Paris St 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 goalless 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 early signs had been encouraging with Motta skimming the post with a shot from the left side of the area after combining with Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a set-piece, before Blaise Matuidi's volley tested visiting goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa who punched clear.
Ibrahimovic then volleyed inches over after displaying superb athleticism to reach Motta's cross.
There was a rare chance for the visitors just before the break when Salvatore Sirigu had to punch clear Adrian Mutu's free-kick.
PSG's night then took a significant turn for the worse with Motta receiving a straight red card for a poor challenge from behind on Frederic Sammaritano.
It took PSG time to get going in the second half, with Silva hobbling off with a muscle problem in the 57th minute, but they produced arguably their best chance soon after the hour mark when Moura impressed his new fans with fine work on the right before picking out Alex Costa with the cross.
Ochoa was at full stretch to keep the header out, but only succeeded in finding Ibrahimovic. He in turn fed Matuidi who somehow blazed over from close range.
Ochoa was the saviour for Ajaccio in the 69th minute when Ezequiel Lavezzi released Ibrahimovic to go one-on-one with the goalkeeper and he made the block.
Matuidi then sent another poor shot over the crossbar when picked out in a superb position by Lavezzi to infuriate his coach, and PSG's night was summed up when Ibrahimovic fired wide when well placed after a good run from substitute Kevin Gameiro.