PARIS — Second-placed Lens made it 10 straight home wins in the French league after beating struggling Auxerre 1-0 on Saturday.
Poland winger Przemyslaw Frankowski nailed a penalty kick in the 59th minute with a powerful strike past goalkeeper Benoît Costil, who guessed the right way.
Auxerre finished with 10 players after defender Isaak Touré was sent off midway through the second half, for a second yellow card after fouling forward Florian Sotoca.
Northern side Lens, which has won all of its home games so far, moved to three points behind leader Paris Saint-Germain.
Lens extended its unbeaten league run to nine games but still leads third-placed Marseille only by two points after the southern side beat Lorient 3-1 at home for a sixth straight league win.
Second place secures an automatic place in next season’s Champions League, while the team finishing third enters the competition via the playoff rounds.
Lorient danger man Terem Moffi struck again to give the visitors the lead in the 29th with a superb volley from a corner. It was the Nigeria striker’s 12th league goal, moving him one ahead of PSG’s Neymar and one behind top scorer Kylian Mbappé of PSG.
Marseille is resilient this season under coach Igor Tudor and bounced back 10 minutes later, when defender Sead Kolasinac headed in Turkey winger Cengiz Ünder’s cross.
Veteran Chile striker Alexis Sanchez put Marseille ahead in the 53rd when he finished powerfully from Kolasinac’s deflected cross, and France midfielder Jordan Veretout’s shot following a long ball made it 3-1 six minutes later.
Later, Lyon hosted lowly Strasbourg.
PSG is at fourth-placed Rennes on Sunday.