Rennes maintained its lead in the fight for a place in the Champions League by defeating Lorient 5-0 on Sunday to reclaim the third position in the French league.
In the 17th minute, Benjamin Bourigeaud scored with a half-volley into the top of the goal.
Martin Terrier extended the advantage two minutes later with a superb finish, his 21st league goal, one behind leading scorer Kylian Mbappe.
In the 47th minute, Rennes captain Hamari Traore made it 3-0 by heading in a cross from Bourigeaud.
Bourigeaud, one of the league’s most underappreciated players, is enjoying a career year with nine goals and 12 assists.
In the 58th minute, Nayef Aguerd was sent off for fouling Lorient attacker Armand Lauriente, who was coming down on goal.
Flavien Tait extended the advantage in the 79th minute with a twisting long-range shot before Gaetan Laborde scored on a counterattack to win the victory in stoppage time.
“We made a few blunders in prior games,” Tait admitted to Amazon Prime Video. “Here, we recovered our defensive fortitude, and we battled for one another.”
Rennes is tied on points with Monaco and three points behind second-place Marseille.
The top two French teams go to the Champions League group stage, while the third-place team advances to the lucrative European competition’s third qualifying round.
Lorient remains three points clear of the drop zone.
Also on Sunday, Nice defeated Troyes 1-0 in the fourth minute of stoppage time to remain two points behind Rennes.
Nantes defeated relegation-threatened Bordeaux 5-3 after coming back from a 2-0 deficit. In the 76th minute, Nigerian striker Moses Simon gave Nantes a 4-3 lead before Osman Bukari put the game out of reach with a downward header in the 89th.
The backside Metz’s winless record now stands at 13 games after falling 1-0 at midtable Brest. Algerian winger Youcef Belaili scored the game’s lone goal in the 27th minute, converting a cross. Metz ended with nine men after goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja and defender Jemerson were sent off in the second half.
Clermont-Ferrand climbed two points above the relegation zone after a 2-2 draw with Angers. Clermont overcame a 2-0 deficit thanks to goals from Mohamed Bayo in the 71st minute and Luca Da Cunha in the 82nd.
The 34th round concludes on Sunday with Reims vs Marseille and Lille versus Strasbourg.
Paris Saint-Germain secured a record-tying 10th league championship on Saturday, drawing 1-1 with Lens.