PARIS (AP) – Title contenders Lyon and Marseille both dropped points in the French league on Sunday to fall further behind leader Paris Saint-Germain.
Lyon lost 3-1 to Lille to fall six points behind PSG, while nine-man Marseille salvaged a 1-1 draw with lowly Evian and now trails the leader by eight points.
''Paris is strong in this second half of the season,'' Lyon defender Mouhamadou Dabo said. ''They concede very few goals. They also have players up front like Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) who score in every match. We are not obsessed with them. We must also look behind us because there are teams like Rennes which are coming back.''
In the chase for a European spot, Rennes went level on points with fourth-place Saint-Etienne by defeating Toulouse 2-0.
PSG beat Bastia 3-1 on Friday to put pressure on its rivals, but Lyon still seemed to lack urgency at Stade Gerland in the first half, playing at a slow tempo that failed to trouble Lille.
Instead, Lille threatened in the 17th minute when Dimitri Payet outpaced the Lyon defense to be clean through on goal, but the forward's side-footed effort sailed wide.
Payet made amends by setting up the first goal in the 28th. Cameroon defender Aurelien Chedjou escaped marking with a run toward the near post and headed Payet's corner inside the far post.
On the stroke of halftime, Lille hit Lyon on a fast break to double the lead. Payet fed midfielder Florent Balmont, who buried a low drive into the bottom corner.
Lille made it 3-0 in the 50th with a penalty from Salomon Kalou, after Lyon center back Milan Bisevac blocked a shot from Lucas Digne with his hand.
Argentine striker Lisandro Lopez pulled one back by converting a penalty in the 57th after Lille defender Franck Beria had tripped him. But Lille goalkeeper Steeve Elana preserved his team's lead by palming away a powerful shot from Lopez in the 32nd and a close-range effort from Bafetimbi Gomis in the 67th.
''We showed that we were not dead yet and that we shouldn't be buried too quickly,'' Lille coach Rudi Garcia said. ''I think we deserved our victory. We were smart tactically. We showed solidarity and ambition.''