Marseille finished the match with nine men and failed to take advantage of struggling opposition as a 1-1 draw with Evian saw them continue a poor run with their challenge at the top of Ligue 1 faltering.
Things had looked good for the visitors, who started the match in third place, when Andre-Pierre Gignac put them ahead five minutes after the break.
However, the lead lasted just eight minutes before Yannick Sagbo levelled from the spot after Kassim Abdallah had fouled Saber Khelifa, with the defender also given a straight red card as the last man.
Marseille's miserable afternoon continued 15 minutes from time when Jordan Ayew was sent off after being awarded his second yellow card and they have now taken just two points from three games and find themselves eight points behind leaders Paris St Germain.
Lyon are now six points off top spot after suffering a surprise 3-1 home loss to Lille.
Aurelien Chedjou headed the visitors in front after 28 minutes and they doubled their advantage through Florent Balmont seconds before the break, converting Lyon coach Remi Garde's half-time address into crisis talks.
But whatever he said did little good as Salomon Kalou fired in a penalty five minutes into the second half.
Lisandro Lopez got one back from the penalty spot seven minutes later but nothing would come for Lyon in open play and Lille saw the game out.
In the day's other game, two late goals by Romain Alessandrini and Mevlut Erding guided Rennes to their first victory in three games as they beat Toulouse 2-0.
Their dominance of the league was assisted by Atletico Madrid, who went down to a shock 2-1 defeat at city rivals Rayo Vallecano.
Second-placed Atletico - who had lost just one of their last 10 - were never in the game with Radamel Falcao's last-gasp strike a mere consolation, while defensively their inability to stop and defend crosses into the box was their downfall.
In contrast, Rayo defended bravely and showed why they are so imperious at home, with an impressive attacking display to register their fifth victory in their last six matches at the Estadio Teresa Rivero.
Real Sociedad boosted their push for a Europa League place as goals from Antoine Griezmann and Imanol Agirretxe saw off Real Zaragoza 2-1.
Zaragoza left-back Hector endured a nightmare league debut, sent off for two bookable offences after only 22 minutes to deal his team, already a goal down, a blow from which they would not recover.
Griezmann had opened the scoring after 11 minutes and Agirretxe doubled it shortly after the hour mark, with Zaragoza made to wait until deep in injury time for Apono to get their goal from the penalty spot.
Espanyol climbed above Athletic Bilbao as they capitalised on a miserable day for the Basque side with a surprise 4-0 away win.
Athletic had plenty of chances and possession but no luck and Espanyol took full advantage with goals from Hector Moreno, Victor Sanchez, Christian Stuani and Joan Verdu, the latter following up on his own missed penalty.
Victor Alvarez set up the second and third goals within seconds of each other, and only moments after coming on as a substitute, and then won the penalty from which Verdu scored.
Aurelio Andreazzoli suffered a 3-1 defeat by Sampdoria in his first match as Roma coach at Comunale Luigi Ferraris.
Andreazzoli, who was put in charge after Zdenek Zeman was sacked earlier in the week, saw the size of the task in hand as Samp showed more hunger and desire to get the three points which moved them further away from the relegation zone.
Marcelo Estigarribia gave Sampdoria the lead in the 56th minute and Gianluca Sansone doubled their advantage after Roma's Pablo Osvaldo missed a penalty and Erik Lamela had a goal disallowed.
Lamela did reduce the arrears in the 75th minute, but Mauro Icardi sealed the win for the Blucerchiati just two minutes later.
The three points take Sampdoria seven points clear of the drop zone while Roma's hopes of qualifying for Europe next season may now rest on their progress in the Coppa Italia with six points separating them from the top five.
Udinese beat Torino 1-0 thanks to Robert Pereyra as they increased their unbeaten home record to 11 games in a row at the Stadio Friuli.
Pereyra scored with practically the first chance of the match, pouncing on Antonio Di Natale's parried shot to beat Torino goalkeeper Jean-Francois Gillet on the rebound.
Francesco Guidolin's side remained in control of the game without needing to score a second goal to take the points while Torino struggled to create chances.
The result means Udinese climbed up to seventh in the overall standings, four points adrift of a place in Europe next season.
Cagliari picked up a crucial point in their battle against relegation at the expense of an AC Milan side whose recent resurgence was stalled by a 1-1 draw at the Is Arenas.
Victor Ibarbo gave the Sardinians the lead on the stroke of half time before Mario Balotelli responded from the penalty spot after Cagliari had Davide Astori sent off.
But, despite a late siege on the Cagliari goal, the Rossoneri were unable to find a winner leaving the home side four points clear of the drop zone.
Palermo came from behind to avoid what would have been a painful defeat at home to fellow relegation strugglers Pescara and secure a 1-1 draw.
It was the first point for Alberto Malesani, who was appointed earlier this week to replace Gian Piero Gasperini, after he saw his new side fall behind to a goal from Birkir Bjarnason in the 73rd minute.
But Diego Fabbrini levelled 10 minutes from time and a strong finale to the game gave the bottom side in Serie A hope of climbing to safety, even if the point still left them rooted to the foot of the table.
Relegation-threatened Siena also claimed a point away at Bologna although they can consider themselves fortunate after they were pegged back for much of the match by the hosts.
Nigerian striker Innocent Emeghara put the visitors ahead at Renato Dall'Ara with a 33rd-minute effort only for Panagiotis Kone to level matters five minutes before the break.
Bologna had virtually all of the remaining chances but were unable to find a winner, handing second-bottom Siena a point in their battle against the drop.
Catania drew a blank against Atalanta despite dominating the clash which finished 0-0 at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia.
Lucas Castro and Alejandro Gomez both missed golden opportunities to score for the visitors in the first half before Atalanta goalkeeper Andrea Consigli made a great save after the break to ensure his side a point and a valuable clean sheet.
Parma also played out a goalless draw against Genoa but there was no shortage of chances in what was a very open match.
Andrea Bertolacci struck the post twice in the second half as Genoa were denied what would have been an important win in the battle against the Serie A drop.
He hit the woodwork in the 48th and 57th minutes, but neither side could find the net as the afternoon ended in frustration for the visitors, who remained just above the relegation zone.
Inter Milan moved up into fourth with a regulation 3-1 win over Chievo at the Stadio Guiseppe Meazza.
Antonio Cassano scored the opening goal for the hosts in the second minute with a long range strike before Luca Rigoni equalised for Chievo with a header in the 21st.
Inter were quickly back ahead, though, thanks to Andrea Ranocchia's header five minutes later, with Diego Milito's 50th minute strike from the middle of the box enough to seal the win.
Pavel Krmas scored late in the game to hand Freiburg victory over Fortuna Düsseldorf, a result that lifted the hosts to fifth place in the Bundesliga.
Krmas converted the only goal of the match - only Freiburg's second in four matches since the winter break - in the 87th minute.
The home side hit the post before and after that goal as they had the best of the chances.
Victory took Freiburg to 31 points, level with Mainz and Hamburg, while Düsseldorf remained on 24 points, eight clear of the drop zone.
Sascha Molders scored a second-half equaliser but relegation-threatened Augsburg could not find the winner they needed against 10-man Mainz.
Adam Szalai had put Mainz ahead two minutes before the interval, but the visitors were reduced to 10 men in first-half stoppage time when Shawn Parker was sent off for a bad tackle on Augsburg substitute Michael Parkhurst.
The hosts soon capitalised on their extra man, Molders restoring parity 12 minutes after the restart, but they could not force a winner.
Augsburg are nine points behind fourth-bottom Fortuna Düsseldorf.
Ajax were frustrated by lowly Roda JC as they failed to take advantage of PSV Eindhoven's draw on Saturday.
Eredivise leaders PSV took just a point at Vitesse Arnhem but Ajax failed to make inroads and had to settle for a 1-1 draw of their own on home turf.
Adil Ramzi gave strugglers Roda a 39th-minute lead before Daley Blind grabbed a 54th-minute equaliser.
FC Twente had the chance to replace Ajax in second but they too were held, 1-1 by FC Zwolle.
Twente took control in the 11th minute when Dusan Tadic scored only for Denni Avdic to convert a penalty nine minutes from time.
Feyenoord went into third place as a result of their 3-1 success against visiting AZ Alkmaar.
Strikes from Jean-Paul Boetius and Roy Beerens cancelled each other out before AZ's Nick Viergever was sent off in the 67th minute.
That opened the door for Feyenoord, who took advantage through Jordy Clasie (72) and Tonny Vilhena (90).
NEC Nijmegenn were comfortable 3-0 winners at Utrecht, with Melvin Platje, Erik Falkenburg and Ruud Boymans all on target.
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