PARIS (AFP) - Paris St Germain and Marseille did themselves no favours as the French giants played out a 1-1 draw at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.
Already both languishing in the bottom half of the table and with only one win apiece from their previous six matches, they were both desperate for a victory that could kick-start their season.
Instead they remain eight and nine points respectively off top spot and perhaps more importantly four and five points behind champions Lyon.
Former Liverpool and Auxerre forward Djibril Cisse, so badly missed a week ago as Marseille fell 2-0 at home to Nice, returned in fine style, opening the scoring on 11 minutes from two yards after PSG goalkeeper Mikael Landreau had parried his initial header from a corner.
The lead did not last long, though, as Peguy Luyindula headed home a cross from Jerome Rothen on 20 minutes.
Despite now having only one win from seven, and sitting in a lowly 13th place in the table, PSG captain Sylvain Armand believes his team are on the right track.
"We have to be clear, we'd have preferred to have done better, but we've only lost once in seven matches and we've played well at times," he said.
"We have to start from that foundation. Many players played well from start to finish and contrary to popular belief, we're not afraid of playing at the Parc."
Marseille president Pape Diouf had accused his players of playing like amateurs in their defeat to Nice, something star midfielder Samir Nasri admitted had given the team a kick up the backside.
"We're quite satisfied with a draw. It was important to lift our heads up after the match against Nice," he said.
"We were hurt by what the president said. Tonight we took a step in the right direction."
Also on Sunday, French striking legend Jean-Pierre Papin's debut as coach of Lens ended in defeat as his side went down 1-0 at Nice.
On Saturday, champions Lyon's inconsistent start to the season continued but they showed title-winning fighting spirit to charge back from 2-0 down to beat Le Mans 3-2.
A brace from Benin midfielder Stephane Sessegnon gave Le Mans a shock lead but in the space of seven second-half minutes, Lyon completely turned the game on its head.
"We saw tonight the realities of football - dominating doesn't mean winning," said Lyon boss Alain Perrin.
Sidney Govou started the comeback on 70 minutes, before goals from Karim Benzema and Czech striker Milan Baros completed the turn-around.
That victory allowed Lyon to keep pace with the the front pack, still surprisingly lead by Nancy, who beat St Etienne 2-0 at home.
Brazilian striker Kim bagged his third goal in five games to opening the scoring for Nancy on 11 minutes and Marc-Antoine Fortune wrapped up the three points five minutes from time.
Bordeaux beat Monaco 2-1 at home with goals from Marouane Chamakh and Brazilian Wendel opening up a 2-0 lead before another Brazilian, Nene scored a last minute consolation for the principality team.
Bordeaux are third, behind Valenciennes, who drew 0-0 at home to bottom of the table Metz, on goal difference.
In other games, former Arsenal and Lyon striker Sylvain Wiltord made his first start for Rennes but failed to get on the score-sheet as they drew 2-2 at home to Lille.
Toulouse beat lowly Auxerre 2-0 at home, Lorient drew 0-0 at Strasbourg while Caen and Sochaux shared a 2-2 draw.
|Coach: P. Le Guen|
for D. Digard 78'
for P. Luyindula 80'
|Rooney warns Kane over ´clever´ Italy defenders|
|Rangers results reveal £500,000 Newcastle clause|
|Southampton announce £33.4m profit|
|´I am a very flexible man´ - Van Gaal|
|A-League Preview: Top spot up for grabs|
|Portugal - Cape Verde Preview: Andre and Oliveira eager for international bows|
|Puerto Rico 0 Canada 3: Floro´s men rout hosts|
|Xavi denies Al Sadd link|
|Fernando´s life ban upheld by CAS|
|Argentina - Ecuador Preview: Messi remains doubtful for friendly|
|Falcao equals Colombia´s all-time scoring record|
|Macedonia trip good learning curve - Postecoglou|
|Macedonia 0 Australia 0: Stalemate in Skopje|
|Del Bosque not out for Netherlands revenge|
|Burton Albion 1 Stevenage 1: Both teams score at wrong end in draw|
|Pekerman: I have no say on Falcao´s Manchester United future|
|Buffon has studied England new boy Kane|
|Conte urges patience from Italy fans|
|Johnson tasked with keeping Cheltenham up|
|Rooney not keen on Serie A switch|
|Kane to make first England start|
|Colombia 3 Kuwait 1: Spot-on Falcao equals Iguaran record|
|Goal-shy Barkley eyes striker´s role|
|UEFA opens disciplinary proceedings against Montenegro and Russia|
|Draxler and Choupo-Moting back in training|
|Ghana v Mali: Last chance to impress before Giresse return|
|Wilson: Gibraltar getting stronger|
|Mata confident of Spain future|
|Armenia coach Challandes resigns|
|Hiddink rubbishes talk of Dutch negativity|
|Portugal v Cape Verde: Santos set to rotate|
|Loren hails Moyes for Sociedad surge|
|Cruyff brands Netherlands ´a disgrace´|
|Kick It Out backs Barnes over race comments|
|Argentina v Ecuador: Messi remains doubtful for friendly|
|Coates backs Hughes ambition at Stoke|
|Atletico able to call on Saul again|
|Italy v England Preview: Kane set to start after dream debut|
|Zidane would accept Real job|
|Hernandez frustrated by lack of Real opportunities|
|Spartak donate money to 102-year-old fan after robbery|
|Clasie pulls out of Netherlands squad|
|Italy´s Bertolacci out of England friendly|
|Newcastle post record profit as Ashley debt stays the same|
|Al Sadd: We want Xavi to bring tiki-taka|
|Lacazette expected frosty Saint-Etienne reception|
|Barnes: I can´t get back into management because I´m black|
|Rooney praises England aggression|
|Southgate tips Kane for return to U21s|
|Mexico v Paraguay: Goals in order for Copa America aspirants|
|Netherlands - Spain Preview: Wijnaldum rallies behind under-fire Hiddink|
|Peru v Venezuela: Sanvicente wants Venezuelan response|
|Carvalho confident of playing Juventus|
|Neymar demands protection after Medel stamp|
|MLS Review: RSL, Fire secure breakthrough wins|
|Firmino firmly on radar - Dunga|
|O´Neill delighted with second-half display|
|First-half dominance pleases Deschamps|
|Muller criticises Germany profligacy|
|Euro 2016 Qualifying Review: Portugal go top, Gibraltar make history in defeat|
|Liverpool the only English club I could play for - Suarez|
|France 2 Denmark 0: Lacazette off the mark in routine victory|
|Republic of Ireland 1 Poland 1: Long rescues vital point|
|Portugal 2 Serbia 1: Coentrao puts hosts top of Group I|
|Strachan hails ´terrific´ Gibraltar|
|Lafferty back playing with a smile on his face - O´Neill|
|Toure to reveal Ivory Coast future over coming days|
|Georgia 0 Germany 2: Reus and Muller on target for world champions|
|Northern Ireland 2 Finland 1: Lafferty inspires fourth qualifying success|
|Scotland 6 Gibraltar 1: Casciaro´s historic moment outshone by Fletcher´s hat-trick|
|France 2-0 Denmark: Lacazette and Giroud on target|
|Firmino hopeful of Copa America spot|
|Hummels considering options at Dortmund|
|Suarez goalless on Anfield return, but Balotelli nets stunner|
|Casciaro scores first competitive goal for Gibraltar|
|Fleetwood Town 1 Preston North End 1: Ball stunner claims share of derby spoils|
|Italy v England: Judge me on results, says Conte|
|Colombia v Kuwait: Falcao seeking another strong showing|
|Brazil 1 Chile 0: Firmino settles scrappy affair|
|Luxembourg v Turkey: Let´s kick on, urges Terim|
|South Africa 1 Nigeria 1: Zungu strikes late to earn draw|
|Smalling wants long-term United stay|
|South Africa 1-1 Nigeria: Last-gasp Zungu goal cancels out Musa strike|
|Italy call up Santon and Abate for England friendly|
|Switzerland v United States: Klinsmann eyes learning curve|
|Netherlands v Spain: Hiddink has players´ support, says Wijnaldum|
|A-League Review: Sydney end Wellington run, Adelaide suffer injury blows in Jets win|
|Henderson eyes long-term Liverpool future|
|I have nothing to prove - Bale|
|Brazil 1-0 Chile: Firmino gives Selecao battling victory|
|South Korea v New Zealand: All Whites looking to future|
|Japan v Uzbekistan: Hosts eye another win under Halilhodzic|
|MLS Review: Kaka nets in Orlando draw|
|Mexico 1 Ecuador 0: Hernandez, Corona help Herrera´s men to victory|
|Deschamps calls for France response|
|Dunga unfazed by pressure|
|Montenegro fan turns himself in after flare incident|
|Injured Messi not ready - Martino|
|Hodgson: Rooney not close to Charlton|
|Terim proud of Turkey|
|Hiddink happy with point|
|Euro 2016 Qualifying Review: Netherlands and Italy stage late escapes|
|Debutant Eder delighted with Azzurri bow|