Saint-Etienne missed the chance to keep the pressure on Lille in their battle for third place when it was held to a 0-0 draw away to Toulouse on Friday.
Les Verts had won five of their previous seven games and knew any positive result in Toulouse would be enough to bring them level on points with Lille - who host Sochaux on Saturday - and above them in the table on goal difference.
While mid-table Toulouse did carve out a few decent chances to score, Franck Tabanou came closest to firing a winner for the visitors when hitting a post shortly before the hour mark.
Francois Clerc set up Benoit Tremoulinas to curl an effort just past the Toulouse goal after 19 minutes, with the hosts biting back on 32 minutes as Stephane Ruffier got down to block Martin Braithwaite's snapshot.
ASSE midfielder Benjamin Corgnet then spooned the ball over the bar by inches and, on the stroke of half-time, Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro tried his luck from distance. His drive sailed past the home goal and scores remained level.
Tabanou emerged as the dangerman when play resumed, his shot on the run from Renaud Cohade's pass giving Zacharie Boucher food for thought.
The Toulouse goalkeeper was left rooted to the spot in the 56th minute as Tabanou seized on Mevlut Erding's cross to slam a right-footed volley against a post.
Le Tefece looked to hurt St Etienne while their heads were dropped but Ruffier put Oscar Trejo's low drive out for a corner.
The last real chance of the game arrived in the 68th minute as Erding gathered Jonathan Brison's cross from deep, only to whip his finish wide of the target.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.