their league position as Yann Kermorgant reduced the deficit before Cabella equalised 10 minutes from time.
Federico Santander scored the only goal of the game as Toulouse ended their four-game losing run at relegation-threatened Lens.
Santander struck with 15 minutes remaining when he headed home a Fode Mansare cross. It meant Toulouse secured an overdue victory and while they look safe from relegation with a 10-point buffer above the bottom three, Lens' predicament is more concerning.