Marseille held at Bastia, Rennes down Ajaccio

Marseille's disappointing week ended in a 0-0 draw at Bastia on Saturday, leaving them two points behind leaders Monaco who travel to Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Rennes continued their fine form with just one defeat from six matches as Foued Kadir's double inspired them to a 2-0 home win over Fabrizio Ravanelli's winless Ajaccio and moved the Brittany side level with Marseille and PSG on 11 points.

Marseille were struggling following a 2-1 reverse against Arsenal in their UEFA Champions League group opener in midweek as Elie Baup's men ran into a frustrating Corsican side who stifled their attack.

"We played 48 hours after an intense match against Arsenal which sapped us of a lot of energy," explained Baup.

"We had a lot of possession in the second half and it's a pity we couldn't convert that into a goal.

"We need to remain solid and congratulate the squad after four away matches in six games. Even when we were in trouble, we showed strong mental strength," he added.

OM 'keeper Steve Mandanda was called into action during a frantic first-half that saw him halt Sebastien Squillaci as well as diverting shots from Tunisian Wahbi Khazri and Romanian striker Claudiu Keseru.

"These kind of matches, when we had three good chances, and if you put one of them away is the key to victory," Bastia coach Frederic Hantz said.

"We're happy with the point. At the end of the match, when you look at Marseille who were coming off a series of important matches, it didn't surprise me that they took control.

"There is a certain amount of satisfaction to hold one of the best teams in France and we feel like we're advancing which is positive," he added.

"We're a bit disappointed not to win especially after our first half but we're happy with our progress and to hold a big team in the championship."

During the second half, Marseille took control but failed to convert their chances, notably from French international winger Mathieu Valbuena and Florian Thauvin which could have made the difference.

Second-placed Saint-Etienne's 2-1 home defeat against Toulouse on Friday kept them on 12 points while Marseille stay in fourth, behind PSG on goal difference.

Bastia retain their place in the upper half of Ligue 1 on eight points, five behind Claudio Ranieri's Cote d'Azur outfit.

Elsewhere, Montpellier threw away a 2-0 advantage as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Coupe de France finalists Evian that leaves both clubs camped in the lower half.

Reims battled to a 1-1 draw against Guingamp and Lille took advantage of a Nolan Roux brace to see off Sochaux 2-0 away.