Marseille beat Saint-Etienne 1-0 at home on Sunday in a match between France’s two most successful league teams.
Saint-Etienne has a record 10 French titles to Marseille’s nine and Paris Saint-Germain, Monaco and Nantes with eight, but Marseille is the only French side to have won the Champions League in 1993.
Marseille won at Stade Velodrome thanks to Argentine striker Dario Benedetto’s 33rd-minute goal, his second since joining the club after scoring in the 2-1 midweek win at Nice. In his four games for Marseille, Benedetto has also smacked a penalty high over the crossbar.
Marseille is up to eighth place with seven points, while Saint-Etienne is 16th with four points.
Rennes missed the chance to go top after losing 2-1 at home to Nice.
Needing only a draw to leapfrog PSG in first place, Rennes led 1-0 after defender Gautier Lloris — the younger brother of France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris — scored an own-goal midway through the first half.
Midfielder Wylan Cyprien levelled from the penalty spot for Nice in the 63rd minute and defender Racine Coly netted two minutes into injury time for coach Patrick Vieira’s Nice team, which was recently bought by British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe.
Third-place Nice is level on nine points with Rennes and defending champion PSG, which leads on goal difference after winning 2-0 at Metz on Friday.
Monaco is in 19th place and still without a win this season after being held 2-2 away to Strasbourg, conceding a late equalizer after new signing Islam Slimani of Algeria twice put Monaco ahead.
Highly rated forward Remi Oudin scored as Reims won 2-0 at home to midtable Lille to move into sixth place.