Jonathan Ikone's thunderous strike earned Lille a 2-1 victory over Nantes on Saturday that sent them second in Ligue 1 and maintained their strong start to the new season after narrowly avoiding relegation last term.
Portugal defender Jose Fonte scored his first Lille goal since joining from China's Dalian Yifang in July with a looping header on nine minutes at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.
Midfielder Ikone doubled Lille's lead with a magnificent goal on 68 minutes, taking a delightful first touch to control a high ball before unleashing a scorching, dipping 25-yard shot past Ciprian Tatarusanu.
Nantes grabbed a consolation through Kalifa Coulibaly as Lille, who finished just above the relegation play-off place last season, won for the fourth time in six games to draw to within two points of defending champions Paris Saint-Germain.
Montpellier climbed to third as Gaetan Laborde's first-half tap-in secured a 1-0 win over Patrick Vieira's Nice, while Toulouse are level on points in fourth following a 0-0 draw at Angers.
"When you play a match at this level, if the opposition wants it more than us it's not a good start," said Vieira, whose side were beaten after back-to-back wins over Lyon and Rennes.
"I didn't like the lack of desire and determination from the team," he added. "It's not a (Mario) Balotelli problem, it's a team one."
Thomas Tuchel's PSG visit Rennes on Sunday chasing a sixth win in a row in France, having lost 3-2 away to Liverpool in their opening game of the Champions League group stage in midweek.
Marseille would reclaim second with victory away to Lyon, although Bruno Genesio's side will hope their impressive 2-1 defeat of Manchester City in Europe can re-energise a flagging domestic campaign.