Colombia striker Radamel Falcao helped pay back some of his record €60m transfer as he struck a late goal in Monaco's 2-0 win over Bordeaux in their French top-flight opener on Saturday.
"We controlled the match and I think it was a deserved victory," said Monaco playmaker Jeremy Toulalan.
There were also opening day victories for Lyon, Rennes, Valenciennes and Lille while champions Paris Saint-Germain were held to a 1-1 draw at Montpeller on the opening day of the season on Friday.
At the Stade Gerland, seven-time champions Lyon coasted to a 4-0 win over hapless Nice after taking a 13th-minute lead when Alexandre Lacazette won a battle in the box before banging home from what replays appeared to indicate an offside position.
Clement Grenier then doubled the lead for Remi Garde's men nine minutes inside the second half after good work from former French player of the year Yoann Gourcuff as the team got the ideal preparation to face Real Sociedad in the final round of UEFA Champions League qualifying in the first leg on 20 August.
Lacazette added a second and guaranteed top spot albeit on goal difference with his second of the match with 22 minutes remaining before Gourcuff put a gloss on the scoreline with a late fourth.
Valenciennes took the lead at home to Toulouse in controversial fashion when the referee awarded a penalty after contact between Steeve Yago on Gregory Pujol, and sent off Serbian defender Uros Spajic who seemed to have little involvement with the play.
Regardless, Maor Melikson converted the penalty on 37 minutes. Jose Saez made the points safe on 52 minutes when he crashed home a low shot after a close range header came back off the crossbar following a corner and Pujol tucked away the third in the dying seconds.
Nantes got off to a flying start on their return to Ligue 1 for the first time since 2009 when Serbian international Filip Dordevic slipped the ball past Bastia goalkeeper Mickael Landreau who began his fine career with Nantes at 17.
2010/11 champions Lille held on for a hard earned 1-0 win over Britanny side Lorient while neighbours Rennes enjoyed better luck as they rode an 84th minute winner from Mevlut Erding to sink Reims 2-1.
Elsewhere, Coupe de la Ligue finalists Evian and Sochaux battled to a 1-1 draw.