Stade Franšais skipper Sergio Parisse scored two tries to help the Parisians to a morale-boosting 28-24 victory over Top 14 champions Toulouse at the Stade de France on Saturday.
Parisse's second touchdown seven minutes from time inflicted Toulouse's third away defeat of the season and leaves them in third spot behind Clermont - who edged Biarritz 19-12 on Friday - and Toulon, who host struggling Bayonne later on Saturday.
Toulouse, who had last lost to their Parisian hosts at the Stade de France in January last year, had lost five first choice players to injury and were even forced to draft in forwards coach and former France hooker William Servat to start.
Stade had raced into a 11-0 lead in the opening 20 minutes with full-back Jerome Porical landing two penalties and Parisse scoring the first of his tries while a rattled Toulouse had veteran prop Jean-Baptiste Poux sin-binned.
Sebastien Bezy got Toulouse off the mark in the 22nd minute with a penalty but Porical replied in kind shortly afterwards.
However, Toulouse pulled themselves together and on the half hour mark they were right back in the game as France wing Vincent Clerc kicked ahead and regathered the ball to touch down - Bezy converted to leave them trailing 14-10.
Toulouse's revival was complete four minutes before the break as Servat stormed up the pitch and passed to young Tongan flanker Edwin Maka, who sold a dummy to the Stade defence and strode through the gap to touch down.
Bezy, who failed with the conversion, extended Toulouse's lead to four points on the half-time whistle with a penalty.
The 20-year-old youngster made it a seven point gap between the two sides when he converted an excellent drop goal from 20 metres out shortly after the restart.
Stade had looked to be wilting but just before the hour mark they sewed doubts in their opponents minds as scrum-half Jerome Fillol benefited from a mix-up between Yannick Nyanga and Clement Poitrenaud to touch down and former Perpignan stalwart Porical converted to make it all square at 21 apiece.
Florian Fritz restored Toulouse's lead but they were dealt a hammerblow as seven minutes from time Parisse rounded off a superb 80-metre counter-attack by the hosts - Fillol converted to seal victory.
For Stade Franšais:
Tries: Parisse 2, Fillol
Cons: Porical, Plisson
Pens: Porical 3
Tries: Clerc, Maka
Pens: Bezy 2, Fritz
Yellow card: Poux (Toulouse - 16th min - collapsing maul)
Stade Franšais: 15 Jerome Porical, 14 Julien Arias, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Morgan Turinui, 11 Waisea Vuidravuwalu, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Jerome Fillol, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Pierre Rabadan, 6 David Lyons , 5 Pascal Pape, 4 Alexandre Flanquart, 3 David Attoub, 2 Laurent Sempere, 1 Aled de Malmanche.
Replacements:16 Remi Bonfils , 17 Rabah Slimani , 18 Anton Van Zyl, 19 Scott Lavalla, 20 Nicolas Bezy, 21 Felipe Contepomi, 22 Hugo Bonneval 23 Stanley Wright
Toulouse: 15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Yann David, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Timoci Matanavo,u 10 Sebastien Bezy, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Edwin Maka, 7 Yannick Nyanga, 6 Jean Bouilhou, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Gregory Lamboley, 3 Yohan Montes, 2 William Servat, 1 Jean Batiste Poux.
Replacements: 16 Virgile Lacombe 17 Cyril Baille 18 Romain Millo chlusky 19 Gillian Galan 20 Jean marc Doussain 21 Yoann Huget 22 Florian Fritz 23 Census Johnston