Lille claim first win, Toulouse in command
Second-half goals from Benoit Pedretti and Mathieu Debuchy sealed a 2-1 victory for defending champions Lille over Caen, while ten-man Lyon were brought down to earth by Brest.
Ligue 1 and Coupe de France winners Lille had drawn their opening game of the new campaign 1-1 with Nancy, before losing 1-0 at Montpellier. And their luck did not appear to have changed in the first half at Caen, but second-half surge secured all three points.
Lille dominated proceedings, but were denied by the woodwork on three occasions, with Florent Balmont, Dimitri Payet and Eden Hazard all thwarted by the frame of the goal. The breakthrough finally came in the 68th minute, with Hazard the creator as he was so often last season.
The Belgian winger skipped into the Caen penalty area on the left-hand side before rolling in a pass that Benoit Pedretti touched home to claim his first Lille goal since his summer move from Auxerre.
Right-back Mathieu Debuchy doubled the lead in the 88th minute, before Benjamin Nivet pulled a goal back with an injury-time penalty. Nivet could even have stolen a point for Caen at the death, but his close-range header was repelled by an extraordinary reflex save from Lille goalkeeper Mickael Landreau.
"I'm not relieved, because it was bound to come," said Lille coach Rudi Garcia, whose side host Marseille next weekend. "We've now had three performances, even four with the Champions Trophy (a 5-4 loss to Marseille), where we've been pretty good in terms of our play and we deserved to win. The difference tonight was that we were able to force the issue."
Lyon went into their match at Brest buoyed by a fine performance in their 3-1 UEFA Champions League play-off first-leg win at home to Rubin Kazan on Tuesday, but they were quickly shaken out of their stride at Stade Francis Le Ble.
Brest winger Benoit Lesoimier put the hosts ahead in the 12th minute, turning away from two defenders and unleashing a rising, left-footed drive that Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris could only help into the net.
Miralem Pjanic, one of three changes to the side that beat Kazan, tested Brest goalkeeper Steeve Elana with a swerving drive shortly after half-time, but Lyon's cause suffered a blow when Sidy Kone was sent off. The 19-year-old Malian midfielder, making his first Ligue 1 appearance, was shown a straight red card for an ugly two-footed lunge at Brest striker Nolan Roux.
Lyon continued to press, however, and after Lisandro Lopez had headed inches wide from substitute Michel Bastos' cross, Bafetimbi Gomis scored the equaliser with a low effort into the bottom-right corner.
Toulouse stay top
Toulouse held onto the league lead after claiming a 1-1 draw with Nice thanks to a stunning last-minute equaliser from Adrien Regattin.
The 19-year-old substitute dispatched a sublime overhead bicycle kick from just inside the box, after Anthony Mounier had breached the Toulouse defence for the first time this season to give the hosts a 31st-minute lead.
In the day's other games, Bordeaux drew 1-1 at home to Auxerre and Dijon overcame the 42nd-minute dismissal of captain Abdoulaye Meite to claim their first victory since securing promotion with a 2-0 win at home to Lorient.
The day's later game ended in a 1-1 draw between newly promoted pair Ajaccio and Evian. Substitute Kevin Berigaud earned visitors Evian a share of the spoils with a goal in the 75th minute after Frederic Sammaritano had put the hosts in front in the seventh minute.