Marcelo and Tino Kadewere kept Lyon in touch with Ligue 1's pace-setters on Sunday after they scored twice in a 5-0 derby thumping of a Saint-Etienne side missing a host of players to the coronavirus.
Rudi Garcia's team stay two points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain and Lille, who earlier won 1-0 at Rennes, after a comfortable victory at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard thanks to two carbon copy headers from Brazilian Marcelo, another brace from Kadewere and a Denis Bouanga own goal.
The win put Lyon back on track after falling at home to Metz last weekend but came against a Saint-Etienne team missing seven players following a Covid-19 outbreak at the club which also led to president Roland Romeyer testing positive.
Ten-time French champions Saint-Etienne sit 16th after the defeat, only four points above the relegation zone after their miserable run of form was extended to just one win in their last 18 matches.
"This might have been our most complete performance. We could have scored more but winning a derby 5-0 is not something that comes every day," said Garcia.
Kadewere put the away side in the lead in the 16th minute when a Memphis Depay corner fell to the Zimbabwean, who only had to tap home to open the scoring.
Mattia De Sciglio almost doubled Lyon's lead when he smacked a long-range shot against the bar seven minutes later, but it didn't take too for the deserved second goal to arrive.
Leo Dubois whipped in a superb free-kick into the Saint-Etienne area in the 36th minute which allowed Marcelo to attack the ball aggressively and head in his first goal of the season.
Marcelo repeated the trick just before the hour mark when he met another perfect Dubois cross to crash in the third, before Kadewere claimed his ninth of the campaign in the 68th minute after collecting a pass from Memphis Depay.
- Lille level with PSG -
Bouanga completed the home side's misery by nodding Depay's free-kick into his own net with eight minutes remaining.
"It is difficult to accept, we're angry with ourselves for making it so easy for them," said Saint-Etienne coach Claude Puel.
"Even with the situation we were in we believed but we were very quickly disillusioned because we were so sloppy both defensively and going forward."
Earlier, Jonathan David made sure that Lille stayed level on 45 points with PSG by scoring the only goal in their 1-0 win at Rennes.
David pounced in the 16th minute when Yusuf Yazici's corner was palmed out to him by Rennes goalkeeper Romain Salin, the Canada forward lashing home.
The 21-year-old's fourth league goal of the season was his second winner in as many weeks after striking in injury time against Reims last time out.
His strike gave Christophe Galtier's Lille their third win in a row and handed Rennes, who are fifth on 36 points, their first defeat in eight matches.
"It was a very important win," said Galtier. "I don't think we are really rivals to PSG, given the quality of their squad... but we're going to fight."
Bordeaux sit in seventh on 32 points after an early brace from South Korea striker Hwang Ui-Jo powered them to a 2-1 home win over Angers.
Raymond Domenech is still waiting for his first win as Nantes coach after falling to his first defeat with his new club, 2-0 at Metz.
Nantes sit a point behind Saint-Etienne in 17th after a 12th successive match without a win, a defeat which came after former France coach Domenech had led them to three straight draws.
"You can't play with your hands in your pockets," said the 69-year-old. "We are in a tough situation now, and the players need to know that."