Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri believes the second half of the season has been difficult for every side in Ligue 1 - except for Paris Saint-Germain.
James Rodriguez struck a double for Monaco as they cruised to a 3-1 win over Nantes on Sunday, a result which means league leaders PSG will not be able to seal another title with a win next week.
While Ranieri agreed Nantes had their moments, with the struggling visitors putting seven shots on target to Monaco's four, the Italian coach was thrilled to move six points clear of third-placed Lille with six rounds remaining following a gruelling run of fixtures since the turn of the year.
"It was a very important game," Ranieri said after the match.
"We played well even though we were in trouble on the attacks from Nantes. With three points won tonight, we are six ahead of Lille.
"There were some difficult moments, as there have been since the start of the season. But that's normal, because there are no easy games. It's not possible to play the whole season at 1,000 kilometres per hour. I always say that the second half of the season is always more difficult. For everyone, except PSG.
"We played well, we scored three goals, and were compact against a good Nantes side. We were better in winning back possession. I'm satisfied."