Nancy and Saint-Etienne fire
Nancy and Saint-Etienne both notched impressive wins while Paris Saint-Germain were beaten as Round 1 of the UEFA Cup group phase got under way.
Nancy delivered an inspired second-half performance to run out 3-0 winners against Group H rivals Feyenoord at the Stade Marcel-Picot.
The teams traded blows in the first half but Nancy had trouble connecting their play, with two superb saves from 'keeper Gennaro Bracigliano keeping them from falling behind.
Nancy coach Pablo Correa took action just after the break, bringing on Benjamin Gavanon and Marc-Antoine Fortuné in a straight swap for wide men Francis Malonga and Issiar Dia. With almost immediate results.
The change brought Nancy alive, notching two goals in quick succession. Just two minutes into the half, Julien Féret (pictured) played a sensational first-time ball through to Moncef Zerka who rounded the Dutch 'keeper to slot home. Seven minutes later, Féret turned scorer after controlling a lofted pass before turning and shooting low and hard into the bottom corner.
Brazilian Hélder finished the scoring in soectacular fashion with five minutes to go, jinking his way through the Feyenoord defence before blasting into the roof of the net from the edge of the area.
The win sees Nancy join CSKA Moscow at the top of Group H ahead of next week's clash away to Polish side Lech Poznan.
FC Copenhagen 1-3 Saint-Etienne
Saint-Etienne hit their straps away from home, deservedly winning out 1-3 over Danish side FC Copenhagen as Group G got under way.
The Frenchmen started with a bang, going 1-0 up with just a minute played when Bafetimbi Gomis pounced on Dimitri Payet's perfect cross at the far post to head home.
Copenhagen could have evened the score just minutes later from the penalty spot but 'keeper Jody Viviani dived to deny Brazilian César Santin.
Saint-Etienne widened their lead through captain Loïc Perrin in the 37th minute before Copenhagen were awarded another penalty - and this time Santin made no mistake from the spot.
Despite their lead being narrowed, Laurent Roussey's men continued to dominate in every area and finished the scoring with a splendid goal 20 minutes into the second half. A scintillating Payet caught the Danes on the counter and, after wrong footing the defence, chipped calmly over the advancing Copenhagen 'keeper.
Now in the lead in Group G, Saint-Etienne's next UEFA Cup match is away to FC Bruges on November 27.
Schalke 04 3-1 Paris Saint-Germain
Paris Saint-Germain much-changed line-up struggled against an imposing Schalke, eventually going down 3-1 at the Aufschalke Arena in Gelsenkirchen.
Despite his faith in his young players, Paul Le Guen's men were overwhelmed by the better organised and more experienced Germans, who are quickly firming as Group A favourites.
Schalke went ahead early through a Larrys Mabiala own goal before Kevin Kuranyi added to their tally in the 39th minute, followed by Hamit Altintopp in the 69th.
Le Guen brought on more experienced names in Jérôme Rothen and Pegguy Luyindula with 15 minutes to go but Schalke continued to dictate terms.
Chantôme's far-post strike in stoppage time at the end of the second half spared Parisian blushes but came too late in a game where PSG struggled to find their rhythm as Schalke pushed forward relentlessly.
Paris next take on Racing Santander at the Parc des Princes on November 27, when the capital club will be looking to rebound and stake a claim in their group.