Edinson Cavani converted a late penalty as Paris Saint-Germain laboured to a 1-0 win over Nancy on Saturday.
Cavani netted his 27th goal in 26 league appearances this season to put PSG on 62 points, behind Monaco on goal difference, who host Nantes on Sunday.
PSG, who were held to a goalless draw by Toulouse at the Parc des Princes two weeks ago, struggled again on their turf but eventually wore out a brave Nancy side.
Coach Unai Emery surprisingly handed a start to Goncalo Guedes with Julian Draxler on the bench, a decision that left the home side lacking speed up front.
However, with 10 minutes left, full-back Serge Aurier was brought down in the box and Cavani converted the resulting penalty with a powerful low shot.
Nancy are 17th on 28 points, one point above the relegation zone.
Nice are third, also on 62 points, after Wylan Ciprien’s 69th-minute goal gave the Azureans a 1-0 victory at Dijon.
Mario Balotelli returned from a one-match suspension, but it was midfielder Cyprien’s calm finish on 69 minutes in Dijon that helped maintain Nice’s unlikely title challenge.
Saint-Etienne failed to make up ground in their push for Europe after a 0-0 draw at Bastia where both sides ended the game with 10 men, while Wesley Said’s last-gasp equaliser rescued a point for Rennes as they drew 1-1 at Metz.