Brest took a third straight win in the French League by clearing the stunning second-seeded Lens 4-0 from the relegation zone.
Benin striker Steve Mounie opened the score in the third minute on Sunday and headed home a deflected cross from Jeremy Le Douaron.
Brest captain Brendan Chardonnet doubled the lead in the 13th by backing into a corner.
Romain Faivre scored his fifth goal this season with a curling shot from the edge of the box and made it 3-0 in the 33rd.
Le Douaron put the result beyond doubt in 69th.
Lens had 10 men left in the 74th when substitute Arnaud Kalimuendo was sent off for a tackle from behind on Ronael Pierre-Gabriel.
Brest was unable to win any of their first 11 games but has turned a corner and also defeated Monaco and Lorient.
Angers moved up to sixth by flattening Lorient 1-0 with a penalty from Thomas Mangani in the 67th.
Strasbourg equalized with the final kick of the game in a 1-1 draw with Reims when substitute Jean-Ricner Bellegarde curled in a free kick in the seventh minute of stoppage time.
Saint-Etienne remained in the relegation zone despite beating Troyes 1-0 with a powerful long-range attack from Peru defender Miguel Trauco in the 61st.
Grandpa Nguette came off the bench and scored twice to help the bottom side of Metz recover from a 2-0 deficit and a 3-3 draw with Bordeaux. Nguette took advantage of a corner to score from close range in the 52nd before scoring the equalizing goal with a loop header in the 71st. Metz midfielder Farid Boulaya had been sent off three minutes earlier.