PARIS, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Olympique Marseille recovered from a lean spell to beat St Etienne 3-1 to climb to second in Ligue 1 on Saturday.
The former European champions had gone three matches without victory and suffered their first league defeat this season when they lost 4-2 at home to arch-rivals Paris St Germain last weekend.
Marseille have 23 points from 12 games, one point behind leaders Olympique Lyon who entertain Le Mans on Sunday.
France forward Hatem Ben Arfa, who caused controversy by refusing to come on as a substitute against PSG, made amends and was involved in all three goals.
Midfielder Benoit Cheyrou opened the scoring with a header from a Ben Arfa corner on 21 minutes but St Etienne equalised seconds later with an angled effort from the edge of the box by striker Bafetimbi Gomis.
Ben Arfa put the home side back in front with a penalty seven minutes before the break after St Etienne keeper Jeremie Janot brought down Ivory Coast striker Bakary Kone.
Nigeria defender Taye Taiwo wrapped it up for Marseille by heading in another Ben Arfa corner 19 minutes from time.
Girondins Bordeaux slumped to a 1-0 defeat at strugglers Nancy.
Last season's runners-up Bordeaux, who had gone seven league matches without defeat, dropped to third place on 21 points.
Morocco midfielder Youssouf Hadji hit the winner for Nancy against the run of play when he fired into the top corner from 20 metres with 20 minutes left.
Toulouse also failed to keep the pressure on Lyon after losing 1-0 at home to Caen, substitute Benjamin Nivet on target with a superb drive from 25 metres on 79 minutes.
Toulouse slide to fourth, level on points with Bordeaux.