PARIS (Reuters) - Nice restored their three-point lead at the top of Ligue 1 with a 3-0 win over Toulouse after producing another impressive performance on Sunday.
Despite the absence of the injured Mario Balotelli, the hosts scored twice in quick succession in the first half through Alassane Plea and Younes Belhanda before Jean Michel Seri put the result beyond doubt after the break.
Nice have 39 points from 16 games, three ahead of free-scoring Monaco who hammered Bastia 5-0 on Saturday.
Champions Paris St Germain are four points off the pace after losing 3-0 at Montpellier on Saturday, their first defeat by three goals in more than five years.
PSG host Nice next Sunday.
Stade Rennais moved up to fourth on 27 points thanks to a 2-0 home victory over St Etienne on Sunday.
Olympique Lyonnais slipped to sixth on 25 points after their game at Metz was abandoned on Saturday when firecrackers were thrown at visiting keeper Anthony Lopes.
At the Allianz Riviera, Plea collected Dante’s through pass before firing the ball between keeper Alban Lafont’s legs to give Nice a 23rd-minute lead.
Three minutes later Dante’s cross caught the defence off guard and Belhanda coolly lobbed Lafont from 25 metres.
Plea then headed a superb pass from Belhanda into the path of Seri who beat the keeper with a low shot in the 65th minute.
Toulouse are eighth on 22 points, one ahead of 10th-placed Olympique de Marseille who beat Nancy 3-0 on Sunday, scoring three goals for the first time this season.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Tony Jimenez