Olympique de Marseille failed to join the leaders at the top after suffering defeat in snowy conditions at Stade Auguste Bonal, whilst Montpellier's revival continues
Saint-Etienne made it six league games without victory as they salvaged a point against Toulouse in a keenly-contested fixture at Stade Geoffrey Guichard.
The hosts went ahead early on through captain Loic Perrin, whose fierce header from new signing Yohan Mollo's cross was too much for goalkeeper Ali Ahamada. The lead, however, would last just over a minute.
Etienne Didot was teed up well by Emmanuel Riviere, and the midfielder's fine finish restored parity before Serge Aurier - reportedly tracked by Arsenal - produced a brilliant goal from the edge of the area as Alain Casanova's men went into the break 2-1 up.
Mollo then marked his debut by capping off by a well-taken goal as Sainte held on to win a point.
ESTAC TROYES 1-2 OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS
Olympique Lyonnais returned to the top of the Ligue 1 table following Paris Saint-Germain's 0-0 draw with Ajaccio on Friday, with a nervy 2-1 victory at strugglers Troyes.
Following on from Lyon's shock Coupe de France exit to amateur side Epinal last week, the Rhone club started rather more brightly this time around, taking the lead with just 11 minutes on the clock.
Maxime Gonalons - the new captain at Stade Gerland - headed in from Steed Malbranque's corner, after Michel Bastos saw an effort parried away, as Remi Garde's men asserted their authority.
Remy Vercoutre was kept busy with saves from Stephane Darbion, though 17-year-old Corentin Jean spurned a great opportunity to draw level. Nevertheless, Benjamin Nivet did just that after 38 minutes, with his first-time volley beating the Lyon goalkeeper with ease.
The visitors struggled throughout the second half, and were almost made to settle for a point before Samuel Umtiti pounced on a rebound to hand Garde's men top spot.
AS NANCY 2-2 LOSC LILLE METROPOLE
Coach-less Nancy shrugged off an early setback to pick up a 2-2 draw against Lille, who fell further behind the leaders on Saturday evening.
After Jean Fernandez had quit the club earlier this week, few thought Nancy would achieve a shock victory, though not many would either bank on Lille taking the lead after just 21 seconds.
From the off, Dmitri Payet's good work saw the France international tee up Nolan Roux, who side-footed past Damien Gregorini for the opener.
The hosts rallied, and equalised through Romain Grange after 21 minutes, whose fine effort beat Steeve Elana in the Lille goal. Payet restored the visitors' advantage soon after, before being further denied by Gregorini.
However, with time running out, it was Thomas Ayasse who denied Rudi Garcia's side victory, taking advantage of poor defensive work to fire in an equaliser.
EVIAN 0-2 STADE BREST
Evian lost their third league game in a row, as an early sending off paved the way for Brest to pick up a 2-0 viictory at Parc des Sports.
Goalkeeper Bertrand Laquait was shown a straight red card following his challenge on Eden Ben Basat after just 12 minutes, before the Israeli international coolly slotted away the resulting penalty as Landry Chauvin's side swept into the lead.
Alexis Thebaux was kept busy in the Brest goal, after a flurry of opportunities from the 10-man hosts, but they could not fashion a real chance.
Bruno Grougi confirmed the win in stoppage time with a fine goal, as he beat two defenders and struck past substitute Stephan Andersen to seal the win.
MONTPELLIER 2-0 FC LORIENT
Montpellier's rise up the Ligue 1 table continues after they beat Lorient 2-0 at Stade de La Mosson to climb into the top 10.
The champions suffered a 4-1 defeat to Lille in their final game of 2012, but showed character to sweep aside a tricky Lorient side, despite also being depleted in terms of the number of players available.
Emanuel Herrera spurned a decent opening, with Jeremie Aliadiere also profligate in front of goal, as the sides endured more than an hour of turgid play.
Gaetan Charbonnier was the hero though, as he popped up twice - his first, a low shot under Audard, and his second, a powerful finish - to hand Montpellier the victory in the last 10 minutes.
STADE RENNES 0-2 BORDEAUX
Bordeaux leapfrogged Rennes into fourth with a comfortable 2-0 win away at Route de Lorient on Saturday evening.
Under the watchful eye of QPR boss Harry Redknapp, in the stands to run the rule over want-away midfielder Yann M'Vila, the hosts were by far the better outfit in the early proceedings, as Romain Danze and Mevlut Erding saw opportunities denied.
In the second half, M'Vila's poor pass was taken advantage of, and it lead to the opening goal as Fahid Ben Khalfallah's found Yann Gouffran who turned home.
It was 2-0 minutes later, as Henri Saivet struck a brilliant shot past Benoit Costil, and ended their remarkable run of five draws in a row to move into the top four.
STADE DE REIMS 1-2 BASTIA
SC Bastia moved further away from the relegation zone with a narrow 2-1 victory over struggling Stade de Reims, who have not won for 12 league games in a row.
In an entertaining opening, Gael Courtet struck wide for the hosts, before new signing Mickael Landreau stopped well from Odair Fortes, as the former Lille custodian quickly settled into his new surroundings.
The deadlock was broken in stunning fashion, as Jerome Rothen's deep cross was met with a fantastic bicycle kick from Ilan, who fired his second goal in two games against Reims.
Florian Thauvin put the Corsicans 2-0 ahead, before Courtet reduced the deficit midway through the second half. However, the hosts could not find an equaliser, and suffered yet another blow in their top flight hopes.
OGC NICE 5-0 VALENCIENNES
OGC Nice rose to fifth place with a superb demolition of Valenciennes, who lost further ground in the race for European places on Sunday afternoon.
Dario Cvitanich broke the deadlock just before the break, after skipping a challenge from Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, before the same defender slipped up, allowing Renato Civelli to make it 2-0 after the break.
Valentin Eysseric made it 3-0 before Cvitanich easily beat Nicolas Penneteau for a fourth with 11 minutes to go, as Valenciennes crumbled in the rain.
Didier Digard wrapped up a stylish victory with a low effort through the legs of Gaetan Bong, as Nice clambered up the table with their sixth home win in a row.
FC SOCHAUX 3-1 OLYMPIQUE DE MARSEILLE
Marseille suffered a frustrating 3-1 defeat to Sochaux, whose relegation worries were eased with a hard-earned victory in a snowy Montbeliard.
Conditions deteriorated throughout at Stade Auguste Bonal, as Sloan Privat bundled home an opener past Steve Mandanda midway through the first half.
Five minutes before half-time, it was 2-0 through Cedric Bakambu after Joey Barton failed to track the rebound after a fine Mandanda save. Earlier, Souleymane Diawara saw an effort cleared off the line unluckily.
A Jeremy Morel own goal made it 3-0, before Jordan Ayew reduced the deficit with a great finish. Sochaux were reduced to 10 men late on whenn Jordan Lopy was sent off. Marseille remain third, three points behind Lyon.