Ivory Coast striker Salomon Kalou snapped his eight-match scoring drought in style as he struck twice to help LOSC Lille Metropole to a 2-1 win over SC Bastia and back into the Ligue 1 title race.
Kalou, who won the Champions League with Chelsea last year and was Lille’s top scorer last season with 16 goals, took his tally this season to five with a brace of first-half strikes that ultimately downed the Corsican visitors.
Also on Sunday, seven-time champions Olympique Lyonnais were driven by first-half goals from Alexandre Lacazette — his ninth of the season — and France international Bafetimbi Gomis to put them 2-0 up before Olympique de Marseille launched a stirring comeback to snatch a 2-2 draw.
Remi Garde’s team remain in the top 10 amid a mini-revival, while new Marseille coach Jose Anigo picked up his first league points since taking over from fired predecessor Elie Baup.
Marseille drop to sixth with the draw and fall 15 points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
Andre-Pierre Gignac pulled the Stade Velodrome giants back into the tie with a goal just before halftime, before Florian Thauvin smashed home a desperate equalizer with 11 minutes remaining.
In Lille, Ludovic Genest gave Bastia a stunning start to the match when he hit the target after only three minutes with a long distance volley that flew past Lille goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.
However, Rene Girard’s men refused to buckle and took an important stride toward their 12th win in 18 matches when Kalou scored twice in five minutes.
The first was a dipping shot on 17 minutes from outside the box that left Bastia goalie Mickael Landreau — the record-holder for Ligue 1 appearances — flapping, before he blasted another missile past the former Nantes and PSG custodian moments later.
Earlier, Girondins de Bordeaux continued their rich vein of form with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over third-from-bottom Valenciennes.
The visitors took the lead 10 minutes inside the second half through Mali midfielder Tongo Doumbia, before in-form Brazilan Jussie equalized from the penalty spot three minutes later.
The hero for Bordeaux was Frenchman Nicolas Maurice-Belay, who grabbed the decisive goal with 17 minutes remaining to lift his side into temporary possession of fifth spot.