Joey Barton created both of Marseille's goals as they earned an impressive result in north-west France, beating Brest 2-1 to keep the heat on Ligue 1 leaders Lyon.
• Ligue 1: Saturday round-up
• Blog: Not a nice visit to Nice
Having been drubbed 4-1 by Lyon in midweek, Elie Baup's men needed to show they had the qualities needed for a title fight and they did just that at the Stade Francis-Le Ble.
As a result of the win, given to them by goals from Souleymane Diawara and Andre Ayew either side of a Charlison Benschop equaliser, they are two points behind Lyon at the top of the ladder.
Both goal were set up by Joey Barton, with the one-time England midfielder continuing to impress away from the Premier League spotlight.
The lead duo have a five- and three-point buffer to the chasing pack now, with St Etienne and Paris St Germain down on 26 points.
Jonathan Pitriopa's late goal sealed a 3-2 comeback victory for Rennes that denied 10-man Troyes a second win of the Ligue 1 season.
Estac enjoyed the rare luxury of watching their Breton opponents chase the game for close to an hour, with Stephane Darbion doubling up after Benjamin Nivet headed the opener.
But Rennes pulled a goal back through Romain Alessandrini just after the break and Troyes soon wobbled, Julien Feret drawing the visitors level with an unstoppable drive nine minutes from time.
A point was within the hosts' grasp but they let it slip away at the death, Pitriopa breaking hearts at the Stade de l'Aube with a goal before Corentin Jean's unnecessary dismissal soon after his arrival as an 80th minute substitute.
Lorient edged out Toulouse with a 1-0 win but it was not the sort of convincing performance required to suggest their recent poor form is over.
Christian Gourcuff's side came into the game with only one win in nine and a clear mission to turn things around at home. Benjamin Corgnet's goal on the stroke of half-time proved enough for the three points, but their failure to put the game away despite a string of early chances led to a nervy finish.