While Andre Ayew's double gave under-pressure coach Didier Deschamps some breathing space and lifted Marseille to 12th in Ligue 1, south-coast rivals Montpellier went level at the top with Paris St Germain after a 3-1 win at Caen.
Marseille, champions in 2010 and runners-up last term, have been on a poor run since the start of the campaign and supporters decided to keep quiet on Saturday in protest at what they see as the team's lack of application.
An eerie atmosphere enveloped the Velodrome, which is also being partially reconstructed, and Ayew worsened the mood on 20 minutes when his penalty and follow-up were saved.
The Ghanaian striker redeemed himself on the half-hour mark with the opener after being set up by brother Jordan, and an excellent header at the far post on 50 minutes doubled the hosts' lead.
"There was a lot of quality and a lot of chances. The score could have been much more," Deschamps, who surprisingly started key midfielders Lucho Gonzalez and Alou Diarra on the bench against the Corsicans, said.
"Not everything has been resolved but it will allow us to have more confidence and calmness."
Early season revelations Montpellier moved onto 23 points from 11 games thanks to goals from Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, John Utaka and Younes Belhanda in Caen and despite having Joris Marveaux sent off for a second booking on 64 minutes.
Toulouse missed the chance to go third after a 0-0 draw at Lorient in the late game, where Serbian defender Pavle Ninkov was dismissed for the visitors midway through the second half after two yellow cards.