Florian Thauvin fluffed a penalty and Marseille paid the price as they were stunned at home by struggling Nimes, whose Swedish midfielder Niclas Eliasson scored twice in their 2-1 victory in the French Ligue 1.
Thauvin sent goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet the wrong way from the spot but his shot went over the crossbar in the 35th minute in Saturday’s match.
Moments later, Reynet saved striker Dario Benedetto’s tame shot from close range with his foot as Marseille went on to be punished for those misses.
Under-21 international Eliasson struck twice in quick succession early in the second half for Nimes to move off the bottom and into 18th place, before Benedetto pulled a goal back with five minutes left.
Right back Pol Lirola started his first game for Marseille since joining on loan from Italian side Fiorentina but the home side’s defence looked shaky without injured goalie Steve Mandanda.
The defeat saw Marseille’s bid to get back into the title hunt again stalled as they now lie sixth, seven points off the pace set by Lyon.