PARIS (Reuters) - Jonathan David scored twice as Lille beat Nantes 2-0 away to claim their sixth consecutive victory and restore a two-point lead at the top of the Ligue 1 standings on Sunday.
David scored early and late to put Lille on 54 points from 24 games, two ahead of Olympique Lyonnais, 3-0 winners against Racing Strasbourg on Saturday, and three ahead of third-placed Paris St Germain, who beat Olympique de Marseille 2-0 at the Stade Velodrome also on Sunday.
PSG prevailed through goals by Kylian Mbappe and Mauro Icardi with Neymar, who had been doutful because of gastro-enteritis, coming off the bench in the second half.
The French champions, however, suffered an injury blow with Angel Di Maria limping off the pitch early on with a thigh problem, nine days before their Champions League last-16 first leg against Barcelona at Camp Nou.
The result left troubled Marseille, who had Dimitri Payet sent off in the last minute, in ninth place on 33 points from 22 games.
Monaco, who beat Nimes 4-3 away courtesy of an Aleksandr Golovkin hat-trick, are fourth on 48 points.
Nantes, who have now failed to win in seven games since coach Raymond Domenech took over this year and are on a 15-match winless streak since Nov. 8, are 18th on 19 points.
With Lille high on confidence, things quickly went the visitors' way at La Beaujoire.
Canada striker David fired home from close range from Jonathan Bamba's cross in the ninth minute after a defensive mix-up between Andrei Girotto and Imran Louza.
Lille were always in control and David put the result beyond doubt seven minutes from the end with a shot into the top corner after being set up by Renato Sanches.
David, who had a lacklustre start at Lille since joining from Gent during the close season, has now scored five goals in his last five games.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Davis and Pritha Sarkar)