A 2-0 win against bitter rivals Marseille allowed Paris Saint-Germain to further underline their status as favourites for the Ligue 1 title, but OM can count themselves hugely unlucky to have come out of Sunday night's game in the capital with nothing after an impressive performance.
In France, it doesn't get any bigger than a meeting of these two teams, and the third Classique of the season so far attracted even more attention than usual because of the David Beckham effect. But he had a far greater impact on the build-up than he did on the match itself.
Brought on for the final 15 minutes of a game played in weather that, in the words of L'Equipe, "might have reminded Beckham of his youth in Manchester," the veteran Englishman had the honour of becoming the 400th different player to represent PSG. He marked his debut with a grand total of 12 passes, eight of which were successful. His most significant was a neat flick in stoppage time that allowed Jérémy Menez to set up the killer second goal for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Of course, his mere presence in the match-day squad was also a godsend for broadcasters, with record numbers of viewers within France treated to endless shots of Beckham, either on the bench or warming-up, with occasional sightings of Victoria adding to the sense of Hollywood-style glamour.
But with or without Beckham, this game is huge, and especially when it is so significant in the race for the title. Lyon's come-from-behind win against Lorient earlier in the day saw them move level on points with PSG at the top. That increased the pressure on Carlo Ancelotti's side, while Marseille knew a win would allow them to close the gap on the leading duo to just two points.
Doubtless motivated by that possibility, Marseille, whose performances since the winter break had been mediocre at best, were excellent for most of the game. They dominated possession like few teams have done against PSG this season, but this was yet another match that the capital club managed to win without producing a brilliant all-round performance.
La Provence insisted it was an "unfair" defeat for OM, typified by the opening goal, a rather lame Lucas Moura shot that took one touch off Joey Barton and another, decisive, deflection off Nicolas Nkoulou. After that early blow, Marseille went on to enjoy almost 60 percent of the possession, becoming the first team to outplay PSG in that regard at the Parc des Princes this season.
PSG did not manage a single shot on target until the 63rd minute, while at the other end they had 'keeper Salvatore Sirigu to thank for keeping them on top, not for the first time this season. Marseille had three times as many shots on target, but failed to find the net. The nature of the game, and its outcome, demonstrated PSG's extra cutting edge.
Opta tell us that PSG have had as many shots on goal in the league this season as Marseille (363), but have scored 17 more. The capital club's financial power gives them that edge, even if André-Pierre Gignac, leading the Marseille line, earns upwards of €80,000 a week.
While Beckham inevitably stole most of the headlines, Marseille's own Englishman, Barton, had a very competent game, and the visitors' overall display certainly gives them reason to be optimistic ahead of Wednesday's rematch between the teams at the same venue in the last 16 of the French Cup.
That match, which Ancelotti has hinted that Beckham may well start, is another hugely important one for both teams, perhaps more so for Marseille. The fact is that their results have been poor since the winter break, and they are now eight points adrift of PSG at the top. Their position in the top three, the Champions League qualifying berths, is looking more and more fragile too, with Nice and Saint-Etienne both breathing right down their necks.
"They are a good team, and showed it tonight," said Ancelotti after Sunday's clash. "But eight points is a lot. They will find it hard to come back now."
The Cup would appear to be Marseille's only remaining chance of silverware this season. Meanwhile, Lyon are the only surviving challenger to PSG in the race for the title. The two clubs are due to meet at the Stade de Gerland in May, but it remains to be seen whether Rémi Garde's side can keep the fight alive until then.