Lorient spurned the chance to usurp Paris Saint-Germain at the top of Ligue 1 overnight as their six-match winning streak came to an end with a goalless draw against Reims on Saturday, while Lens moved into third place.
Regis Le Bris’ side struggled to find the form that had taken them to within a point of reigning champions PSG, even after Reims midfielder Dion Lopy was sent off less than a minute after half-time.
Lorient had to settle with moving level on points with PSG, who welcome fourth-placed Marseille to the Parc des Princes on Sunday.
“We were coming off an impressive run of wins,” said Le Bris.
“This game reiterates the quality of this league and our opponents.”
Lorient started slowly against Reims, but were given a boost when Lopy was dismissed for a second yellow card.
It was the 10-man visitors who almost snatched victory though, with Folarin Balogun and Arber Zeneli both going close in the final 20 minutes.
Reims ended the match with only nine men after Emmanuel Agbadou was shown a straight red card in stoppage time.
Later, Lens climbed to two points behind the top two and into third above Marseille with a 1-0 victory over Montpellier.
Victory for OM in the capital would leave the top four in the French top flight separated by just two points after 11 matches.
Wesley Said scored the winner as a substitute to help Lens bounce back from last week’s 1-0 loss to northern rivals Lille.
Lens’ tally of 24 points has equalled their previous highest amount at this stage of a Ligue 1 season, set in the 2001/02 campaign.