By Chris Burke
Olympique de Marseille were unable to profit from Olympique Lyonnais' defeat by SM Caen on Friday, and remain eight points behind the Ligue 1 leaders after losing 2-0 away at AS Saint-Etienne.
Second-placed Marseille had been hoping to reduce the gap at the summit to just five points, but struggled to adapt to snowy conditions at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard and found themselves behind after 35 minutes. Frédéric Piquionne was brought down in the area by goalkeeper Jérémy Gavanon - a last-minute replacement for Fabien Barthez - and Pascal Feindouno stepped up to convert the penalty that gave Saint-Etienne the half-time advantage.
Marseille midfield player Benôit Pedretti had an excellent long-range effort tipped around the post soon after the break, but the better chances continued to fall to the home side, and with eight minutes left David Hellebuyck struck a well-deserved second with his less-favoured right foot. Didier Zokora's late sending-off was not enough to sour the result for Elie Baup's side, who leapt up to ninth in the standings and remain unbeaten at home since October.
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