Ligue 1 leaders Lille moved provisionally seven points clear at the summit with a comfortable 3-1 win over Caen at Stade Metropole.
Yohan Cabaye missed a first-half penalty for the hosts but strikes from Aurelien Chedjou, Eden Hazard and Moussa Sow secured the points to mark a week that saw manager Rudi Garcia handed a new contract in fine style.
Youssef El Arabi got a late consolation for Caen who remain just a few places above the relegation zone.
Third-placed Rennes lost further ground as they were held to a goalless home draw by fourth-bottom Auxerre.
Frederic Antonetti's side have seen their tilt at the French crown dented in recent weeks by a 2-0 home defeat to Marseille and a 1-1 draw with Lyon. And they showed little sign of getting back on track tonight as they failed to break down their struggling visitors, who grew in confidence and posed the greater threat towards the end.
Goals by Benjamin Moukandjo and Chu-Young Park earned a vital 2-0 win for Monaco against a desperate Arles team who had to play for 88 minutes with just 10 men.
Gregory Lorenzi was given a straight red card in the second minute for a foul on Park when he was the last defender, and it set the tone for the Avignon side who have just one league victory this season.
Paris St Germain's Champions League qualification hopes suffered a setback as they failed to find a way past Lorient in a 0-0 draw.
The hosts carved out plenty of chances but were denied by a combination of poor finished and an impressive display from goalkeeper Fabien Audard. Lorient might even have snatched victory in stoppage time, but Morgan Amalfitano could not find a way past Gregory Coupet in the home goal.
Nancy continued their impressive run of form by holding Bordeaux to a goalless draw to pull further clear of the relegation battle they were very much a part of only a few weeks ago.
A stalemate seemed the least likely outcome during the opening seconds of the game as Nancy striker Djamal Bakar tested Cedric Carrasso in the Bordeaux goal with the first effort of the encounter.
An injury-time winner from Brown Ideye helped Sochaux to a dramatic 2-1 win over Brest.
Ryad Boudebouz put Sochaux ahead with a seventh-minute penalty, before Bruno Grougi levelled with a spot-kick of his own midway through the second half. Then with seconds left, Ideye's clinical volley earned the points to put Sochaux in the top half of the table, when it had looked as though they were headed for a draw.
In the late game, Montpellierbroke a four-game winless run with a 1-0 victory away to Toulouse, with Souleymane Camara netting the winner in the 75th minute.