Canada striker Jonathan David scored twice to send Lille up to fifth place in the French league with a 2-0 win over struggling Strasbourg on Sunday.
David converted a penalty in the 23rd minute before flicking home a rebound in the 28th to raise his tally to 14 league goals this season.
“Jonathan is a very smart player. I think he’s very strong today when he runs into space,” Lille coach Paulo Fonseca said. “But I think that he can improve his game in the box. Make quick decisions, choose simple solutions.”
Lille won the league in 2021 but only finished 10th last season.
Toulouse proved lethal in transition to stun Rennes 3-1. Rennes has now lost three of its last four league games to slip to sixth place while Toulouse moved into the middle of the table.
Toulouse opened the scoring on a counterattack in the 27th when Rafael Ratao converted a rebound. A minute later, Morocco winger Zakaria Aboukhlal capitalized on a turnover by Arthur Theate to double the lead. Dutch striker Thijs Dallinga made it 3-0 with a first-time effort in the 37th to notch his eighth league goal.
Rennes scored a consolation goal in the 55th when Toulouse center back Anthony Rouault turned a cross from Jeremy Doku into his own net.
“I think we lacked focus, commitment and aggressiveness,” Rennes coach Bruno Genesio told the club’s website. “There’s certainly a mental aspect which is more difficult to explain.”
Reims thrashed Troyes 4-0 to move into ninth place. Zimbabwe midfielder Marshall Munetsi put Reims ahead in the 10th before setting up Myziane Maolida in the 44th. Arsenal loanee Folarin Balogun made it 3-0 with a strike into the bottom corner in the 50th to consolidate his spot as the top scorer in the league by notching his 15th goal. Jens Cajuste sealed the win in the 82nd.
Montpellier benefited from the new manager bounce after appointing Michel der Zakarian as coach on Wednesday to move five points above the relegation zone. Der Zakarian led Montpellier to a 3-0 win over his former club Brest, which dismissed him last October.
Montpellier scored with an own-goal from Brest defender Christophe Herelle in the fourth minute, a penalty from Teji Savanier in the 17th and a half-volley from Elye Wahi in the 54th.
The last two teams in the league, Angers and Auxerre, drew 1-1. Teenage striker Matthis Abline equalized for Auxerre with a penalty in the 22nd but then hit the bar with another spot kick in the third minute of stoppage time.
The 23rd round ends later Sunday with Lyon vs. Lens, and Nantes vs. Lorient.
Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain had its lead atop the standings cut to five points after losing 3-1 at Monaco on Saturday.
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