Marseille next up for pacesetters St Etienne

PARIS - One week after beating arch rivals Olympique Lyon for the first time in 16 years, surprise Ligue 1 leaders St Etienne face another examination of their title credentials when they host champions Olympique Marseille on Saturday.

Les Verts notched a 1-0 win at Lyon to move to 16 points from seven games, one point ahead of Stade Rennes.

"The whole city is talking about it. It goes beyond football but we try to ignore the fans' enthusiasm," St Etienne defender Sylvain Marchal told the club's website.

"Maybe people will still be talking about it at the end of the season.

Marseille have moved up to sixth, five points behind St Etienne, with consecutive victories after an inconsistent start, but will need to refocus after losing 2-0 to Chelsea in the Champions League on Tuesday.

"We have to learn the lessons from (the Chelsea game) and start concentrating on the St Etienne match," Marseille winger Andre Ayew said.

"We have to keep going, lift our heads up and think about Saturday."

Stade Rennes and third-placed Toulouse face each other on Sunday looking to benefit from a possible Les Verts mishap.

Lyon, who lie a miserable 18th in the standings, look to revive their domestic campaign after clinching a morale-boosting 3-1 win at Hapoel Tel Aviv in the Champions League on Wednesday.

They travel to Nancy on Saturday.

"My players were not rewarded for their efforts in St Etienne, they were tonight," coach Claude Puel told reporters after the Tel Aviv game.

"I am satisfied by the character they showed before and during that match. Let's carry this spirit into the Nancy match," said president Jean-Michel Aulas.

Promoted Arles-Avignon will be hoping to snatch their first points when they take on 17th-placed AJ Auxerre on Saturday.

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