Paris Saint-Germain eventually came out on top as they maintained their perfect Ligue 1 record with a 4-0 victory against a resilient St Etienne.
Thomas Tuchel rotated his star-studded team with their Champions League clash at Liverpool on Tuesday in mind as Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were left out of the matchday squad completely.
It also proved to be an emotional match for St Etienne after they honoured their former defender William Gomis, who died last week at the age of 19, by emblazing his name on the away side’s shirts.
However, the German head coach will be concerned by the level of their first-half performance as Les Verts dominated the opening 45 minutes before PSG registered their fifth win from five league matches thanks to goals from Julian Draxler, Edinson Cavani, Angel Di Maria and substitute Moussa Diaby.
Di Maria put the hosts on the front foot with a mazy run past three St Etienne defenders before squaring to Draxler, but Stephane Ruffier produced a smart save to deny the Germany international after just two minutes.
The visitors came into this match with one win and three draws from their four matches and they showed their intent when Wahbi Khazri had a shot from the edge of the box, but his effort was straight at Alphonse Areola.
Lois Diony spurned a great chance to earn St Etienne a shock lead when Yannis Salibur found the striker at the near post, but he could only prod it wide with the goal at his mercy.
Loic Perrin was the next player to waste a glorious chance for Jean-Louis Gasset’s side as his header drifted wide when left unmarked from Khazri’s corner before Yann M’Vila was just off-target as the away side piled on the pressure.
However, PSG capitalised on Les Verts’ profligacy with a moment of quality from Marco Verratti to unlock the St Etienne defence, with Draxler profiting to mark his first start of the season with a goal after 23 minutes.
The Italy international played a delightful chipped pass for Draxler to control the ball on his head before lifting a header over the onrushing Ruffier to earn the reigning champions a somewhat undeserved lead.
The away side threatened once more before the break with a quick counter-attack but Salibur was unable to control inside the penalty area when well-placed and that is as good as it got for the visitors.
The Parisians doubled their advantage five minutes after the restart when Cavani was hauled down in the penalty area by Perrin and the Uruguayan striker dusted himself down to slot home his third goal in three games this campaign.
The home side started to assert the pressure and they had the ball in the net once more, only for the assistant referee to rule it out for offside.
PSG did not have to wait much longer to move 3-0 up when Di Maria lashed home from close range with 14 minutes remaining before substitute Diaby scored his first goal for the club to add gloss to the scoreline.
Dani Alves is no stranger to the Champions League trophy having hoisted it three times during his tenure at Barcelona, but the Brazilian defender is eager to add to his collection with Paris Saint-Germain.
The French club have yet to reign supreme in the European competition, something Alves is eager to change.
“When you are afraid of failure you don’t say out loud what you really want and what I want is to win a Champions League with PSG,” Alves said.
See Alves’ full comments in the video below.
Training is always a good time for footballers to let loose a little and have some fun.
Check out the hilarious interaction in the video below.