Paris St Germain's recent spending spree failed to produce an immediate return as the Ligue 1 title favourites suffered a humiliating 1-0 defeat at home to Lorient on the opening day of the season.
A takeover of the club by Qatar Sports Investments has brought a huge injection of cash and signalled the arrival of eight new players so far in the transfer window.
Yet Antoine Kombouare's side got off to the worst possible start as Julien Quercia's 28th-minute strike condemned them to an embarrassing loss.
Lyon claimed top spot on the opening day with a solid 3-1 win at Nice. The visitors fell behind to an Anthony Mounier goal on six minutes, but quickly levelled through Lisandro Lopez (10). Bafetimbi Gomis (33) got Lyon in front before the break and Maxime Gonalons secured the win 16 minutes from time.
Lyon are joined at the head of the standings by Montpellier, who also kicked off with a 3-1 win. Their performance against Auxerre was far from convincing, though, with the visitors enjoying the bulk of the chances.
Younes Belhanda opener for the hosts on 36 minutes was cancelled out by Alain Traore on the stroke of the interval, but goals inside the final 15 minutes by Geoffrey Dernis and Olivier Giroud gave Montpellier their first win over Auxerre since returning to the top flight in 2009.
Champions Lille were held to a 1-1 draw by Nancy. Rudi Garcia's team, who finished eight points clear at the top of the table last season, looked like making a winning start when Mathieu Debuchy netted after 46 minutes.
But Franck Beria's 61st-minute own goal rescued a point for the home side, who had Pascal Berenguer dismissed in the closing stages for a reckless challenge.
Loic Remy salvaged a point for Marseille in a 2-2 draw with Sochaux at Stade Velodrome. Didier Deschamps' team led through Lucho Gonzalez's 38th-minute effort - but goals from Marvin Martin (59) and Vincent Nogueira (71) threatened an upset until Remy struck 15 minutes from time.
Ligue 1 newcomers Evian let slip a two-goal lead as they were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw away to Brest. Evian got off to a dream start when skipper Oliver Sorlin and Ali M'Madi netted inside the opening 20 minutes. But Brest hit back with goals from Bruno Grougi and Benoit Lesoimier before half-time.
Having stayed in Ligue 1 on the final day of last season, Caen gave a suggestion they could do better this time around as they opened up with a 1-0 win over Valenciennes. Gregory Promen scored the only goal of the game on 34 minutes, and it was an early contender for goal of the season, the midfielder taking aim from 30 yards and finding the top corner.
Ajaccio's first game back in Ligue 1 after five seasons in the second tier ended in a 2-0 reverse to Toulouse, Antoine Devaux (45) and Paulo Machado (74) with the goals either side of the interval.