A hat-trick by Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic inspired French champions Paris Saint Germain to a 4-2 win over Toulouse on Sunday and their first away victory in Ligue 1 since January 11.
Ibrahimovic's treble -- which took him to 22 goals in Ligue 1 this season -- and one from Argentinian Ezequiel Lavezzi, Toulouse's two being scored by Wissam Ben Yedder -- restored their five point lead over Monaco, who had beaten Reims 3-2 on Friday, and extended their unbeaten run in Ligue 1 to 10 games.
Lille overtook Saint Etienne and into third on 46 points after Sunday's late goalless draw with Lyon.
Toulouse remain 11 points above the relegation zone, but remain without a home win since the end of November.
PSG coach Laurent Blanc, who selected the same starting XI as he had done for last Tuesday's 4-0 away win over Bayer Leverkusen in their Champions League Last 16 clash, said nothing surprised him about Ibrahimovic.
"He is not just a goalscorer he is also a formidable passer of the ball," said Blanc.
"I am not sure whether this is the best season of his career but the statistics are really impressive (he also has 10 goals in the Champions League)," added the 48-year-old.
Both sides took time to settle and created little of note until the hosts were presented with a clear chance to open the scoring but Danish international striker Martin Braithwaite made a complete mess of it by missing an open goal from half a yard out.
PSG made them pay for that as Uros Spajic took Ezequiel Lavezzi's legs from under him in a clumsy challenge on the half hour mark leaving the referee no choice but to book the Serbian and award a penalty.
Ibrahimovic duly drilled it down the middle to put them 1-0 up.
PSG went close to doubling their lead in the 38th minute as Blaise Matuidi stormed forward and saw his shot from the left side of the penalty area beat the 'keeper but come back off the post.
The visitors were then guilty of as bad a miss by Braithwaite's as Ibrahimovic worked some space on the left and put in a low cross which beat the 'keeper but Thiago Silva sent his effort from two yards out wide.
Toulouse took advantage of this let off as a minute from half-time an unmarked Ben Yedder leveled for the hosts with a super right-footed volley from Etienne Didot's cross.
PSG retook the lead in the 56th minute as Lavezzi scored with a smartly-taken shot inside the box after Ibrahimovic had torn through the Toulouse defense to pass to Matuidi, and though the latter's back heel failed to come off it fooled the Toulouse defense and fell to the Argentinian who finished with aplomb.
The visitors put the result beyond doubt in the 68th minute as the outstanding Ibrahimovic -- who had just had an outrageously bold long range effort tipped over the bar by Zacharie Boucher -- rose to head home Yohan Cabaye's freekick.
However, Toulouse pulled a goal back four minutes later as Braithwaite found Ben Yedder and he slotted the ball home, although he looked to be well offside, but despite PSG's protests the referee gave it.
Ibrahimovic finally put the game to bed three minutes from time as he knocked home the ball after his penalty had been saved by Boucher.
AC Ajaccio goalkeeper Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa will leave the Ligue 1 team during the current transfer window, or at the latest in the summer. The Mexican international has been guarding the Corsican-based team’s net since 2011 and has on many occasions earned league top XI honors for his skills.
Sources close to the keeper have assured ESPN.com that there is a serious offer in the works, however, it is not a transfer to Toulouse as the French media have portrayed. What is a given is that Ochoa will not renew his contract with Ajaccio at the end of the season. If Ochoa does not transfer during the winter window, he will leave the team when the season concludes.
At this time there is a good offer on the table for Ochoa. However, the offer is from a league outside France which would complicate the process Ochoa is undergoing to obtain French citizenship. Toulouse sounds like a big possibility in France, but the truth is that neither the team, nor his agent have received a firm offer for the player.
Interest for Ochoa has emerged from various leagues in Europe, but not of the prestige that the player and Mexico fans are looking for. But there is interest from important clubs, these are the offers that the player and his agent are analyzing.
As far as the three French teams that are in the running for the keeper’s services, the source did not want to release the names. Toulouse is the only team that is public in the media, the other three have not reached the ears of the French or Mexican press.
PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has escaped a ban for his controversial 'gun gesture' during the French's club match against Toulouse in September.
Ibrahimovic's were taken note of and the LFP summoned the Swedish international before a disciplinary committee to decide what action to take.
The former Barça man was accused of making a 'gun gesture' towards the Toulouse bench during the Ligue 1 clash.
However, the striker has escaped any 'major' punishment,with the LFP instead opting to reprimand the Swedish star.
An LFP statement read: "Upon hearing the player's representative Olivier Letang and Mr Roman Voillemot (Counsel) and reading the letter of explanation from Toulouse FC, the commission has sanctioned for Mr Zlatan Ibrahimovic a reprimand for his inappropriate gesture towards the Toulouse FC bench."
The decision now means that Ibrahimovic will now be able to travel with the squad for the trip to Saint Etienne this weekend.
Coach, Laurent Blanc will be hoping that Swede continues his
fine recent form as the French champions look to cement their place at
the top of the table.
There were no fans in the stands and no goals in the game as big spending Monaco and Toulouse played out a score-less draw at the Stade Louis II stadium.
Monaco were forced to play the game behind closed doors following their crowd trouble in their clash with Le Mans last season and while there was no fear of a repeat this time round Claudio Ranieiri’s side would have liked to have troubled Toulouse keeper Ali Ahamada more during the game.
The Principality headed into the game as joint leaders and while they move one point ahead, Ranieri will be concerned by his side’s failure to take their chances.
In total Monaco managed just 5 shots on target with a further 9 sailing wide, their dominance reflected further by the fact that the visitors failed to muster a single shot on target.
The best chance of the game fell to Yannick Carrasco, with the young Belgian midfielder scooping the ball over when it looked easier to score, while Jeremy Toulalan saw a 30 yard pile driver hit the cross-bar and out to safety.
Colombian striker Radamel Falcao tried his luck from distance on a number of occasions but failed to test Ahamada.
The result leaves Toulouse sitting in 14th still searching for their first win while Monaco drop their first points of the season.