Paris Saint-Germain used their day's head start to edge one point clear at the top of Ligue 1 but will not expect to stay there after being held to a 0-0 draw by lowly AC Ajaccio.
Little went to plan for the capital club in their first match back from the winter break as Thiago Motta was sent off late in the first half, Thiago Silva went off injured and Lucas Moura had his debut cut short in the final 10 minutes after suffering cramps.
And amid all of that, a fixture that had produced 11 goals in the previous two encounters ended goalless to leave PSG at the mercy of Lyon and Marseille, one point behind ahead of their respective fixtures over the weekend.
Carlo Ancelotti was visibly frustrated on the sidelines as his side produced endless chances, even after being reduced to 10 men, but failed to convert them against a team only four points above the drop zone.
The mid-table clash between St Etienne and Toulouse finished 2-2 at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
St Etienne went ahead through Loic Perrin after 25 minutes but the lead lasted just two minutes before Etienne Didot equalised.
Serge Aurier put the visitors 2-1 up four minutes before the break only for Yohan Mollo to draw St Etienne level with a little under half an hour remaining.
The result means stumbling St Etienne have now taken just three points from six games with their last win coming on November 23 against Valenciennes - which was also the last time they had scored.
Toulouse had also been in miserable form but the draw means they have now taken four points from two games.