Lille's Eden Hazard celebrates after scoring
French champions Lille beat Valenciennes on Sunday to maintain their quest for a European place, with their sought-after young Belgium winger Eden Hazard among the scorers and featuring prominently in the 4-0 win.
Hazard scored the opening goal for the northeastern club and was involved in Lille's three other goals, doing his potential transfer prospects no harm with Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini watching in the stands.
Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson, one of a number of English Premier League managers rumoured to be interested in the 21-year-old, was at Lille's previous match at Lyon, which saw the home side win 2-1.
Hazard though said that while he knew Mancini was watching, he was concentrating on the task in hand, with the win against mid-table Valenciennes keeping Lille in contention in third spot as leaders Paris Saint-Germain and Montpellier faltered.
"I was aware that Roberto Mancini was there. The manager (Rudi Garcia) told me... I wasn't thinking about it. I was trying to play to the best of my abilities," he said.
"We'll see later. I'm concentrating on Lille this season," he told French television channel Canal+.
In Sunday's other matches, Toulouse were 1-0 winners at Rennes while Sochaux's 2-0 victory against fellow strugglers Nice sent Auxerre to the bottom of the pile and cost manager Laurent Fournier his job.
Fournier's side has won only four times this season, losing 12 and drawing 12 in 28 matches. Saturday's home defeat to Evian proved too much for long-suffering fans, with some attempting to storm the changing rooms to remonstrate with players.
The team needed a police escort as they left the ground.
He is the fifth coach from the French top flight to be sacked this season following Eric Roy (Nice), Antoine Kombouare (Paris SG), Bernard Casoni (Evian) and Mecha Bazdarevic (Sochaux).
Jean-Guy Wallemme, a former player and coach at Lens, was appointed to succeed Fournier.
On Saturday, relegation-threatened Dijon dented Marseille's hopes of securing European football next season with a shock 2-1 win.
PSG, pushing for their first league title since 1994, were spared similar ignominy when defender Christophe Jallet scored an injury-time equaliser to snatch a share of the points from a 2-2 draw at struggling Caen.
After second-placed Montpellier suffered a 1-0 defeat at Nancy, it meant Carlo Ancelotti's side saw their lead double to two points.
Bordeaux's bid for only their 11th win in 28 games was scuppered when Ajaccio defender Yoann Poulard scored in the third minute of injury time to salvage a 1-1 draw for the Corsicans.
Marseille's fifth consecutive league defeat meanwhile leaves Didier Deschamps knowing that results elsewhere must go in their favour, and they must improve smartly, if they are to snatch a place in Europe next season.
Deschamps blamed a poor start to the season for the club's current league predicament but said that they deserved more from the game.
Marseille, who face Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals, have dropped to ninth in the league, meaning their chances of securing third spot -- the last place for Champions League qualification -- are now virtually non-existant.
A place in the Europa League may also be under threat.
Lorient got reacquainted with victory in a 2-1 home win over Breton rivals Brest, a result which left the hosts in 12th place.