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'
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